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I want to create an inlay of my fiancee's initials for a cutting board I am making for her. For the inlay pieces, however, I'm not sure what wood I should use. Because I am a slight beginner and don't have many tools I will be using a jigsaw to cut the inlays out and a plunge router to make the inlay-points on the actual cutting board.

Which wood types would be appropriate for creating these inlays? I know they'll need to be relatively thin, but that's all I know.

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    You might find this video informative for the process. – grfrazee Apr 14 '16 at 18:12
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    Excellent Answer from @grfrazee, just wanted to say the inlay doesn't have to be particularly thin even though this is quite common, You can make it a little easier on yourself by not going this, that way the inlay is less fragile. – Graphus Apr 14 '16 at 18:28
  • @Graphus, good point, the inlay doesn't necessarily need to be very thin. – grfrazee Apr 14 '16 at 18:32
  • Before you start cutting, are you going to inlay her current initials or her post-marriage initials? (These questions come to a soon-to-be father-in-law.) Oh, and congrats! – FreeMan Apr 15 '16 at 13:15
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    If the first one goes over well, you could make a second one for when her initials change! If it doesn't go over well, make kindling. ;) /Marital advice with 25 years experience – FreeMan Apr 15 '16 at 13:24
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Which wood types would be appropriate for creating these inlays? I know they'll need to be relatively thin, but that's all I know.

You can inlay pretty much any wood you want. Some will work better than others (even within individual species of wood) just due to that piece's temperament, grain structure, and stability.

I would stay away from very open-grained woods, like red oak or ash. At the thinness you likely need for inlay, the open grain is very much more prone to splitting/cracking along the grain. Also, you'll get weird bumps at the edges due to the porosity of the grain.

Close-grained woods (like maple, holly, cherry, etc.) work well for inlay because of how tight their grain is. However, some may not work for a cutting board (like holly) because they discolor/stain very easily.

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