Another Hot-Sand Inlay

In the last online course released from 360 Woodworking (Inlaid Tea Caddy), hot sand was used to shade pieces of veneer to make rays for quarter, round and oval fans. This past week I was back at it to make a different hot-sand inlay for an upcoming project, a Pembroke Table. The legs of the table are strung, have a small inlaid circle to cover a pivot point for the stringing and have a cuff band, in addition to the sand-shaded inlay.

How hot was the sand? As you can see from the opening photo, it was 379° F. That’s around 193° C for those of you in areas outside the US. And that was just after I turned off the heat source.

How close was I to 451° F as the shading was being done? My guess is that down at the bottom of the sand, nudging the iron skillet, the temperature reached well over the burn-the-wood stage.

If you’re wondering about the glove, the heat was not so powerful at the beginning of the work, which is a signal that I, as I always do, began the shading prior to when the sand was sufficiently hot enough. But by the end things were a bit too hot as I hovered over the skillet to flip and remove the shop-made veneer using needle-nose pliers.

So what inlay am I working on for this project? Here’s a hint. It’s similar to what Jack Lord’s character in the 1970s television series Hawaii Five-0, Steve McGarrett, said to Dano at the end of most episodes.

— Glen D. Huey

Not a member? Join here. Plus, there’s already five online courses you can access.



Posted on

3 thoughts on “Another Hot-Sand Inlay

  1. I have needle-nose pliers with 10 inch long handles. Amazon has some with up to 18 inch long handles. You will still need a glove to adjust the cast iron pan, however.

  2. Great info. Glen
    I have never done this method.Have you thought about making
    a DVD on this subject? I know you talked about in on your spice box
    video. How did you sneak your cornbread skillet from you wife?

    1. Kerry,

      As a member of, you have access to the Online Course for building a Tea Caddy. (Non-members can purchase a PDF download of the course – including the 19 separate lessons – in the 360 Woodworking Store.). The first three lessons in the course deal with how to make the material for sand shading, and what setup to use to shade the parts and how to do the work.

      You, sir, no better than to ask about borrowing a skillet from the kitchen. That is a no-no – I purchased said skillet for work in the shop!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *