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Epoxy Inlay #1: carving and first layer of epoxy

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Blog entry by JoeyG posted 959 days ago 2353 reads 10 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Epoxy Inlay series Part 2: another one »

I start with the lid already sized for the box. This one is purpleheart. I know, it’s almost impossible to carve, but it’s what the customer ordered. So I find a way.

Next is to design your inlay

After the drawing is done, I cover it with scotch tape or box tape

Then comes the mirror and xacto knife

After my stencil is made I transfer it to my lid blank

With my trusty chip carving knife, I carve in my design. Since purpleheart is so hard I chose to only do the outline on this one. I will have a upcoming inlay where I go into doing a larger inlay and flattening out the bottom.

Now it’s on to the messy part. I am using a metallic acrylic paint to color the epoxy. The epoxy only has to hold in the carving, so I am not too concerned about the paint weakening the epoxy. I do use inlace also, but they are expensive and I didn’t have the proper color for this project, so I used what I have. I am sure there will be some out there who disagree with using paint, but I have it on hand, it’s cheap, and my test with it worked out fine, so that’s what I used.

And now we wait. Next episode will be sanding and filling air bubbles. I’ve tried several different ways to not get air bubbles, but so far I still get them, any hints or suggestions are welcome.

As always, thanks for taking a look.

-- JoeyG ~~~ http://www.facebook.com/JHGWoodWorks



14 comments so far

View JoeyG's profile

JoeyG

1233 posts in 1209 days


#1 posted 959 days ago

to speed up drying time???

-- JoeyG ~~~ http://www.facebook.com/JHGWoodWorks

View JoeyG's profile

JoeyG

1233 posts in 1209 days


#2 posted 959 days ago

that’s a good idea, I will have to get a torch so I can give it a try. Do you think one of those cigar torches would work?

-- JoeyG ~~~ http://www.facebook.com/JHGWoodWorks

View patron's profile

patron

12947 posts in 1925 days


#3 posted 959 days ago

thanks for another way to do this
i usually just wing it
but ‘laid out’ looks like a great idea

i use epoxy for inlays too
i do spray/brush in some sealer
(varathane or lacquer)

as some woods bleed the paint in
use acrylic craft paint from wal-mart

i have a spray bottle (windex)
and spray lacquer thinner
for about an hour (as needed)
to get the bubbles out
(don’t forget as they keep coming up)

but have read here on LJ’s that a hair drier works too

but i haven’t tried that yet

i have never been able to fill pin holes later right
and matching the original colors is hard
to get the right mix


-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View zlatanv's profile

zlatanv

689 posts in 1818 days


#4 posted 959 days ago

I have done a counter with epoxy, and was told to slightly mist it with lacquer thiner to level it and pop the bubbles, like Patron said. it worked. good luck, looks nice.

Just looked at the epoxy website, it said to use acetone mist to remove air bubbles, but that was to use over a large area like a table top, Im sure it would work on a small inlay, just go easy on the mist.

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View JoeyG's profile

JoeyG

1233 posts in 1209 days


#5 posted 959 days ago

Those are some great looking inlays. Let’s see if I understand this. You spray the epoxy with lacquer thinner allowing the air bubbles to rise to the surface over the coarse of an hour? That sounds a lot safer than putting fire to it. I haven’t had a problem with bleeding yet, hopefully this won’t be the first, LOL. From the look of your inlays, I am going to give that a try first.

-- JoeyG ~~~ http://www.facebook.com/JHGWoodWorks

View patron's profile

patron

12947 posts in 1925 days


#6 posted 959 days ago

my thoughts are two fold

the epoxy is a chemical reaction
and heats up together
forming bubbles
(like boiling water)
they will keep coming
(slower and slower as the mix hardens)

the other thought is that trapped air in the grains
are heated and released too

i sit by and read a book
or fiddle around

with the spray bottle handy
and ‘burst’ them
when they come (on their own)
to the surface
as you may have found out
the bubbles are half submerged too
(like an iceberg)
so when you sand them later
they leave a ‘crater’

i always pour more than needed
and the lacquer thinner make it ‘run’ somewhat
(why i seal an area in and around the fill
so it doesn’t bleed)
and doesn’t settle below the surface

it is easier to sand down to the wood
than sand the whole top to the epoxy
and maybe lose a shallow inlay

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View lanwater's profile

lanwater

3070 posts in 1518 days


#7 posted 958 days ago

Lot’s of good information here.

Thanks

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View degoose's profile

degoose

6958 posts in 1938 days


#8 posted 958 days ago

I use a butane torch… like the plumbers use to heat solder for pipes…. I also use the torch for branding… heats up the brand… for the bubbles I only have to do it one… seems to work a treat.. but keep it a good distance from the epoxy… My 2c worth anyway…

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...

View 3Gwoodguy's profile

3Gwoodguy

152 posts in 1276 days


#9 posted 958 days ago

Joey, looks like you got us some good ideas for dealing with bubbles…thanks guys for the input. Im wondering if just one of those longer butane lighters that sort of “blow torch” wouldnt be perfect. Project looks nice and I am anxious to see how that metallic paint will look v. glitter. Keep up the good work.

-- "The beatings will continue until moral improves" -- Bart Ridings, Illinois

View 3Gwoodguy's profile

3Gwoodguy

152 posts in 1276 days


#10 posted 958 days ago

Patron, some really nice work there. well done.

-- "The beatings will continue until moral improves" -- Bart Ridings, Illinois

View JoeyG's profile

JoeyG

1233 posts in 1209 days


#11 posted 958 days ago

Here you can see after letting it cure over night, I have sanded it with 120 on the orbital sander. I’ll have the next installment tomorrow or the next day on filling the putty holes. Now I have to prepare my 25 lb. turkey they we will be having for dinner tomorrow. We give our thanks with food and family on the Saturday after Thanksgivings. I hope you had a safe and happy holiday.

-- JoeyG ~~~ http://www.facebook.com/JHGWoodWorks

View patron's profile

patron

12947 posts in 1925 days


#12 posted 958 days ago

lot’s of good suggestions
i think the size of the ‘pool’
is what makes the different times of bubbles

here is one i made by routing and carving
the ‘rawhide’ tie
had to do it one side at a time
with tape up and on the edges each time
to keep it from dripping down the sides
and starving the ‘trench’
it continues all around the box

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

2937 posts in 1251 days


#13 posted 958 days ago

Thanks for getting this blog going and I am learning a lot .
This is very interesting stuff and I will continue to watch every step .
Happy Thanks Giving and enjoy your turkey !!!!!
Kiefer

-- Kiefer 松

View JoeyG's profile

JoeyG

1233 posts in 1209 days


#14 posted 952 days ago

Thanks keifer, I did have a great Thanksgivings. I hope you did as well. I must say, that I believe I am learning as much, if not more, than I am sharing. I started doing this style because I wanted more freedom in the inlays I had started doing. The wooden inlays look fantastic but you are limited in color and to some degree what the inlay can be. I found out real quick that I could not do a wooden inlay fast enough to make it affordable. It can take a day to cut out, sand, file, and what ever else just to make 1 piece fit. So basically because of the limitations in color and time constraints, I was forced to find another way. And I am extremely happy that I did. Using the epoxy as a base for the inlays really makes the possibilities seem endless. I have ideas bouncing around in my head of more complex designs once I get my basic technique down. If I can get the bubble issue under control, then I should have some pretty cool designs coming next year.

-- JoeyG ~~~ http://www.facebook.com/JHGWoodWorks

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