Layered epoxy inlay #5: A yellow eye and more carving

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Blog entry by JoeyG posted 01-08-2012 05:56 AM 2283 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Layer two Part 5 of Layered epoxy inlay series Part 6: I've got a face and some troubles. »

Welcome back, I got the eye sanded down and it looks pretty cool except for the air bubbles. I knew I couldn’t get through without a few big ones. I rushed a little to much when I applied the epoxy. I will take care of it later.It will probably get filled in with another color but if I don’t like it I will just carve it out again.

So while me and my family were out running around today we went by one of the big box office supply stores and I finally picked up some carbon paper. It was only $5. I was expecting it to cost more.

I take the original tracing I made and tape the top and make alignment along the sides so that I could match it up in the correct place. I love how I can see through this paper, it makes it easy to get it in the right place.

Next I took a piece of the carbon paper and cut it small enough to fit under the tracing paper but large enough to cover the entire face. I tape it down on all four corners so that it cannot shift on me.

Now just lay the tracing paper over the carbon paper and tape it in place. Make sure the alignment marks line up and tape it enough that it cannot shift.

Then I take my plastic pencil and trace every line. I pressed harder than I normally would with a pen or pencil. The tracing paper kind of feels like wax paper and the “pencil” slid easily. I have had this one for years and don’t even remember when or where I picked it up. You can probably find on at any decent art supply store or make one yourself. Just make sure the point is not sharp. It needs to be rounded like a used pencil. You don’t want to snag and tear either the tracing or carbon paper.

Here it is after I removed all the tape and paper. I was really gentle in this because it will be needed again for the next step. The carbon paper did a wonderful job. Even better than I expected. My shop will never be without it again. I wish I had it when I began this project, you can see where my original carving is off. I am just going to roll with it. I can always re-carve it if I need to. The epoxy it a lot easier to carve in with the dremel than the mahogany is.

Here is a picture of my Dremel with the router attachment and that tiny bit I spoke of in the last episode. I didn’t bother to measure it but It has to be about 1/32. I was worried when I got to the mahogany that it was going to break, but no problems. I think I will buy stock in the company that makes them though, because I can see myself going through a lot of them.

Next is a shot of me getting ready to start the carving. I will take a moment here to describe my developing technique. I have no experience using a dremel for this type of work so I am learning as I go. I have found that it is nearly impossible to make a straight line so it is best to try and start in the middle and gently work you way to the line. I hold the dremel firmly with my right hand (I am right handed) and hold the base with the thumb and first finger of my left hand. I use my left hand to guide and move the dremel. This seems to give me the best control. As I do more of these I am sure I will find the best way for me to do this. It just takes practice to figure it all out. If this is a bit confusing I can try to take some pictures of me with my hands in place as I do the carving. I am sure my daughter would love to watch me and would be happy to take pictures for me. Just let me know if anyone is interested.

Working on that eye,
You can see here after I have carved it out. The chips have a tendency to remain in the carving. I just use my blower to clean it out. While my family and I were out today we stop by Wal-Mart to pick up some toothbrushes and I picked up a set of metal dental picks. I was showing my kids what the dentist will use if they don’t brush their teeth well and had a thought that they would be useful in the shop. I decided against getting them, and now I wish they had. The epoxy sticks to itself and the thin picks would make getting it out a lot easier. If you plan to do something like this I would spend the $5 bucks and pick some up. I will be the next time I am there. Until then, I will find something around the shop that will work.

These last pictures are taken as I progressed. I would click a picture every few times I stopped to blow out the dust.

This has been a lot of fun so far, I hope everyone is enjoying it as much as I am. Tomorrow I will fill in the next color. I need to clean up the carving a little bit first. It was getting late tonight and I tend to get in a hurry when it’s getting close to time to come in from the shop and this wasn’t something I wanted to rush through. It only takes one slip at this stage to create a really big problem. Better safe than sorry. Since the epoxy needs about a day to dry, it will probably be Monday before the next episode.

Thanks for joining me on this journey. I am learning so much, I hope you are as well. If there are any questions, comments, or ideas please leave them. They are always welcome.

Until next time,

-- JoeyG ~~~

3 comments so far

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2989 days

#1 posted 01-08-2012 09:20 AM

Great job Joey. It’s almost done.

Carbon paper at last!!!

Have you tried tracing the edges (lines) with a marking knife?

I practiced that a little. I trace the line with the knife before routing the excess. When you get closer to the line, the small area between your bit and the line almost “peels” off so the edge is sharp and clean.
I am going to use that in my next inlay project.

A bigger (wider) base.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View kiefer's profile


5619 posts in 2722 days

#2 posted 01-08-2012 04:20 PM

This is coming along just great and I enjoy your blog tremendously and appreciate the time and effort you are putting into this !
Thank you very much !


-- Kiefer

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 2681 days

#3 posted 01-08-2012 05:21 PM

@Ian, I like that, I am heading straight to amazon and see how far back it will put me. I just had a Homer Simson “DOLT!!!!!!” moment. When I was carving them by hand I always made stop cuts. I can’t believe that I missed a detail like that. I must Thank you. I could have saved myself a little headache, but I will use stop cuts from here on out.

@Kiefer, It makes the time and energy well worth it to have people really enjoying the blog. You keep reading and I’ll keep making them.

Thanks guys

-- JoeyG ~~~

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