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Large slabs of Mesquite and Epoxy + Turquoise Fill

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Forum topic by Bohaiboy posted 05-04-2017 08:37 PM 1372 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bohaiboy

71 posts in 1627 days


05-04-2017 08:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question mesquite dimension

I have two slabs of mesquite, about 10/4 and 12/4 thick. Approx 3 ft x 2 ft. Naturally they have some cracks and checks. I will be using these to make a Krenov inspired jewelry cabinet so this will be final dimension at 6” x 3/4” x X” long.

My question is should I rough dimension the lumber, say 6” x 7/8” prior to using the epoxy or should I do it prior to any dimensioning as it is now? I fear that there wont be proper void fill with the turquoise if I do it in its current state. I have turquoise dust and very small crushed stones, obviously the crushed stone may not fully penetrate especially small cracks, thus the powder. Any suggestions on mixing the powder with the epoxy, techniques, ratios, etc? This is my first foray in to this. I am using an 5:1 epoxy from Total Boat. It is supposed to be equivalent to West Systems but much less expensive.

-- Tim, Houston, TX area


14 replies so far

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Rich

1972 posts in 422 days


#1 posted 05-04-2017 10:19 PM

When I do that with mesquite, I dimension the lumber first, fill with epoxy, and then do my final sanding and finishing. You’re right that laying in the turquoise with epoxy now would be a waste since much of it will get planed away. As you said too, it’s very possible that you might plane past the filler and wind up with unfilled spots.

Edit: Not to mention that the turquoise would wreak havoc on your blades.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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AZWoody

1138 posts in 1057 days


#2 posted 05-05-2017 12:44 AM

Definitely dimension first. Trying to plane or do any work with turqoise will ruin your blades in a heartbeat.
Also, I prefer to use super glue, the thin kind, for turqoise inlay. I will fill the void with the material and then just drip the glue over the top until everything is wet.

Epoxy is a faster dry time but the super glue, or cyanoacrylate to be more accurate will flow into the cracks and other areas much better.
Then, if you have any other voids to fill after you’re done with the inlay, then epoxy tinted black is perfect.

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Gene Howe

9748 posts in 3262 days


#3 posted 05-05-2017 12:52 AM

Ditto. Good advice.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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KelleyCrafts

2679 posts in 572 days


#4 posted 05-05-2017 05:12 AM

I’ll tack on to this one, if you use epoxy and run them through a planer then the epoxy will likely turn black from being burnt.

-- http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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Bohaiboy

71 posts in 1627 days


#5 posted 05-05-2017 04:19 PM

Thanks all for the feedback, ki7hy, I am worried that the checks/cracks etc in the wood might tear out going to a S4S state prior to adding the epoxy. Suggestions? I do have a 16-32 Performax sander I could use.

-- Tim, Houston, TX area

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ColonelTravis

1672 posts in 1727 days


#6 posted 05-05-2017 05:25 PM

I use a lot of mesquite. When you cut it that large you don’t know what’s inside – where the cracks go, how there could be a larger void, etc. I’ve cut many thick slabs and afterward said – (both good and bad) didn’t expect to see that! That’s another reason to dimension first. Otherwise you’re wasting epoxy.

You can make a decent guess where the cracks are headed, but be careful because if you don’t want a crack (or cracks) in a certain area – like where you’re gonna put a mortise or, or at the very edge of a board that makes it tough to plane because a piece might break off, you need to think ahead before cutting. Then again, see my first paragraph. Forrest Gump was wrong. Mesquite is like a box of chocolates.

My biggest concern for tearout is not with cracks and checks but with the crazy grain. I use mostly hand tools, don’t have a large sander like yours. Even as-sharp-as-possible hand planes have limitations, so I turn to card scrapers and then a ROS.

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Bohaiboy

71 posts in 1627 days


#7 posted 05-06-2017 12:14 AM

Colonel Travis, I plan to use powdered turquoise for the smaller voids. I know for dyes, very little is used, not certain how much turquoise dust I need to get a very good effect. And mixing suggestions?

-- Tim, Houston, TX area

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ColonelTravis

1672 posts in 1727 days


#8 posted 05-06-2017 03:42 AM

Wish I could help you on that, all I’ve used is boring ol’ epoxy.

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Rich

1972 posts in 422 days


#9 posted 05-06-2017 04:09 AM

Practice. Get some scrap, use something like a v-groove bit to cut some channels, and play around with different methods of fill.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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KelleyCrafts

2679 posts in 572 days


#10 posted 05-07-2017 06:09 AM

Sorry, I didn’t see this. As for tear out, it’s called risk. WoodAZ could also comment on this but we almost exclusively use AZ hard woods and they are awesome because it’s hard to find something without figure but they suck because they are tough to work. Mesquite is one of the easier ones relatively speaking. Get your card scraper ready and go to town. I promise, once the epoxy burns you can’t get it out, it’s too deep. You just have to take shallow cuts. Dimensioning with a drum sander also sucks but maybe you have more patience than I have.

-- http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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KelleyCrafts

2679 posts in 572 days


#11 posted 05-07-2017 04:57 PM

Tim, I’m out this morning in the shop working on my dining room table and thought I would show some examples of what Travis was talking about.

When you fill with epoxy you just don’t know where the cracks go. I taped off the back of this table but it only makes a minor difference. I’ve filled these holes twice already and in the end there’s still a hole. Eventually it will close up. Maybe one or two more fills. In the mean time I’m getting rid of the over pour on the rest of the table so I can keep moving on. Once I refill these I’ll get to work on the table legs today.

Never ending holes:

To get rid of the excess epoxy fill I use a hand plane to start then sand it to finish it.

-- http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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Bohaiboy

71 posts in 1627 days


#12 posted 05-07-2017 05:45 PM

Those are some nasty looking voids. How brutal is the epoxy on your plane blades?

Over on another website it was suggested to apply some of your preferred finish adjacent to the voids, and that would prohibit the grain from soaking in some of the epoxy. I also wonder is a good paste wax may help along with copious amounts of painters tape.

-- Tim, Houston, TX area

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KelleyCrafts

2679 posts in 572 days


#13 posted 05-07-2017 07:38 PM

I guess it would depend on the wood grain Tim. Red eucalyptus is extremely tight grain (that’s what this is). It’s about 50% harder than walnut. I haven’t experienced an issue with it. The painters tape is on the bottom but as usual I didn’t use enough. Those cracks are sneaky.

The paste wax would likely cause issues with your finish but applying some finish around the crack isn’t a bad idea. Or some blo or something. I might try that on the legs when I go to fill them and see if it helps. The whole table will get some blo before finish anyway.

-- http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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KelleyCrafts

2679 posts in 572 days


#14 posted 05-07-2017 07:40 PM

Oh, I use PMV11 Veritas blades and I swear by them. I use the Paul Sellers sharpening method because it’s the cleanest and simplest around imo. So having the pmv11 last longer is awesome. The epoxy is far softer than most hard woods though so honestly I think it’s no problem. You get nice little white curls.

-- http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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