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Forum topic by BubingaBill posted 176 days ago 501 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BubingaBill

247 posts in 316 days


176 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: jig question

Hi guys,
I received a small stick of Mother of Pearl and I was wondering if someone has a jig for cutting this either on a scroll saw or a band saw?

I know I can cut slices but I was thinking of cutting 3/8” circles to add dots to a case lid. I have never worked with this material before so I am not sure how to go about it. I don’t know if it is real or synthetic. I’m guessing synthetic.

I looked on YouTube and they only cover freehand designs for frett work.
I’m starting with a small block.
I am thinking I would cut slices a bit thicker then I need and then draw a circle on it and either go to the scroll saw or sanding station and slowly approach my line.

I am concerned my circles will come out all funky.

Any ideas?

-- Measure twice and try not to cut your thumbs off!


9 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5092 posts in 2344 days


#1 posted 153 days ago

What an interesting question. I’d thought mother of pearl only came in sheets, I learned something today. Woukd you have a picture? Hope you find an answer.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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BubingaBill

247 posts in 316 days


#2 posted 153 days ago

Mark,
I will take a picture tonight and post it tomorrow. I have to spend the evening shutting down my wood shop to make room for my wife’s SUV. I have to replace the alternator tonight and it’s too cold to do that in the driveway!

I’m guessing the “stick” I have is some synthetic pearl.

-- Measure twice and try not to cut your thumbs off!

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

1656 posts in 1553 days


#3 posted 152 days ago

I would try a plug cutter to make the circles. Machine it as though it was wood. Make the plug, drill the hole and glue the plug in place. I have never done this with anything but wood but that is what I would try.

-- In God We Trust

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unbob

384 posts in 535 days


#4 posted 152 days ago

I have cut like material for a guitar repairman. The problem there being, the material must fit an existing hole. This is how, I did use a metal lathe, but, an ace on a wood lathe should be able to do it also.

1. cut out a square of the material just somewhat larger then final size-trim the four corners back to make an octagon shape.


2. using a piece of metal rod smaller in diameter then the finished size disk- place a drop of super glue on the back side of the material- center the rod on the material- a little glue will squeeze out around the rod/material- there, sprinkle baking soda. What happens, is baking soda will cause the glue to cure very rapidly. One can glue anything that way with super glue-where as the glue will not cure otherwise.

3. place the rod/material in the lathe- then using a small piece of wood or metal, with a 60degree hole-use this part to in effect hold the material against the rod using the tailstock live center. That is, the part on the rod in the lathe headstock, the tailstock live center/small piece of material sandwiching the part and holding it solid for the machine cutting forces. This is an old method that watchmakers used to make some parts. The lathe holding tool was called a shellac chuck-super glue works for me, and is quick.

4. turn the part, it should now be held solid enough for reasonable cutting.

5. remove from machine-heat the rod with a flame-the disk will fall off the rod.

Done deal!

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Loren

7424 posts in 2279 days


#5 posted 152 days ago

I would just buy inlay dots on ebay rather than cut them. They
are cheap and accurately made.

Pearl is easy to chip. Generally I think the way to cut it
is by hand with a jeweler’s saw and a bird’s mouth.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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BubingaBill

247 posts in 316 days


#6 posted 152 days ago

Unbob,
I wish I had a lathe!

Loren,
I have been looking on Ebay for the dots and I have to admit they are nice and not expensive. I just thought since I had some of this fake pearl I thought why spend the money? But I have to agree the premade ones do look perfect!

-- Measure twice and try not to cut your thumbs off!

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unbob

384 posts in 535 days


#7 posted 152 days ago

but… can one purchase the holes for the inlayed disk to fit in on ebay?
Always easier to create the hole first, then fit the peg.

For example, if a drill press is what is used to make a hole with a flat faced center cutting bit, the chuck run out even as small as .003” will created a hole that is .006” oversized. That would look bad on a 3/8” inlay.

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BubingaBill

247 posts in 316 days


#8 posted 152 days ago

True but without a lathe I don’t have much choice now do I?

-- Measure twice and try not to cut your thumbs off!

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unbob

384 posts in 535 days


#9 posted 152 days ago

You do.
With only a drill press, the part can still be chucked and worked much the same way, perhaps abrasive paper glued to a small flat piece of wood to work the part down instead of a cutting tool.
The part can be supported on the front side using a rounded tip wood dowel held in the drill press vise- using Bees Wax as a lube. That would replace the lathe tailstock live center.
More or less the same as a lathe, except the part will be held vertical.

No drill press? the same can be done with a hand drill.

I have the feeling I wasted my time on this.

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