I'm starting to figure it out

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I'm starting to figure it out

Postby stevelod » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:12 pm

I've been playing with epoxy engravings. They're basically a lithophane in wood but instead of back lighting it, I fill it with epoxy tinted black. If I get it carved just right and tint the epoxy just right I get pretty good results. This is my best one so far.

I'm always looking for new ways to make images in wood if anyone has any any ideas.
Here's a link to some other stuff I made. http://thestuffimade.com/product-category/epoxy-filled-engravings/
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professor-longhair.jpg
Professor Longhair
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Re: I'm starting to figure it out

Postby mtylerfl » Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:00 pm

I love your work, Steve! Thank you for posting the link!
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Re: I'm starting to figure it out

Postby garylmast » Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:23 pm

I like how that came out. I did most of my lithophanes by 3-D printing, which turned out good, but when I did a few in wood, I wasn't impressed. I think I'll try your technique on some the wood ones to see if I can improve the appearance. Thanks.

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Re: I'm starting to figure it out

Postby GEdward » Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:53 pm

Excellent work. I have done similar work with good results but your latest piece is better anything I have produced with the exception of one that I did in which I painted the relief white before I poured the epoxy. That one turned out so well that it is almost impossible to convince someone that it is not an epoxy coated photograph.

May I ask what kind of wood you are using and what you are using for a colorant in your epoxy? I make my own black and sepia colorants and it is kind of a pain in the butt; although it does give me complete control of the gray scale saturation.

Also I would like to ask how you control/eliminate the bubbles that surface often times after the pour; or is that not a problem with the epoxy you are using.
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Re: I'm starting to figure it out

Postby stevelod » Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:57 pm

I should have mentioned that I stained the carving white before I poured the epoxy on the image I posted. All the others I did were on bare wood.

All the engravings on the website were done on hard maple which I've found works well. It's very dense with a tight grain so I get good engraving resolution and it's light color is closer to white than most other species. I use Mixol (from Woodcrafters) to tint the epoxy. The picture I posted on the forum is on wenge which I had given to me. I prefer not to use exotic wood but it was very dense and it worked well as long as I stained the relief white before pouring the epoxy..

The bubbles can be tricky. A few tips are to mix the epoxy carefuly to reduce the amount of air mixed in. Warming up the epoxy and hardener thins it out helps the bubbles rise but they still seem to float to the surface and stay there. Carefully heating the epoxy with a torch will pop those bubbles that float to the surface. The epoxy I use has 3 choices for hardener, slow, medium and fast. I use the slow hardener to give the bubbles more time to rise but I'm not sure that makes any difference. If you can put up with the smell then polyester works similar to epoxy but doesn't bubble as much. You will have to sand the surface flat because it tends to dry with an orange peel texture and it can stink up the house pretty bad.
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Re: I'm starting to figure it out

Postby meflick » Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:41 pm

very nice work. interesting to hear how/what you are doing to create them. I will check out your site shortly. thanks for sharing.
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Re: I'm starting to figure it out

Postby GEdward » Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:43 pm

Thanks for the details. I use a butane Dremel soldering torch to pop the bubbles. The very small flame it produces makes control a breeze. I also use it to warm trouble spots to improve flow characteristics when dimples sometimes appear.
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