Novice VCarve Inlay and Lettering questions

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Re: Novice VCarve Inlay and Lettering questions

Postby ElevationCreations » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:53 pm

The bit Randyr recommends is one of the bits I use for small text. Slow your feeds, speeds, and plunge rate. When I have small text I run the machine slow enough that it doesn’t burn, but provides a good clean cut.

Try sealing the wood with a few coats of shellac to help hold the the fibers together. I use either a 1# or 1 1/2# cut of dewaxed shellac.

Try Bold text and see if that helps. Run some smaller samples of your problem areas until you find a setting which gives acceptable results.

Your machine needs to be perfectly square and spindle exactly plumb to the wasteboard, and wasteboard needs to be flat. Some of the gaps on your test pieces may have been caused by slightly out of square machine or material which is not flat.

Both pieces of stock need to be flat. I would recommend inlaying smaller sections on this piece to allow more time for gluing and clamping and slight tolerance variation of your machine. You will need to apply significant clamping pressure to get a tight fit. Personally for text this size I would fill with Inlace or colored epoxy.
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Re: Novice VCarve Inlay and Lettering questions

Postby joeporter » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:56 pm

Somewhere in the discussion I saw someone mention "..run out". What kind of router do you have? Does it have a good quality collet and nut? Can you get a better one? The Kiocera bits have been good for me also, but the CMT bit has three flutes and seem to be the go to bits around here for engraving. Anyway, good luck with your project and as I said before, it's a pretty good looking plaque already. A little stain, maybe some hand rubbed oil, from a distance, and as a gift, and you just can't lose :D ....joe
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Re: Novice VCarve Inlay and Lettering questions

Postby adze_cnc » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:39 pm

ablesser wrote:Can you explain how coating with a sanding sealer or shellac, or whatever, will help ? Is it by basically gluing the little wood fibers together with an extra binder that it will help prevent quite as much fragmentation, in the same way that laminated safety glass can help prevent lots of little glass shards on breakage ? I know wood structure is different from glass, but I wonder if the analogy is apt ?


I expect that's the hypothesis. My misgivings would be that these are film finishes that sit largely on the surface of the material and won't penetrate to the depth needed to stabilize the fibres in the method you accurately describe.

My thoughts would be:

  • to cut any letter or number with "eyes" or "counters" (your a, e, 8, etc.) separately with gentler speeds and depth-of-cut to give them the best chance of survival.
  • have the lettering silkscreened on the wood then finishing it with a film finish. Gently level sand each coat so that eventually the inked letters won't stand proud in comparison to the rest of the surface (i.e. sand off the finis on the letters to build up the coverage around the letters)
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Re: Novice VCarve Inlay and Lettering questions

Postby ablesser » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:01 pm

ElevationCreations wrote:Personally for text this size I would fill with Inlace or colored epoxy.


ElevationCreations: Would you fill after V-carving (because I would assume I would have the same issues there), or would you straight-end-mill it with a tiny mill and then use the filler?

I've never used/filled with colored epoxy or inlace. Is it hard to do, or is it as simple as "mix, fill, sand back overflow" ? Any recommended epoxies to use for this (I assume I add my own dye?)
P.S. Had never heard of Inlace... I googled it and it seems to be some sort of colored resin product similar to epoxy?
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