Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

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Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Postby glenninvb » Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:53 pm

Avery paint mask may work and save much cleanup sanding.... apply mask well adhered, route, epoxy fill.
If the tint is still bleeding through the open end grain, depending wood type, you may need to seal the mask edges and carving w/ light coat of lacquer
Your going to get best adhesion of infill w/o using any sealer
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Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Postby Dave Van » Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:08 pm

martin54 wrote:How are you preping your stock material? Could you start your tests with a thicker block of wood, then if the test doesn't go to plan you could re surface & try again :lol: if it turns out well then just take the excess off the other side. Most of the wood I buy comes from a sawmill & is never the size I want it to be to start with so it works for me when testing :lol: :lol:


You have found my secret, Martin. I glue up a 1 1/4 inch cutting board. Then I carve it and do the epoxy inlay. I've done several. Only one epoxy inlay worked out so far. The rest of the boards I planed down to 3/4 inch flat cutting boards that are quite attractive. My goal is a 1 1/8 inch cutting board provided the carving and epoxy inlay work out, but nobody complains if I give them a nice 3/4 inch cutting board for Christmas. But I am hoping to learn how to do epoxy inlays successfully the first time - before I have to plane down too many more cutting boards. :D
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Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Postby c1nel1 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 5:51 pm

Instead of a liquid color why not use a powdered color? I have successfully used fine sawdust and dried ground up
plants for epoxy filler. Black Walnut sawdust turns really dark when mixed with epoxy.
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Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Postby Dave Van » Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:36 pm

c1nel1 wrote:Instead of a liquid color why not use a powdered color? I have successfully used fine sawdust and dried ground up
plants for epoxy filler. Black Walnut sawdust turns really dark when mixed with epoxy.


Good suggestion. I will try that. I'm doing a lot of tests. A couple days ago a friend showed me his epoxy inlays. He is using the colored powder pigments from Hobby Lobby and likes them. I also picked up West System 205 to try as an alternative to 207 - different viscosity and set time. And I picked up some 5 minute epoxy from the big box store. I'm planning to test those two epoxies this afternoon. Thanks for taking time to respond to my question!
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Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Postby mtylerfl » Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:04 pm

Hi,

I did a lot of experimenting over the last year or so with epoxy inlays. Surprisingly, I found "off the shelf items" to be as good or better than some certain companies selling "special" epoxies, etc. I've used kitty litter, embossing powders, cocoa, paprika, curry, mustard powder, pearl powder, coffee grounds, various ground up spices (green spices always come out black or dark brown). I've even used Glo-Powders mixed with epoxy with the idea of making drink coasters that glow in the dark. The glow powders are pretty expensive for the good stuff (supposed to glow for up to 10 hours). Unfortunately, the glow intensity fades pretty quickly so I all but abandoned the idea for the time being.

I created an epoxy inlay project for Vectric you can download for free. The PDF has some information and tips you may find useful. Also contained in the PDF is a material list to help you find the stuff you need - the hobby epoxy I used is crystal clear and does not "yellow" (and is fairly inexpensive compared to "special" epoxies). Here is the link:

http://www.vectric.com/cool-stuff/proje ... yVase.html

Here's some photos of tests and projects...
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Cocoa_powder_Inlay_test.png
finished_inlay_vase.png
hobby_epoxy.png
kitty-litter-and-embossing-powder.png
southwestern_inlay_box_550x425.png
Last edited by mtylerfl on Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Postby mtylerfl » Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:13 pm

I tried to find photos of my inlay experiment boards in their entirety but I guess I didn't take any pictures of those! Bad me. One of them had the glow-in-the-dark tests on it, which did look really cool (but intensity fades too fast and it's expensive). I gave the sample boards to a friend in Texas last year - maybe he can take some pics for me. Anyway, here's a few more random photos. One shows me experimenting with CA glue and embossing powder. It was "ok" but I preferred the epoxy mixture.
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walnut-lid-inlay.png
Design_3 Color Schemes..png
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Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Postby Erwin » Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:34 pm

I've done a lot of inlays. I never seal my wood before inlays. I use different colors of wood dust (pine, redwood, ebony, paduak, etc.) mixed with 2 part marine epoxy to a consistency of peanut butter. I can die the wood dust with printer ink. I've also used white micro-balls (easy to sand and easier to color). My favorite material for inlays is brass key filings.
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Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Postby David Rueth » Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:18 pm

The peacock was painted using powdered pigment mixed with shellac. The butterflys were done using nail polish. The epoxy used only had an open time of about 10 minutes but it did take about 48 hours to cure. I have also used latex paint with out a problem. I have found wood like poplar will bleed no mater what I try. I really need to try some of the ideas I have seen here
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Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Postby moonchpa » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:49 am

Have yo tried Zinzer(?) Seal Coat which is a liquid shellac.
I have found shellac can be used under anything and over anything with great results.
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Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Postby sjwiehe » Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:25 pm

I’ve done a number of epoxy inlays. Occasionally I will get small/micro bubbles in the epoxy. I put the epoxy in a vacuum chamber to degass after I mix the epoxy and color but I still get small bubbles on the surface that show when I sand the epoxy flat. How do you avoid the bubbles?

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Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Postby ElevationCreations » Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:54 pm

If you use a torch on the epoxy just after pour it will draw the bubbles to the surface.
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Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Postby potzmannwoodshop » Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:28 pm

David Rueth wrote: I have found wood like poplar will bleed no mater what I try.


Use a closed Grain wood like maple, birch, cherry or hickory
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Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Postby steve323 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:12 pm

potzmannwoodshop wrote:
David Rueth wrote: I have found wood like poplar will bleed no mater what I try.


Use a closed Grain wood like maple, birch, cherry or hickory


The OP didn't seem to mention what wood species he was using. It would seem like anything with that much bleeding might not be a good choice for a cutting board.

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Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Postby Samson » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:41 pm

I've noticed several people across several forums that are doing epoxy inlays on items that contact food.
I hope people realize that epoxy is still toxic, even after it cures. So using it on items such as counter tops, or a cutting board that is used on the epoxied side, should be using FDA epoxy.
Just laying food on the inlay, can contaminate the food. Even if only slightly. But, how many times is a person going to lay food on the inlay, and imagine a household with small children.
The FDA epoxies do cost more, but someone can pay the price now, or pay it later. Has anyone seen all of the commercials for lawsuits due to health issues caused by someone else?
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Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Postby sseale » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:11 pm

Would like to try epoxy inlays in a guitar fretboard but have no inlay experience. I have used epoxy in other projects.
Apart from the pigment, is there a reason I see folks are adding other powders to the mix? Is this just to thicken the epoxy mix prior to application?
Thanks,
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