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Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Posted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 3:30 am
by red6rick
I've just finished doing a batch of Farkle playing bowls with epoxy inlay names. Black dyed system 3 epoxy on baltic birch plywood.
I had a LOT of bleed initially, and experimented with various sealing techniques. I tried lacquer, shellac, polyurethane -- none worked
to seal the bleeding regardless of how much or how many coats etc.

What I found works is glue. Cyano-acrylate, applied liberally with an acid brush, soaks in and dries pretty quickly. Apply in the carving and
on the surface.

I always leave a 0.05 inch surface above the vcarve "top" to be re-surfaced, so the cyano-acrylate gets cut off of the final surface before

I had good luck with just plain yellow glue too, but I had to go in and re-cut the vcarve because it was a bit more lumpy and showed around
the edges of the epoxy. Still worked good; excellent results.

Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:05 am
by JayGee
IF you don't absolutely have to use Epoxy and can live with limited colors DAP makes wood filler products that can be used to look like an inlay. These are also paintable and stainable.

A friend just did a sample which I thought was a wood inlay from the looks of it. And it was sanded smooth and had excellent CRISP lines in the text.

It may need more than one filling depending on wood and atmosphere, however it can just be spatulaed on and then sanded down. You might give that a try. AND, yes, as a precaution you should use a clear coat before the application.

NOTE: IF you're making signs, and especially if they will be outside, make sure and coat the BACK of the sign as well and that will help to keep the board from warping!

Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:05 pm
by JayGee
I used to do a lot of epoxy work at a big Corp. and there is one general rule. It is an absolute MUST to use the Mix Ratios on the labeling along with verifying and using the cure times and temperatures.

Some common epoxies have a 1:1 ratio either by weight or volume so you must use the label method. Other epoxies have a 2:1 OR 1:2 and it is very easy to get those mixed up. Set up small cups marked for Part A and Part B. Double-check EACH TIME YOU POUR to make sure you're getting the right amount of whichever part you're pouring. Make sure you add any colorant to the specified directions on the label, but, if there are none call the manufacturer and get that information as that also will make a difference in the pour and curing of your epoxy.

Depending on how much and how often you do epoxy pours, IF it is quite often you might consider getting a small vacuum pump setup to degas the material after it is all mixed and ready to pour to pull out all of the air bubbles BEFORE you pour. The degassing can also be a very messy process so be sure and use gloves.

Good luck on finding your solutions.

Here is another filler material some of our CNC group are using:
Wood Filler Sign Letters "Home Depot
True Value
Do It Best
Menards & Other Various Sources & Internet, but Paintable and Stainable Plastic Wood-X Stainable Wood Filler with DryDex Dry Time Indicator Yes Check for DAP product # 070798005401, 5402, 5403 as starting points.

One of our group brought in a sign with this Inlay/Fill and it was astounding how good it looked.

Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:49 pm
by Marko74
I do a lot of epoxy inlays--although mostly for smaller projects. Bubbles are an issue. I have a pressure pot I built and have used successfully for making items like knife scales and such. The idea is that under pressure, any bubbles become microscopic. As for other applications where the pressure pot is not feasible, it is important to seal the wood with some lacquer or other finish. You can remove bubbles from the epoxy by heating during your mix and by gently applying a torch to the surface. But air within the wood may want to seep into the epoxy during curing and this can ruin a piece.

Good Luck

Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:15 pm
by JayGee
Dave Van wrote:
Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:24 am
Someone in this group must be doing epoxy inlays successfully. I have done searches but can't seem to find that person.
IF epoxy could be substituted for another material would you use it or is epoxy a "must have" for your projects?

IF you want to try another filler material for any cavity, like female side of coasters or signs, try the material listed in the graphic. I've seen this used only on a couple of pieces, however, everyone seeing it thought it was an epoxy inlay. Give it a try. Tubes of filler seem expensive, but much less so than pints/gallons of epoxy that can go bad, much so depending on temperatures and conatinrt seals.

Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:14 pm
by springer668
an alternative epoxy is "Milliput." comes in a pair of putty sticks that are kneaded together and pressed into the carving. Once hardened, just sand off the excess. Since this is a solid format, there is 0 bleeding. Only drawback is limited colors.

Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Posted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 5:23 am
by keastab
I use smooth-on epoxies and plastics (some of the plastocs are 5 minutes set plastics and mill great!, the marbling ones I use look super cool in the wood patterns) in my 3-5 color designs. I also make a jig that holds the part in position and I can take that jig out and in multiple times and not lose position so my machine is not tied up/ work pretty good for me, the next ti,e I'm doing a solid surface and epoxy plaque for my friends classic car

Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Posted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 2:49 pm
by McNan Wood
Thanks to EVERYONE for their ideas and suggestions. I am such a newbie to all this; got my Shark SD110 just last month and have been climbing the steep learning curve on both the software (Vectric VCarve 10.5) and hardware. whew...

Oops... maybe a forum faux pas? I use VCarve, not Aspire... uh, don't kick me off! ;)

One of the things I really want to do is epoxy inlay, and I am having a horrible time with bleeding. Using Ash, Maple, Cherry, White Birch, Walnut, they all bleed, so reading this thread was very enlightening. Thanks!

Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Posted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:32 pm
by jfederer
Hi McNan Wood! One of the forum members, "Aussie", is very good with epoxy inlays. You might look up his posts or PM him for his perspective.

Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Posted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:51 pm
by McNan Wood
jfederer wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:32 pm
Hi McNan Wood! One of the forum members, "Aussie", is very good with epoxy inlays. You might look up his posts or PM him for his perspective.
Thanks! I'm already looking at some of his posts. Appreciate it!

Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:30 pm
by McNan Wood
Thought I'd follow up ...

Tried the Acrylic paint idea. Painted the inside of the letters and some of the outside. Sanded, so just letters were visible (looks awesome, btw). Then poured. 24 hour cure. Sanded again to remove the epoxy halo, and had better, but not acceptable results as shown. Wondering now if I should have not sanded between paint and epoxy... Hmmmm...

In order to remove the epoxy halo, I wound up cutting too deeply with the sander, loosing letter definition.

I'm gonna try a 60 degree V-Bit (was using a 90 degree V-Bit) in the hopes of cutting a little deeper without pillowing my letters.

I'm also gonna try the CA Glue idea presented earlier in this thread.

I WILL get this!

Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:06 pm
by mtylerfl

If you specify a Start Depth (by an amount you think you will be sanding off later), this will preserve your details after sanding away the paint/epoxy overfill.

Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:01 pm
by McNan Wood
Thanks, being so new to all of this, there is TON of stuff I'm not (and should be) considering. Appreciate the hint!

Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 9:43 pm
by lerdahl
Some of your pictures seem to indicate bleeding of the epoxy into the wood grain. You should seal the grain before pouring the epoxy.
There are a lot of wood sealants on the market just make sure you find one that works with your finish, I've been using unwaxed shellac. Right now I'm experimenting with TotalBoat's penetrating epoxy, seems to be working for my needs.

The other issue I'm seeing is the same thing that I'm trying to address now, that is the wood is never completely flat, so the tool depth is not consistent, and the shallower cuts get erased when you sand of the excess. This seems to happen when I'm carving small letters, so I've moved to a 15 degree bite, which cuts deeper, but I am still having some shallow cuts because my broad developed a sight bow.

hope this helps.

Re: Anyone doing epoxy inlays successfully?

Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 10:08 pm
by McNan Wood
Hey lerdhal, thanx for the input.

I have tried a sanding sealer, two coats, and still get the bleed. I am curious about the potential using CA as well.

My latest endeavor is trying the acrylic paint method, which so far (two tries) is working like a champ. I carve, paint the interior and slight outline of the carving (90% letters) with two coats of acrylic paint using the COLOR of the lettering I want as the final letter color. After drying, I fill with SuperClear epoxy resin, let cure and sand. See pic. Note, the "blur" around the red letters is in the photo, NOT the actual item. Not sure why the photo did that, but oh well. I am on my third "experiment" with high hopes.

I switched to a 60 degree V bit, with better results (but deeper cuts overall) from the 90 I was using. LOTS of experimentation going on; I'll try and keep up the commentary as I believe this is an important thread to get resolved; HUGE area of potential (for me at least).

Thanks so much for reaching out! Would love to continue the conversation! If we work together, it all works!

McNan Wood