Monday, December 28, 2009

Experimenting with homemade epoxy inlay

After reviewing the Inlace liquid inlay product I received a few email suggesting I try making my own. I have done this before with limited success but it has been a while so I thought I would experiment a little. The key chain above is my attempt at creating a mixture that simulates granite inlay.

I purchased a a tube of Loctite gel two part 6 minute epoxy and a small bag of ornamental sand. The sand is brown with white mixed in.

I cut and glued together the dolphin key chain from the book I posted the other day.

I also have a small cup and wooden stir to mix the inlay.

I put several drops of the two part epoxy in the cup. This gel is very thick.

I mixed in the sand and stirred the mixture well. The gel was too thick to pour into the dolphin cut out so I just packed it in as tight as I could.

I waited 1/2 hour to let the epoxy set. I should have waited much longer. The epoxy was set up hard on the surface but as I sanded the inside was sill a little tacky and made a mess on my sander. I was able to sand it flush.

This picture shows the sanded but unfinished key chain.


I would say that this technique works but with issues. The Gel Epoxy was too thick. I will try the thin epoxy next and see if that helps. The brown and white sand looks a little muddy. Not the granite effect I was looking for but close. It ended up looking more like sand stone. That makes sense I guess.

Sanding the hardened epoxy was much more difficult than the Inlace material. It stuck to the belt and made a mess. Maybe if I had let it cure over night it would have worked better.

After this experiment I would still spend the money for the Inlace product. Inlace sands better and looks much better.

More experiments to come.

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The Scrollsaw Workshop Stencil Printer 1.7 is my latest software for creating patterns. It will create key chain fobs, desk name plates and more. Click the image above to download the latest version. It is free to use donationware. This software is for Windows PC only.

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