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Inlay fillers (Read 577 times)
 
Bruce Kamp
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Inlay fillers
Jan 10th, 2017 at 9:54pm
 
I understand that there are a large number of ways to do inlays. I am just starting to try to understand the process well enough to so that I make good choices on the materials and methods I apply to the different situations I run into.
Right now I am focusing on, maybe, three:
1. filling cracks that occur from checking while the rough cut bowl is drying
2. filling natural voids such as knots, worm holes, punky wood etc.
3. filling a channel that I turn into the bowl
I am experimenting with materials. I have watched videos, read articles, and talked to others. My experimenting, so far, has consisted of using a sample piece of lumber, cutting channels into it, then filling those channels with various fillers such as crushed glass, crushed stone, sawdust, coffeegrounds, and glitter.
I have used both CA and epoxy as binders. I have some turquoise ordered and am anxious to try that.
My biggest surprise so far has been the glitter. I couldn't believe it. I tried both CA and epoxy and then sanded and polished it flush and surprisingly it did not look that bad. I used a turquoise color of both fine and regular sized glitter from Hobby Lobby. It wasn't bright but the color wasn't all that bad.
I checked out some key cutting places looking for brass shavings but they sell them, as well as mis-cut keys, to someone.
I know sand is an option but I heard that it may be too hard unless you have a 3M diamond wheel.
I guess the hardness should be no more than a 7 and 3-6 is best.
My question for here is what are people's favorite filler? Then, at least for the more expensive stuff like turquoise, would you be willing to provide names/contact info for any suppliers you would recommend.
Thanks for any time taken to share your thoughts on this. It really is an interesting topic, at least for me.
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Curtis Warstler
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Re: Inlay fillers
Reply #1 - Jan 10th, 2017 at 10:52pm
 
Honestly the turquoise will be harder on your tools then the sand. I know that from experience Smiley that being said my preferred material for inlay is stone. I have yet to play with  key shavings, but one thing I have been told is make sure to run a magnet through them to remove any steel bits in them as they can cause your tool to spark. I also want to play with the powder metal's that are available.

As to a suplier I have gotten minerals from the gem and mineral show here in Denver every September. You can find a few places on Etsy, or by doing a Google search. I can not speak to how any of them are though. Good luck and remember to have fun, also if you use minerals of any kind you will be constantly sharpening. I prefer to just sand them down with sand paper. As that is way cheaper then chewing through my tools. Smiley
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Ed Weber
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Re: Inlay fillers
Reply #2 - Jan 11th, 2017 at 10:30am
 
Curtis Warstler wrote on Jan 10th, 2017 at 10:52pm:
You can find a few places on Etsy, or by doing a Google search. I can not speak to how any of them are though.


It seems like some places that used to sell minerals no longer do or only have a limited selection.
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David Hill
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Re: Inlay fillers
Reply #3 - Jan 11th, 2017 at 3:09pm
 
I regularly use minerals-Turquoise and Malachite are my faves. Occasionally have used glitter too (but mix in a lot of it, finest grind you can get). For the mineral inlays I prefer epoxy as the matrix but will use CA whenever I need to.
A word about minerals--yes, thee are lots of pretty ones but you need to pay attention to the hardness!! Some of the minerals are nearly as hard as steel, so yes you'll have issues with hurting tools (Quartz, amethyst, garnet, tourmaline to name a few). I like to use the turquoise and malachite as they aren't that hard and come in a variety of colors. The Science Teacher in me says to reference the Mohs Hardness Scale.
I haven't ventured into key shavings or metal powders yet. And I can pretty much guarantee that you won't see coffee grounds or sawdust fillers in my projects--- if I'm going to the trouble of inlaying or filling yer gonna see it.
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« Last Edit: Jan 11th, 2017 at 3:10pm by David Hill »  

Everyday liberating nice things from ordinary chunks of wood---and I like gnarly wood, the outcome is nearly always better than the start.
 
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Ed Weber
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Re: Inlay fillers
Reply #4 - Jan 11th, 2017 at 4:25pm
 
David Hill wrote on Jan 11th, 2017 at 3:09pm:
reference the Mohs Hardness Scale

=1

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Mike Mills
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Re: Inlay fillers
Reply #5 - Jan 11th, 2017 at 5:27pm
 
You may want to try some soft metals. I have used copper, brass, zinc. Never a problem with the tools (folks often turn solid copper or brass for finials).
Mix with epoxy or CA.
Best part is 1 pound is about $15 where "specialized" fillers form "specialized" stores may be $10 an ounce.
I have tried key filings but would rather pay the $15 for a pound of finely ground powder.
These folks on the bay as well as many other.
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To keep from getting a zillion matches I would limit a search on the bay to "brass powder", etc.
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Donald Jordan
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Re: Inlay fillers
Reply #6 - Jan 12th, 2017 at 7:57am
 
Bruce,

I asked the "key lady" at my local Home Depot if I could get the shavings, and a week later I had about a large cup full. I did the magnet thing, and used it with CA on some voids in a bowl. While the application went well, the final product was disappointing due the lack of any "shine" to the shavings.. just a dull brown color.
Also, used some fake turquoise from JoAnn's that I crushed and applied to a groove in a bowl. That went very well and sanded without a hitch. That bowl looked so good it sold!

Good Luck and post some pictures of your endeavors!

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« Last Edit: Jan 12th, 2017 at 7:58am by Donald Jordan »  
 
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Ken Vaughan
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Re: Inlay fillers
Reply #7 - Jan 12th, 2017 at 11:36pm
 

Donald, if you examine the key blanks a most big box and hardware stores you will be hard pressed to find brass blanks.  Most are a zinc alloy at those locations.

If you visit a locksmith, they still sell brass keys.  The locksmiths here are well aware of scrap brass prices and recycle.  Plan on offering a few bucks or a six pack. 

10_years ago, different situation.....


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Glenn Jacobs
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Re: Inlay fillers
Reply #8 - Jan 13th, 2017 at 1:31pm
 
Bruce, I've tried coffee grounds (used), metal flake from Hobby Lobby, Brass from EDM, colored epoxy. All used 2 part epoxy as the carrier. Mostly it depends on what you are trying to achieve. If you want the fill to blend in, then coffee grounds are not bad. I've gotten so that if I fill, I want it to show, so I use more flake. Mix flake in A part till you like how much flake is in it. MORE is better IMO. Then mix part B.

Glenn J.
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John Cepko
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Re: Inlay fillers
Reply #9 - Jan 17th, 2017 at 7:13pm
 
Living near the shore, I have collected some sea shells.
I crush them up into a powder, and they turn white, but with some sparkle.
Really works well in dark woods.
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Bob Bachynsky
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Re: Inlay fillers
Reply #10 - Jan 18th, 2017 at 11:37am
 
I've only had the opportunity to use these once so I can't really say how well they work but I found mica tints for soap crafting had some good color and was pretty inexpensive. I ordered from this place. Hoping to do more with them, but I've been lucky avoiding cracks this winter.
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