View Full Version : Inlaying Stone
While this isn't a mando building question, there's got to be some instrument makers who've had experience with inlaying stone. I've got some polished flat lapidary pieces & I'm thinking of inlaying a couple into the surface of a jewelry box project I'm working on. Does anyone have an opinion on what would be a better choice for glue ? Epoxy or one of the thicker CA glues ? The slices are about 1/16" (or slightly thicker). I'm going to use the complete irregular shape of the pcs, rather than cut to fit a particular design. I've had the pcs up a couple of years & forget what type of stone. Not jasper, but have a similar look to them. The wood is Mesquite which typically contains some voids. Rather than going the usual route of just filling with black epoxy, I thought I'd try placing stone slices at the voids and go for a 'tree grew around the rock' effect. The pcs are already polished & I may intentionally let them sit a hair proud, rather than leveling to the surface of the wood and having to re-polish. I'm a fairly advanced wookworker, but so far have only inlayed wood or brass into wood. Any other tips for inlaying stone into wood would be helpful.
That's an interesting sounding project. I'd try a little of each glue type on the back side of the stone where you can clean it off later and see what sticks the best.
I would think either would work just fine. I have always used CA for various inlay projects. The thicker stuff is sort of giving you the benefit of a mixed epoxy of higher viscosity.
I have had great luck with epoxy when i have worked with mesquite.
I like epoxy for inlying into non-black wood because I can use dust from the same wood mixed with some dust from some lighter wood to get a decently matched filler color. If you just use dust from the wood you are using it will come out too dark so it helps to mix it with another lighter wood. I have some red colored maple that generally works for the lighter wood.
Epoxy will generally work better in that application. The epoxy will not loosen as easily as CA will.
Thanks for all the feedback. Looks like CA glue is Miss RunnerUp and Epoxy gets the tiara. One thing I didn't originally think to ask about - I was planning on filling the voids with epoxy and levelling. THEN routing the inlay cavity - which would be routing partially in wood, partially in epoxy (probably about a 60%/40% mix). Can I even route (cleanly) in hardened epoxy? Or will the heat generated turn it into paste? And if the routing's not an issue -is there any problem with the bonding of epoxy (when I lay in the stone) to epoxy ? I can always lay in a wood patch first underneath where the stone would sit to make the epoxy-to-epoxy area as small as possible. But to avoid having the patch be visible around the stone, I don't think I can completely eliminate an E-to-E interface. Any thoughts ??
When I bought my System Three epoxy I got a book with it called The Epoxy Book.
"When this first coat is cured to at least a soft set tack free stage it can be recoated. Subsequent coatings applied at any time between this soft set stage and 72 hours do not need to be sanded and will chemically bond.
Subsequent coatings may still bond well after 72 hours without sanding but the proposition gets riskier. An amine cured epoxy surface is quite alkaline and can react with any acidic material such as moist carbon dioxide or silicates. Further epoxy coats may not bond well to some of these reaction products. Sanding, in addition to providing some 'tooth' for mechanical bonding, also cleans since it exposes new, uncontaminated surface."
Based on this information I'd say you'll have no problem with E to E bonding.