Sunday, 10 August 2014

Resin-inlaid Wood

A non-jewellery post, for a change. We were running a bit short on shelving in the kitchen and wanted somewhere we could store all the preserves we're going to make from the garden this year, so we went to the timber yard to see what they had. They had this, 155cm long piece of chestnut.


It was pretty heavily cracked and pitted, with knotholes and so on. But, I had a plan. Resin inlay. A technique traditionally used with a colour-matched epoxy to the wood, to give an "invisible" repair. I'm taking a slightly different approach.

First job, seal off the holes from the bottom, using aluminium plumber's tape. It's super sticky so it seals well, and it won't be damaged by the resin either. You might need these seals to hold for a few days, depending on the weather.


Make sure the wood is level, otherwise you'll end up with wonky resin bits.


Now it's time to mix the resin. Give it a good mixing and then add your pigment. If you warm it up a bit, on a heater or with a hairdryer or something, the bubbles will pop out of it much more easily. Bubbles can ruin resin casts, so carefully mix and warm the resin, then let it sit for a while, before pouring. It's going to take hours, even days, to cure, so half an hour to de-bubble isn't a problem.


You know when I said this isn't going to be a traditional inlay? Here's the pigmented resin in darkness. Awww yeah. This is going to be great.

So, pour it in, and wait. Come back in an hour or so to make sure none of your seals are leaking. If they are, slap some more tape on and refill with resin.


However long you think it's going to take, leave it longer. This was poured in spring so took three days before it felt hard to the touch, then I left it another three days just to be sure. Now, peel off your tape and it's time to sand/plane/etc.

The overpour around the edges where the resin has soaked into the wood is going to be a pain to remove. But I can already tell this is going to look amazing.

More sanding. I'm really skipping over a LOT of work here. I spent hours, and hours, carding, planing and sanding this. Chestnut is hard! But eventually, it was done. I cut the big piece into the three shelves it was going to be, and on to my favourite part. Boiled linseed oil cut with white spirit. I love that first wipe of oil when the grain of the wood just leaps out at you. Makes all those hours of preparation worth it. Gave it about eight or nine thin coats, looks incredible.

 View from the end. Visible inlay and spalting. Still a bit of woodworm damage visible.


Now it's time to get these up. The brackets are grey to match the colour the wall is going to be once it's been repainted. I had some bits of walnut around to make the other brackets.


And, they're up. In daylight they look like this:

 Now, in darker conditions, you can really start to see the glow resin in action.


I think this one is my favourite. It's on the bottom of the top shelf, so it's visible in normal use.

Wall robot approves.



So there you go. Blue glow inlay into chestnut.

Unrelated link to my Etsy store.

50 comments:

  1. Will you share where you got your glow powder? United Nuclear, maybe?

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  2. Loads of people on Reddit were asking that too. I wish I had an answer, but it's been so long since I bought it, I honestly can't remember. I think it was from here: http://www.kilabitzzz.co.uk/

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  3. I found some here : http://fndeco.com/en/135-glow-in-the-dark-pigments

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  4. This is pure genius! Thanks for sharing the tip :-)

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  5. It looks like UV reactive day glow powder rather than glow in the dark powder, which is white under daylight conditions.
    http://www.kilabyte.biz/store/Ultraviolet-Fluorescent
    vs. http://www.kilabyte.biz/store/Glow-In-The-Dark/Glow-In-The-Dark-Powder

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    1. This is why I'm not sure about it. It definitely glows in the dark! But it's also blue under daylight, and it reacts to UV. The powder I have is light blue and - as you can see from the photos - is visibly blue.

      I bought it a few year ago, it could be an old formulation. Or I could have bought it from somewhere else entirely. I wish I could remember.

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    2. This powder is light blue at daylight it charges from a lightsource (like bulb or sunlight) and glows blue in the dark: http://fndeco.com/en/glow-in-the-dark-pigments/3265-unikromglow-decor-paint-pigment-powder-skyblue-15g.html

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    3. It might be similar to this "triple glow" product. Apparently it is blue in daylight, and glows in both darkness and uv--unlike their neutral glow product which only glows in the dark and is a white in daylight. I'm not sure of the reputation of this company, but it's worth giving a shot.

      https://www.glonation.com/glow-in-the-dark-products/triple-glow-powders.html

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  6. Stunning work! I've got a beautiful piece of timber here full of knotty holes that I've been meaning to resin fill. You've inspired me to stop talking about it and do it. Thanks!

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  7. Regarding the powder, maybe this is it? It mentions being able to be mixed with resins in the description, and it seems to be the same/a similar color: http://www.kilabyte.biz/store/Pigment-Powder/Aqua-GITD-pigment-powder

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  8. Wood has to be bone dry or the resin will react with moisture in the timber

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  9. was the glowing paint it in powder form or liquid?

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    1. Powder. There's a photo of the bag of pigment in the post above.

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  10. All I can think is Blizzard, WoW

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  11. I found it here! https://www.glonation.com/glow-in-the-dark-products/triple-glow-powders.html

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Anastazia! I am ordering the multi color pak for a project I am doing!

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  12. What was the ratio of resin to powder?

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    1. I didn't measure, just eyeballed it. There was maybe 4-5g of pigment in perhaps 100ml of resin? That's just a guess mind..

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    2. that is great a good starting point. I will be ordering some powder and creating some sample pieces with different ratios. I will post my findings.

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    3. How much of the hardener do u use and how much of the resin?

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  13. You can easily find the powder on eBay or Amazon, and it comes in a variety of colors, simply search for "Strontium Aluminate Powder" and there should be a number of options!

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  14. This is absolutely incredible! I have a huge slice of trunk from an old maple that was taken down, and this would be perfect for it. It developed an enormous crack while drying in my garage, and I've been too sentimental about it to throw it out! Now to find a large enough planer...

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  15. Woah! Amazing job. I've a question... Do you mix the resine, the powder AND the hardener at te same time, or you just mix the resine and the powder, and later you add the hardener directly in the wood?
    Sorry for my English!

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    Replies
    1. Resin and hardener and powder all at once. Your English is good! :)

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    2. Thank you. You're a really nice guy!

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  16. Wonderful idea and a lot of effort for a few jars ;)

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  17. Hi there , first of all, WOW AMAZING ! wanna try this so badly now ^.^
    But I have a question, you said the next thing:

    " - Boiled linseed oil cut with white spirit. I love that first wipe of oil when the grain of the wood just leaps out at you. Makes all those hours of preparation worth it. Gave it about eight or nine thin coats, looks incredible. - "

    What is the ratio of white spirit against the linseed oil ? And is this mixture like a varnish or more like a wood mordant ?

    thanks in advance !

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    Replies
    1. Probably 50/50 for the first coat, then moving to around 70/30 oil/thinners for the others. But that's just a guess. I don't measure, I just add white spirit until the oil looks about thin enough.

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    2. thank you for the fast reply ! will try this out.
      do you boil the mixture or do you just boil the linseed oil and add the white spirit afterwards ? And do you use the mixture still warm or let it cool down before use ?

      thx !

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    3. "Boiled linseed oil" isn't actually boiled oil, it's a treated linseed oil that dries faster. You can buy it at most DIY suppliers, it's not expensive. I mix the white spirit in a little jar before use, making small batches.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linseed_oil#Boiled_linseed_oil

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  18. thank you a lot! From Belgium here so that's why I didn't recognize it by the name :)
    will do some shopping tomorrow !


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    1. Happy to help! Best of luck with your project! :)

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  19. How long does the glow last in the resin?

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    1. Depends on how long you charge it for, and the size of the piece of resin. Perhaps a couple of minutes at full brightness, but it's visible in a dark(ish) room for maybe an hour?

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    2. Does this mean that after 3 days of hard work it will only glow for an hour?

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    3. An hour or so for each time you charge it up.

      I've got bits of this resin over a year old which still glow, but they need charging each time.

      Have you seen glow in the dark things before? It works very much like all the other glow stuff out there.

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    4. Oooh i get it now. So with ''charge'' you mean like for the shelve to be exposed in light?

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  20. Taiwan's news to see your article, it is a good idea, I will use my fishing rod, thank you for your inspiration.

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  21. There's a product made by the smooth-on company that could alsi work. It seems to be very long lasting as glow goes.

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  22. Would you ever consider making shelves like this to sell on your Etsy store? These are really great and I know I'd buy some if they were for sale.

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    1. I may try to do that. It's a bit difficult with shipping and storage (I don't have much space to store unsold shelves!) and so on, but if you follow me on Etsy you'll see if/when I do anything along those lines.

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  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  24. so about how many oz is in that bag? I'm trying to do a similar thing, but with an arcade stick and I'm trying to figure out how much to buy...

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    1. That was a 25g bag, I think. But it wasn't full and I didn't use it all. Perhaps 10g per 150ml of resin?

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  25. Cool project, thanks for sharing. I'm not familiar with resin, but your project has my wheels turning, so I thought I'd ask. It sounds from your description like you started with a single piece of chestnut, then poured the resin into the cracks, let it cure a really long time, and then you were able to cut the whole sandwich, resin, chestnut and all, into your three shelves. How does resin stand up to cutting with a saw like this? I'm thinking about making a sort of wood & resin "laminate." I'd start with a couple of pieces of wood, clamped in such a way that there are small gaps in between each piece. After pouring the resin in & letting it fully cure, I'd cut the ends off (perpendicular to the direction of the resin "gaps"), hopefully leaving me with a finished board that has translucent, resin stripes. Would something like this work? Can the resin handle being cut by a saw like that (or can the saw handle the resin...), and will the resin bond to the two strips of wood so that the whole thing acts like a single board after it's finished?

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    1. The resin is easily cuttable, sandable and so on. It's just solid plastic once it's cured. I'm assuming your post is missing some links about the type of saw, but I used a high power bench mitre saw so if that's OK, then almost anything will be OK.

      Your laminate idea should work, but don't quote me on that as I haven't tried it. If you do a quick test run you'll know for sure.

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    2. thanks Mat. Yeah, I haven't really thought through this too much yet, but I'm willing to pick up a little resin and do a test run. Like I said, your project really got the wheels turning for me. Key things for me are 1) translucency and 2) a reasonable bond between the layers. Doing a mockup should be pretty easy.

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