View Full Version : Engraving and filling on dark wood

Andy Johnson-Laird
10-25-2007, 7:36 PM
I'm experimenting with a ULS M-360 to engrave scanned handwriting on to Claro Walnut. As a newbie to SMC, I've tried to do my homework and searched and read the various threads on filling engraving so, hopefully, my question is not duplicative of an existing thread.

What I'm engraving is a salad bowl (the turner's name, date, type of wood) on the underside of the foot of the bowl.

On a dark wood like walnut, I was hoping to find a metal powder that would polish up nicely and contrast against the dark wood. I've tried using InLace with powdered brass from Craft Supplies. The resulting color, even after sanding and buffing is closer to something like yukky ballpark mustard and did not polish up at all. All I got was smooth, non-shiny, ballpark kinda mustard!

I'm next planning to try copper and then aluminum dust to see if I get better results with those.

My technique is:
1. Sand to 400 grit.
2. Buff using a Beall buffing system with Tripoli and then White Diamond.
3. Apply a thin shellac sealer (70% DNA, 30% blond shellac). Allow to harden for an hour.
4. Engrave moderately deep (about 30% power, 60% speed, 220 ppi, on a 60 watt unit).
5. Apply another coat of thin shellac sealer specifically ensuring it runs into the engraved recesses.
6. Using a rag, lightly coat the NON-engraved area with walnut oil mixed with 1% Carnuba wax -- this is the final finish for the bowl, but, in this case serves as a "release" for the Inlace on the area immediately adjacent to the engraved lines.
7. Apply the clear InLace mixed with metal powder to the engraved area.
8. Allow the InLace to cure for a couple of days until it is really hard.
9. Turn/sand to remove the excess InLace.
10. Buff using a Beall buffing system with Tripoli then White Diamond.

I thought about using acrylic paints or powered paint fill (as other postings suggest), but I really don't know how these might stand up to the normal things that happen to salad bowls in a kitchen -- I suspect it's a more rigorous life than wall plaques. :)

Can anyone suggest what I might add to clear Inlace that will give me a nice, durable, washable, bright, polished metal finish, please?

The only reason that I tend to use InLace rather than epoxy is that it seems to be basically fiberglass resin and is therefore somewhat flexible and when I use with with crushed turquoise, turns/sands/buffs nicely(epoxy seems brittle in comparison).

Thanks in advance,