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  • Polymer clay

    Steve Good has a few projects that use polymer clay as an inlay material. Since my wife had some of the clay, I thought I'd give it a shot on a scrap piece of plywood.

    When sanding the clay after baking, the color of the clay tends to bleed over into the surrounding wood. If using a red clay then sanding the clay on the wood leaves a pinkish tint to the area around it. I haven't seen this on any of the project photos, so there must be a way to prevent it.

    Any hints or tips?

    I moved your thread to a more appropriate forum to maximize traffic and get you more responses to your request/question.
    Last edited by wood-n-things; 10-20-2011, 10:11 AM.

  • #2
    I must say i have had the same problem so i gave up on using the clay as an inlay medium. I'm going to ask this on another forum as well and see what the general consensus is.

    Do I just need to keep sanding until the bleeding stops? Am I not baking the clay long enough & it is still moist, is that the problem?
    "Still Montana Mike"

    "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
    Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC

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    • #3
      If you get any helpful responses, please share them here.

      I had also thought I might not be baking it long enough, so tried a 2nd piece with a longer baking time. Same results, though.

      It could be a question of careful sanding only on the clay, but Steve used a palm sander in his video. I don't see how he could have avoided spreading the color to the surrounding wood.

      Some people here have had success with the technique. Hopefully they'll chime in on this topic.
      Last edited by Simon Jester; 10-20-2011, 01:36 PM. Reason: Grammar

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      • #4
        I sent a message to Steve Good with this question. If I get a response I'll share it here.

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        • #5
          Maybe a wipe after sanding with some mineral spirits or alcohol or something will remove the color from the wood
          Pacifism is great, as long as everyone is participating.



          StephenD


          The Southern Arizona Woodturners Association
          Desert Woodcrafters
          Grandpa for the 7 most amazing children.

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          • #6
            I have used the FIMO clay and I was worried about the colour bleeding so put in a coat of Zinsser Seal Coat (de-waxed shelac).

            No problems but that may be luck. I have only used black inlay on cherry.

            I don't have pictures of the key fob I did but I did the same on the bowl below.

            IMG_6798.jpg

            I would be interested on other solutions as I recently bought pink and purple for inlays in key fobs.

            Don
            Last edited by Don in Brooklin On; 10-20-2011, 12:53 PM. Reason: spelling
            Don McFarland ​Member - Durham Woodworking Club http://www.durhamwoodworkingclub.com/

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            • #7
              Beautiful bowl, Don. Did you use a router for the groove for the inlay?

              It seems like we need to coat the wood with almost anything that would prevent the color from getting into the grain. Would sanding sealer work?

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              • #8
                I cut the grove with a parting tool when still on the lathe. Under cut with a point tool.

                Took it off and filled, baked it, and was luck enough that it did not distort at all so I put back in the chuck and sanded and finished.

                Don
                Don McFarland ​Member - Durham Woodworking Club http://www.durhamwoodworkingclub.com/

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                • #9
                  I have not used the clay as of yet, although I do have some for a couple of future projects. What about sanding the wood prior to baking, then tape around the clay prior to sanding it? Just a thought.
                  CHRIS


                  http://www.members.cox.net/messman123/messman.htm

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                  • #10
                    Some have suggested using a sealer first. I too wrote a note to Steve Good as I have also seen that video and no response yet.
                    "Still Montana Mike"

                    "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
                    Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC

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                    • #11
                      I was thinking if you sand and seal the wood first, then add the PC that may help. Maybe even apply a coat or two of you finish, add the clay, then sand. I think you still may have to use a quick wipe with mineral spirit but that may work. Then you could add a final coat of the finish.
                      Dan H

                      I would rather be friendly to a stranger than be a stranger to my friends.

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                      • #12
                        Max,
                        I agree and the next time I attempt it I am going to seal the wood with shellac first.
                        "Still Montana Mike"

                        "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
                        Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC

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                        • #13
                          I'll try the mineral spirits (if I have any). I did try baking it then using a sealer on the surrounding wood, but the color still bled into the wood. It's possible that I need to use more than a single coat of sealer.

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                          • #14
                            I tried this too when I saw SG do it. I used MDF unsealed and green poly. I didn't get bleeding per se but I just wasn't impressed with the result.

                            It was alright but ...

                            I'll keep an eye on the thread and see if anything turns up - I hope it's not like the lemon oil.

                            Good Luck
                            Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

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                            • #15
                              I too tried the Fimo clay. I was actually playing with the font. I cut the name of grandchildren's high school then added their mascot name then decided to paint it (since it was BB) then decided to use the clay. After painting and putting the clay in, I just patted/smoothed the clay with my finger and popped it into the oven. I didn't do them all because I was going to ask the kids which they liked better - with the red or without. They only have one coat of spray - I'll be adding more spray. I didn't get any bleeding of color from the clay onto the painted wood. I suspect if I was going to do a piece that I wasn't going to paint - I would seal the wood first.
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