Fun with Inlays #1: Sand Shaded Fan

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Blog entry by IowaWoodcrafter posted 02-26-2010 12:20 AM 4780 reads 3 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I’m learning how to create my own inlays. This is my first attempt at creating a fan using sand shading. For those of you who have not done sand shading I have a few tips:

1) Use a cast iron skillet. I found a small one for less than $10 at a local store.
2) Use fine grain sand. I found a 40 pound bag at Menards for about $5.00. (Menards is a chain of stores in the mid-west similar to Lowes or Home-Depot. I like Menards better because they carry stuff like 4’x8’ sheets of Baltic Birch plywood)
3) Use a hot plate on high to heat the sand.
4) You only need a shallow layer of sand, too much sand and it takes a long time for it to heat up.
5) Use tweezers to handle the wood. I made the mistake of touching the scorched area of the wood with my fingers, the stuff gets hot enough to burn, (“duhh, it’s burning the wood”, I had to say to myself after getting burnt)

For anyone wanting to learn more about sand shading and how to make a fan here is a link to a fantastic video at the Popular Woodworking site.

Anyway, here is a picture of my partially complete fan:

Partially Completed Inlay Fan

-- Owen Johnson - aka IowaWoodcrafter

2 comments so far

View Les Hastings's profile

Les Hastings

1305 posts in 4228 days

#1 posted 02-26-2010 12:58 AM

Very cool Owen, thanks for the post!

-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)

View unisaw2's profile


210 posts in 3490 days

#2 posted 02-26-2010 02:39 AM

Very nice, has a 3 dimensional feel to it. Yes, Menards has the best selection of plywood of the big box stores. Just tryed out a sheet of 3/4” MDF panel with Oak veneer. Very stable and fairly nice looking.

-- JJ - Northern Illinois

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