Purple Sand Experiment

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Project by Rob Macdonald posted 03-29-2012 02:23 AM 2848 views 9 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recieved a variety pack of colored sand in this week and wanted to see how th emixtures looked together.

The inlays are made of the following colored sand mixtures starting from the top down

#1 = 100% Fine Dark Purple #2 = 55% Coarse White , 15% Fine Dark Purple, 15% Fine Light Purple, 15% Fine White #3 = 100% Fine Light Purple #4 = 33% Fine White, 33% Fine Dark Purple, 33% Fine Light Purple

As you can see the bottom three look almost identical in color. Mixing those colors did not show a noticible difference.

A successful expirement and a decent looking bowl. A bit too busy for my taste. I think I will make a lid for this with a purpleheart finial as my next project.


15 comments so far

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2920 days

#1 posted 03-29-2012 02:26 AM

Very nicely done. I like it a lot.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View simpsy's profile


30 posts in 2941 days

#2 posted 03-29-2012 02:39 AM

I like that alot!
do you just use epoxy with the sands to do the inlay?

If so where do you buy/can you buy the epoxy from.

thanks, Greg

View Rob Macdonald's profile

Rob Macdonald

75 posts in 2790 days

#3 posted 03-29-2012 02:43 AM

Light CA Glue .. and I use an accellerant to speed up the curing 2-3 times during the layering of sand.


View stan3443's profile


301 posts in 2787 days

#4 posted 03-29-2012 02:52 AM

very nice …if i show this to my wife i’ll be making something like it. her color is purple

-- If your not supposed to have hair on your face......why does it grow their

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3425 days

#5 posted 03-29-2012 03:25 AM

I love it! Really looks Great!
Great job on it, Thanks for sharing

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View SawdustTX's profile


315 posts in 2836 days

#6 posted 03-29-2012 04:25 AM


View Ken90712's profile


17745 posts in 3701 days

#7 posted 03-29-2012 07:59 AM

Great job, Like he colors.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Woodbridge's profile


3691 posts in 2930 days

#8 posted 03-29-2012 01:19 PM

That is a very interesting technique. The end result looks great.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View willie's profile


534 posts in 2966 days

#9 posted 03-29-2012 04:06 PM

Very nice! I’ve never worked with any inlays like this. How do you work the sand? I can imagine that it’s hard on tools. If you could provide a link or more info on this process and the materials, I would really appreciate it!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View Rob Macdonald's profile

Rob Macdonald

75 posts in 2790 days

#10 posted 03-29-2012 05:01 PM

A few months ago I saw a video on someone doing a stone inlay. I went to the craft store to find some small colored stones but they didnt have what I wanted. Then I saw the sand and thought .. hey those are just small rocks right. Well … yes an no. Depending on the sand some are just colored on the outside. Others I have tried the color changes when the CA glue hits it.

I found this site has two sets of colored sand that seems to work great ….

That site only had the fine sand though. The coarse sand I found at Michaels craft store with the “Sable Decoratiffe” brand. I forsee using a lot of the coarse white sand in the future and probably black too for mixing with fine colored sand to give the extra effect.

Before I cut the grooves in my bowl with a parting tool I give it a coat of wax which helps prevent the CA glue spillage from discoloring the surface of the wood outside of the grooves

Sand it down with a coarse emery paper or aluminum oxide paper while on the lathe. The first time I used a handheld power sander while it was spinning on the lathe but found that doing it by hand woked just as well and gave a bit more control

I use CA glue and pile the sand on thick, making sure to overlap teh sides and go above the rim of the groove

I use a shallow disposable aluminum tray and wax paper to help control the sand while I am adding it. Gloves are highly recomended. The fine sand will settle to the bottom of the pile so when you take a pinch make sure you are not just taking the coarse sand from the top of the sand pile or you wont get an even distribution.

I use a CA glue accellerator to speed up the curing process after adding several layers of sand/glue

Thats about it .. not complex


View MrsN's profile


987 posts in 4038 days

#11 posted 03-29-2012 07:30 PM

thanks for sharing your process, I have wanted to try that in some jewelry but thought it would be more difficult then that.

View Rob Macdonald's profile

Rob Macdonald

75 posts in 2790 days

#12 posted 03-29-2012 11:02 PM

... and make sure you wear a mask when sanding it down, and wash your hands after. I got some dust in my eyes hours later from my hands and it stung … a lot. CA glue dust is nasty stuff.


View Dlow's profile


70 posts in 3199 days

#13 posted 03-30-2012 01:26 AM

That is an awesome look. I’m gonna have to try that in a ring.

View willie's profile


534 posts in 2966 days

#14 posted 03-30-2012 02:55 AM

Thanks Rob, interesting process and the results are awesome! This has made me think about inlays in a different way. I’ve done inlays with colored resins, metals, and wood. Now I’m thinking of all kinds of things to use for inlays. I can always count on you guys to jump start my brain. Now if this old body will just co-operate!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View Richard's profile


11307 posts in 3545 days

#15 posted 03-31-2012 08:56 AM

Very Nice Project! Thanks For posting!

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

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