Dodgers Bobblehead Bat Shelf with Epoxy Inlay

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Project by Rickterscale posted 01-02-2013 11:01 PM 9813 views 5 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My brother-in-law Brett is a huge Dodgers fan and has been collecting bobblehead figures given out at games he’s gone to over the past couple years. The bobbleheads had been sitting on top of a bookcase, and I figured they needed a proper home, so I made this shelf as a Christmas gift. I was going to just copy Marc Spagnuolo’s weekend wall shelf, but ended up making a few modifications. Rounded off the bottom and added the knob at the top to shape it like a bat. And inlaid the Dodgers logos in epoxy colored with metallic acrylic blue paint and blue glitter.

Woods are cherry and curly maple. Finish is a bunch of coats of shellac (super blond for maple and garnet for the cherry), sanded smooth, then a couple coats of gloss Arm-R-Seal, then Renaissance wax. I ended up with a very nice, smooth high-gloss finish.

My only regret is that the shelf is already full, and Brett’s already got his tickets for next seasons bobblehead games! To address this concern, he may institute a rotation where players who don’t perform or for other reasons are “in the dog house” don’t get a spot on the shelf. They’ll have to earn it!!

JoeyG has a great tutorial on epoxy inlay, which I found very helpful. I’ll give share a couple of my own observations on inlaying epoxy. Coloring it was very easy, and acrylic paint worked great as a colorant. Though I used a lot of glitter, not many sparkles came through. Seems like you only get sparkle from those glitter particles that end up sitting flat and flush with the sanded down surface. It was difficult to get a surface free of air bubbles with the epoxy. It’s typical to end up with a few air bubbles that need to be filled in. To minimize this, after pouring the colored epoxy into the ~1/8” deep recess (roughed out with the router with a 1/16” bit and touched up by hand), I heated the epoxy with a hair dryer to make it flow better and cause any air bubbles to raise to the surface. I think this heated it too much, as the epoxy cured hard really fast and rather rough, with lots of voids. I used System 3’s standard cure epoxy, but it was dry to the touch in just a few minutes after heating it. I filled in the voids with two more applications of thinned down colored epoxy, pressing it in nice and good, but still a few small voids remained. I quit there, as the voids really aren’t visible unless you’re studying it from a few inches away. (Like many of us I’m sure, I tend to obsess over imperfections that non-woodworkers probably won’t ever notice.)

10 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118309 posts in 4919 days

#1 posted 01-02-2013 11:42 PM

View chrisstef's profile


18140 posts in 4348 days

#2 posted 01-03-2013 12:19 AM

I love the shelf. The inlay came out mint, wood choice was perfect and you put a great looking finish on it too. You just gave me the push i needed for a project ive been thinking about. Thank you for posting.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 3906 days

#3 posted 01-03-2013 03:04 AM

very nice project and an impressive bobble head collection

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View ohwoodeye's profile


2747 posts in 4495 days

#4 posted 01-03-2013 02:11 PM

Excellent shelf and very thoughtful Christmas present. Sure beats a gift card!
Changing the verical piece to resemble a baseball bat was very clever and looks great. Well done.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 3515 days

#5 posted 01-03-2013 07:49 PM

That’s super!

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 3967 days

#6 posted 01-03-2013 08:36 PM

It looks great. You did a great job with the epoxy and thanks for the mention above.

I use a propane torch to help cut down on air bubbles. I just hold the flame horizontal to the work piece and hold it about 1 inch or so above it. It’ heats it up enough to let it flow, and burns off the gases that are pulled to the top.

Great shelf, I may borrow the design sometime. I have need for many of these around our home.


-- JoeyG ~~~

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4146 days

#7 posted 01-03-2013 11:53 PM

Super nice. Beautiful wood choices, and nice inlay with the epoxy.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3518 days

#8 posted 01-04-2013 02:03 PM

A great home it is for the Dodgers bobble heads! The wood and the stain compliments well with the collection.


View CatholicWoodworker's profile


20 posts in 3346 days

#9 posted 01-05-2013 05:41 PM

Go Dodgers! The Vin Scully bobblehead deserves to stay on the top in the center. Great job on the inlays.

-- "What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway." -Mother Teresa

View Woodenwizard's profile


1369 posts in 4385 days

#10 posted 03-18-2013 11:55 PM

Very nice! A fun project with a great theme.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

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