Epoxy resin inlay techniques in veneer?

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Forum topic by Ryban posted 06-22-2020 10:33 PM 506 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 159 days

06-22-2020 10:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: veneer inlay epoxy resin resin

I’m working on a small keepsake box, and have been experimenting with doing an epoxy-filled inlay, but in a veneer, rather than the base wood.

My main reason for doing this is because I lack the right tools to make an inlay in the wood itself, and I have a lot of nice veneers laying around. I can also feed the veneer through my vinyl cutter, and can easily cut complex shapes (but they need to be cut all the way through with an exacto knife still).

My main concern is that when I do the epoxy in-fill, the pores in the surface of the veneer tend to be filled by the epoxy, thus making them stand out. Thus, I need to sand down the surface of an already thin veneer, and I’m not sure if this is the best approach.

Is there a way I should treat/finish/gap-fill the veneer before applying the epoxy?

Should I double-up the veneers, giving me more wood-depth, and thus have to worry less about sanding depth?

Here’s an example of my first test piece:

7 replies so far

View splintergroup's profile


4129 posts in 2139 days

#1 posted 06-22-2020 11:48 PM

I’ve tried waxing the crap out of the veneer before cutting (which works ok) and lately have been using non-permanent shelf adhesive shelf paper which also works well. A lot depends on the veneer however, some really likes to soak stuff up. Clean up with a scraper works well, but as you allude to, thicker veneer is safer.

Good luck!

View JohnMcClure's profile


1109 posts in 1557 days

#2 posted 06-23-2020 12:01 AM

It looks great is all I can say.

-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail

View Ryban's profile


3 posts in 159 days

#3 posted 06-23-2020 02:33 AM

I ve tried waxing the crap out of the veneer before cutting (which works ok) and lately have been using non-permanent shelf adhesive shelf paper which also works well…

- splintergroup

Along those lines, I was thinking of just applying my finish, whether it be an oil or a varnish before filling the epoxy, just to seal the veneer. It might be safest to apply both techniques, since it’s not too difficult to cut two veneers with the vinyl cutter. I could also cut a piece of adhesive vinyl as a mask for the epoxy, but I worry this might present some other complications.

It’s a little subtle in the photo, but definitely noticeable, where the epoxy soaked into the wood from above:

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4129 posts in 2139 days

#4 posted 06-23-2020 03:45 PM

The pre-finish idea has merit, but of course you would be sanding much of it away. I should have added that when OI use wax, I remove it after the epoxy hardens and before sanding (wipe with mineral oil)

There might be issues with the shelf paper mask adhesive residue, perhaps pre finish, layer on some shelf paper, then cut the profile.

Are you using a stencil cutter like the Camio or doing it another way?

View gwilki's profile


362 posts in 2390 days

#5 posted 06-23-2020 08:37 PM

You may want to try sealing the veneer with sanding sealer, then using a stick on masking paper. Finally, after cutting and before pouring your resin, seal the cut edges with sanding sealer so that the veneer will not allow the epoxy to bleed.

I follow this method with v carve epoxy inlays with good results.

-- Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa ON

View bondogaposis's profile


5891 posts in 3268 days

#6 posted 06-23-2020 09:18 PM

I think if you seal the veneer with some Sealcoat before applying epoxy that is all you will need. When the epoxy is cured instead of sanding it down use a card scraper to get the epoxy level, then finish up with a light sanding. Sometimes the sanding dust from the epoxy with dye in it will get into the pores of the wood. Minimize your sanding as much as possible will help with that.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View shipwright's profile


8618 posts in 3714 days

#7 posted 06-23-2020 10:42 PM

If you have a good knife, why not just do it in simple knife cut marquetry. It’s a lot easier than what you are attempting
and it will be all wood, no plastic.
If you can cut the hole, you can cut the piece that goes in the hole.

Maybe I’m biased but I do prefer wood inlay. :-)

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

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