Metal Inlay

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Kcimdrib

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Recently purchased some Brass and Aluminium sheet this my first attempt the Aluminium is very thin and doesn't stand out. I've still not decided on the best adhesive I used Epoxy on this and it blew out when drilling repaired with CA and it held. Any advice on adhesive for wood to metal and metal to metal. I have assembled a Celtic Knot using CA will turn it tomorrow.
I like the effect your comments would be much appreciated.
 

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jttheclockman

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I am an epoxy guy and always will be when it comes to mixed materials. I do not like the quick setting epoxys. I found the longer setting time to have better adhesion. I use System3 T88 epoxy. I have used their 15 min. epoxy a few times and being clear it worked for my project. This is just my opinion. Good luck and pen looks good.
 

Kcimdrib

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John thank you for that, interestingly I used 5 min Epoxy so I will get some longer setting Epoxy, and try again.
 

JohnU

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I’m also an epoxy guy with mixed materials. I want it to be able to flex a bit and not be brittle like ca can get. With metal I always rough it up with sandpaper and then clean real good with acetone before gluing up. Drilling is always a concern with mixed materials, especially when you have metal in the mix. I try to drill slow and back the bit out often to clean the hole and reduce heat. Heat will soften the epoxy. Sometimes I let it sit a few minutes between drilling steps. Another option is to glue a solid frame or walls of scrap wood around the outside of your blank for drilling, to be turned off on the lathe. It will help hold things together.
 

Wmcullen

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Michael:
I'm in the same boat... thanks for asking the question as I'll be watching for answers.
Last weekend I tried using 0.032" thick aluminum between ebony. I used CA because I always use CA glue and everything went perfectly until I went to assemble it and the segments just fell apart.
I bought some gorilla epoxy... which I've never used before... and set it up yesterday. Happy to let you know how it goes.
Cullen
 

Kcimdrib

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John good to here from you and thanks for the advice. I did sand and clean before glueing. I also think using a smaller drill fist which will reduce the land thickness reducing the pressure just a thought.
Thanks again John.
 

Kcimdrib

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Michael:
I'm in the same boat... thanks for asking the question as I'll be watching for answers.
Last weekend I tried using 0.032" thick aluminum between ebony. I used CA because I always use CA glue and everything went perfectly until I went to assemble it and the segments just fell apart.
I bought some gorilla epoxy... which I've never used before... and set it up yesterday. Happy to let you know how it goes.
Cullen
Cullen thanks for that tomorrow I'll turn the Celtic Knot glued with thick CA and see how it goes. I think slower curing Epoxy may help.
 

civilwartalk

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I prefer using epoxy for segmenting...

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Just the same way I rough up my brass tubes before use in pen blanks, I also rough up any plastic or metal segments I'm inserting between wood segments with 120 grit sandpaper, as well as the join between very hard woods like ebony. I don't yet do much segmenting with resin blanks, but would probably do that as well.

I have been using JB Weld 5 minute epoxy for the segmented pens above, and I didn't have any issue drilling or turning, as long as I managed my heat during the drill phase. I also use this epoxy if I have a 1 or 2 pen tubes to insert into blanks. My only issue is the limited amount of time to setup the segments, 5 minutes is really more like 3 after you mix the parts.... I just don't like feeling rushed to get the parts assembled and clamped.

I've recently switched to System3 Blade Pro Epoxy, it's a bit more expensive than the others, even the T88, but it has a much longer open time, over 40 minutes in my experience, as long you keep it in a thin layer after mixing and not in a container, like a cup. I've only done 1 segmented blank with it, but I like that I had plenty of time to adjust my blank and clamps. When I have a large batch of tubes to insert into blanks, this is my go-to epoxy. I use a small 1.5 inch plastic lid, or a paper plate and a wooden popsicle stick to apply the epoxy.
 
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Kcimdrib

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7I prefer using epoxy for segmenting...

Just the same way I rough up my brass tubes before use in pen blanks, I also rough up any plastic or metal segments I'm inserting between wood segments with 120 grit sandpaper, as well as the join between very hard woods like ebony. I don't yet do much segmenting with resin blanks, but would probably do that as well.

I have been using JB Weld 5 minute epoxy for the segmented pens above, and I didn't have any issue drilling or turning, as long as I managed my heat during the drill phase. I also use this epoxy if I have a 1 or 2 pen tubes to insert into blanks. My only issue is the limited amount of time to setup the segments, 5 minutes is really more like 3 after you mix the parts.... I just don't like feeling rushed to get the parts assembled and clamped.

I've recently switched to System3 Blade Pro Epoxy, it's a bit more expensive than the others, even the T88, but it has a much longer open time, over 40 minutes in my experience, as long you keep it in a thin layer after mixing and not in a container, like a cup. I've only done 1 segmented blank with it, but I like that I had plenty of time to adjust my blank and clamps. When I have a large batch of tubes to insert into blanks, this is my go-to epoxy. I use a small 1.5 inch plastic lid, or a paper plate and a wooden popsicle stick to apply the epoxy.
Mike they look really good thanks for your comments most helpful.
 

civilwartalk

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I forgot to mention... I always wrap my segmented blanks with about 3 layers of painters tape after they are cured, and I've sanded them square. This helps them with be stable during drilling I feel. I always drill on my lathe, your results might vary depending on your technique....
 

Kcimdrib

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I forgot to mention... I always wrap my segmented blanks with about 3 layers of painters tape after they are cured, and I've sanded them square. This helps them with be stable during drilling I feel. I always drill on my lathe, your results might vary depending on your technique....
I always drill on the Lathe, I do think a smaller drill first to reduce pressure is a benefit. Thanks again.
 

alanemorrison

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Well Michael, the concensus is for Epoxy, which is what I use as well for metal to wood, especially if it is at an angle to the blank.
On occasion with thin metal that is square to the blank and I am impatient I go with CA, though I don't generally use brad points when drilling as they can grab the metal.

Alan
 

Kcimdrib

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Well Michael, the concensus is for Epoxy, which is what I use as well for metal to wood, especially if it is at an angle to the blank.
On occasion with thin metal that is square to the blank and I am impatient I go with CA, though I don't generally use brad points when drilling as they can grab the metal.

Alan
Cheers Alan no Brad points are bad news and yes Epoxy rules.

Mike
 

leehljp

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As Mark shows, it works well to drill the individual parts before assembly and then glue with Epoxy.

For me, I place my aluminum or brass or copper sheet between two sheets of 1/2 in plywood and screw it together of clamp it tight and then drill. Drilling in whole sheets of 1/64 or 1/32 or 1mm or less - is all a recipe for disaster unless they are placed between plywood before drilling.

The photo below shows one method of making segments, and it also shows the rings that are drilled prior to assembly as does Mark's above.

Drilling prior to assembly cuts down on the heat and separation/coming apart. It can be done, obviously, without pre-drilling but takes considerably more time and caution.
 

Alchemist

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Nicely done segmenting! I like using copper as well. I know everyone says to drill first, but if the metal is thin, i will let it be and drill the whole thing at once. I also use 5 minute epoxy. It works well and gives time to mess with stuff.
 

TDahl

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I use 2 part epoxy (T88). I drill my segments before assembly and turning, and always scuff them up with 120 grit sand paper before gluing.
 

Lmstretch

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I also recommend using T-88 epoxy, and glueing paint stir sticks on two of the side for drilling. I use a lot of metal in my segmented blanks and this see to work.
 

Kcimdrib

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Thanks everyone for your help I am certainly glad I asked the question I have plenty of things to try.
 

MedWoodWorx

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I prefer using epoxy for segmenting...

Just the same way I rough up my brass tubes before use in pen blanks, I also rough up any plastic or metal segments I'm inserting between wood segments with 120 grit sandpaper, as well as the join between very hard woods like ebony. I don't yet do much segmenting with resin blanks, but would probably do that as well.

I have been using JB Weld 5 minute epoxy for the segmented pens above, and I didn't have any issue drilling or turning, as long as I managed my heat during the drill phase. I also use this epoxy if I have a 1 or 2 pen tubes to insert into blanks. My only issue is the limited amount of time to setup the segments, 5 minutes is really more like 3 after you mix the parts.... I just don't like feeling rushed to get the parts assembled and clamped.

I've recently switched to System3 Blade Pro Epoxy, it's a bit more expensive than the others, even the T88, but it has a much longer open time, over 40 minutes in my experience, as long you keep it in a thin layer after mixing and not in a container, like a cup. I've only done 1 segmented blank with it, but I like that I had plenty of time to adjust my blank and clamps. When I have a large batch of tubes to insert into blanks, this is my go-to epoxy. I use a small 1.5 inch plastic lid, or a paper plate and a wooden popsicle stick to apply the epoxy.
very nice work, the pen top left has aluminum inlays sandwiched with some kind of wood?ebony perhaps?nice contrast!
 

Kcimdrib

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This is blank assembled yesterday using CA glue a total disaster. This morning I have assembled another using Epoxy I will leave it over night and turn it tomorrow. After putting up the Christmas Tree. Life as its priorities. Thank you all again for your help.
 

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leehljp

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This is blank assembled yesterday using CA glue a total disaster. This morning I have assembled another using Epoxy I will leave it over night and turn it tomorrow. After putting up the Christmas Tree. Life as its priorities. Thank you all again for your help.
IF gluing BEFORE drilling, the outside NEEDS to be bolstered/reinforced with something like gauze wrapped tightly and then CA'ed generously, then drilling cautiously and patiently. Afterwards, the tube can be glued in and then the CA'ed gauze can be turned down.

Michael, upon looking closely, you already have the tube inserted, I believe. If that is so, then I believe, as others have stated -epoxy will help considerably. However another factor is what causes that to happen? CA? Heat? Catch? CA is more brittle, and a hint of a catch will shock the brittle CA into loosening. Then other parts let go. Epoxy, even cured, is more resilient in this circumstance. Still, a very fine and light touch is an absolute necessity as normal turning with the metal segments will create heat fast and cause the epoxy to let go.
 
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Kcimdrib

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IF gluing BEFORE drilling, the outside NEEDS to be bolstered/reinforced with something like gauze wrapped tightly and then CA'ed generously, then drilling cautiously and patiently. Afterwards, the tube can be glued in and then the CA'ed gauze can be turned down.
This blew on Driing and then on turning. I do not have a pillar drill so do all drilling on the Lathe. I definitely think a smaller drill fist to reduce pressure helps.
When turning I removed corners before turning again to reduce shock.
I have a blank assembled with Epoxy which I will turn tomorrow.
Hank thanks for your help and interest shown.
 

Todd in PA

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I'm thinking I might need to give up on trying to glue metal into the blank before drilling. I've also had a terrible time trying to drill brass/aluminum with my drill press by clamping down the metal to a sacrificial board (particularly brass). Hank mentions putting it between two sheets of plywood, which sounds like a good plan.

But has anyone had success with step drilling. the guy in the video below just clamps the metal in a vice and has at it with a step drill. The hole looks decent with some sanding/cleanup. These are readily available and 7/16" and 1/2" seem like they'd be close enough to match the 10.5 and 12.5 tubes. Thoughts?

 

Kcimdrib

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I would normally glue the metal into the blank using a 24-hour cure Epoxy. But I use a course file on all surfaces of the metal this gives deep score marks and certainly improves the adhesion.
I drill in the lathe slow feed and also put a small negative rake on the drill bit use a diamond file this won't ruin your drills when drilling wood.
I have no experience with Step Drills.
Hope this helps.
 

jttheclockman

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Use those all the time when I was on the job. But the materials we drilled were far more rigid. If drilling metals that are thin and flat then the best idea is to sandwich between some scraps of wood. And yes those bits work well if sharp.
 

egnald

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Michael:
I'm in the same boat... thanks for asking the question as I'll be watching for answers.
Last weekend I tried using 0.032" thick aluminum between ebony. I used CA because I always use CA glue and everything went perfectly until I went to assemble it and the segments just fell apart.
I bought some gorilla epoxy... which I've never used before... and set it up yesterday. Happy to let you know how it goes.
Cullen
It is good to not only scuff up the metal surfaces but to also scuff up the Ebony and/or wipe it with some Acetone just before gluing.

There are some authoritative sources that suggest that wiping with Acetone does improve bond strength in woods with "oily extractives" such as Ebony. (from "Practical solutions for furniture and structural bonding" as found in Chapter 10 of the Wood Handbook a Forest Products Laboratory publication and General Technical Report from the US Dept. of Ag Forest Service)

The same publication also suggests that sanding can help break up the surface of dense woods like Ebony to provide more tooth for adhesives to grab onto. Sawing and planing can actually burnish the surface of some woods so they need to be scuffed up much as one would scuff up the brass tubes to improve glue adhesion.

Dave
 

Hubert H

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I’m also an epoxy guy with mixed materials. I want it to be able to flex a bit and not be brittle like ca can get. With metal I always rough it up with sandpaper and then clean real good with acetone before gluing up. Drilling is always a concern with mixed materials, especially when you have metal in the mix. I try to drill slow and back the bit out often to clean the hole and reduce heat. Heat will soften the epoxy. Sometimes I let it sit a few minutes between drilling steps. Another option is to glue a solid frame or walls of scrap wood around the outside of your blank for drilling, to be turned off on the lathe. It will help hold things together.
I pull the bit out and spray RA on the bit and in the hole. Seems to work for me.
 

Todd in PA

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Proof of concept I guess. I think drilling the wood and metal segments separately and then assembling them onto the tube will result in a more sold blank with better glue coverage. These took me less than a minute to drill both holes. There is some gap, but I think they’re tight enough to serve the blank. It will likely not work with angled metal segments.
 
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