NOTE: Be sure to use eye protection equipment when crushing.
If the rough is too large for the pliers you may want to start with
a hammer and steel block. As you are working the material down, you
can use a tea strainer to control the size of your pieces. I crush the
material using the pliers right in the tea strainer. This helps you
to hold the material, and size it all at once. You do this over a tray
ofcourse . The pliers will destroy the strainer over a period of time.
When you have crushed as much needed for the job , then pick out the
waste rock & discolored pieces using a pair of fine pointer tweezers.
This picking process will commonly take as long as the crushing does.
Next, I mix my "Epoxy"
I like to use "clear cast" casting resin instead of Epoxy
glues. Clear cast tends to be transparent without the yellowing that
generally occurs with glues. Also, "Clear Cast" dries hard
enough to handle a good polish. Casting resins are sold at craft stores
under a variety of trade names. You may also want to experiment with
mixing colors into your resins to get a "full inlay" look.
I use paper cups cut down to about 1/2 inch tall and do my mixing with
Once the resin is mixed, you just dip the toothpick into the resin,
and then into the stone chips Put the mixture into the channel you wish
to inlay. You repeat this proceedure untill the channel is over filled
creating a dome of stone chips above the channel walls in all directions.
Next, take the toothpick with "clear cast" only & fill
in all the voids around the chips with "clear cast" and gently
tap the chips down to create a maximum density of chips down in the
Now you let the resin dry. It is important to allow time for it to dry
throughly. You will have to experiment to determine the length of time
for your mix, in your area. Time ,temperature and humidity, and the
amount of catalyst you use in your mixture are all factors in the time
it takes to dry.
Once your piece is dry, you can grind excess material off using a wet
sander [220 grit and then 600 grit]
It is crucial that you use a wet system to keep the inlay cool.
If you discover any holes in your inlay, You can repeat the steps above
and fill them with clear cast [with or without chips].You can then polish
and finish your piece using "tripoli" and "zam"
but be sure to keep the piece cool during polish as well as grinding.
This should finish your piece. Enjoy !