Turquoise inlay adds beauty, variety and colour to your woodworking projects. Woodworkers who cannot afford or fashion turquoise inlay out of real turquoise or have especially porous materials such as drift wood may consider a resin inlay known as liquid turquoise. Liquid turquoise is a clear resin product which has been tinted to resemble turquoise and can fill just about any crevice or carving you wish to fill.
Liquid Turquoise Uses
Woodworkers often use liquid turquoise when they wish to add a bit of colour and flash to their woodworking projects. Popular as a fill for table tops made of driftwood, they usually place liquid turquoise in knotholes or cracks that run the length of the work. Liquid turquoise is also popular with makers of custom pool cues as a decorative filler either in elongated triangles, rectangles or squares that decorate the hilt of the cue. Guitar, banjo, mandolin and knife makers have used liquid turquoise resin in their decorative work as well.
Liquid Turquoise in Wood
The wood you wish to use liquid turquoise in needs to be quite dry, with only 6 to 8 per cent moisture. If there is more than this amount of moisture in the wood, the wood will shrink away from the inlay and leave gaps. Use sealant on woods that are oily in nature before applying the inlay. Clean the wood thoroughly, otherwise the resin will not adhere properly.
Purchasing Liquid Turquoise
Liquid turquoise is available in kits from manufacturers. Kits offer a wide variety of colours besides turquoise. Liquid turquoise is available from online woodworking supplies and hobby stores. Purchase proper safety equipment with your liquid turquoise, including a high quality dust mask and disposable stirrers for mixing the resin with the hardening agent and the turquoise pigment.
Working with Liquid Turquoise
Keep your liquid turquoise materials out of the sun and in a temperature less than 22.2 degrees C. Work in a well-ventilated area and mix only in glass or paper containers. Using turquoise tinted liquid resin takes a bit of mixing. The resins come with a hardener mix that allows it to dry quickly and gives a window of 12 to 15 minutes to add the product to your work. Keep the lip of the resin can clean while you are working with the inlay. Shelf life of the product is one year.
Incorporating Real Turquoise
You can fill clear resin with real turquoise in the form of turquoise powder instead of the pigment. Some woodworkers prefer applying turquoise powder with epoxy, but in most cases resin will work instead. Turquoise powder is available from suppliers of speciality items for the inlay woodworker.