I just did a wee test with some scavenged resources to try out wire inlay and I’m pretty happy with how it came out!
I scored the channels into this handle using the laser. I was able to just use my beam thickness, I originally tried it with a bit of an offset but it was too loose.
I hammered some copper wire flat, and then hammered it into the channels.
Then sanded the wire down flush, and then sanded the whole handle smooth. I added some boiled linseed oil as I sanded the final grit (600), so it filled in any gaps in the wood grain, and brought it the wood’s colour.
Then I waxed it with some soft wax made from 2 parts boiled linseed oil, 2 parts melted bees wax and 1 part eucalyptus oil (people usually use mineral spirits instead of the eucalyptus, I just prefer the smell of eucalyptus).
The wire thickness varied a lot, because it was hand hammered, but I have some proper flat wire heading my direction, and I’m keen to try more complex designs with that.
Overall this was a really easy little project, and I feel like it would be a really lovely way of labelling one’s tools; instead of writing your name on it you do a little carved inlay.
It would also be an easy way to elevate a little wooden box from a craft store.
Love it! I had purchased some brass wire in different thicknesses to put into the guitar stands I built. This just gives me the incentive to go all the way with the next ones built!
Thanks for the inspiration.
Maybe a dumb question but why hammer the wire flat before inserting? My first thought is to make the grove such a depth that about 3/4 of the diameter of the round wire is in the grouve with about 1/4 of the diameter protruding above the surface. Put a little CA glue in the bottom of the grove (just in case), put the wire in and hammer it flat. Copper is fair soft so if the wood piece is not too delicate it should handle it. The cooper expands out to grip the sides of the grove. Sand everything flush.
That is a great idea if the item can take the beating. I do inlay with twisted copper wire is a similar fashion but I fill the gaps with colored epoxy then sand away about 1/4 of the wire diameter.
This is after the cutting down, before the sanding
Copper oxidises rapidly so it doesn’t stick well to glue and it’s hard to hammer it in when round; as you try to get the next bit in it deforms the wire, popping the bits you already have in back out. I also don’t like the look of glue, it’s always very obvious where it’s sunk into the grain of the wood.
But if you do it and you like the method and effect it brings, then I’m all for you using it! To each their own, I reckon.