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How to Inlay Mother of Pearl With CA Glue

by Jonathan Downing on February 07, 2022

In this article, I'm going to show you a couple ways to do some creative stuff with CA glues and also few tips for making your CA last longer. Let's get started.

I carved out some tree shapes which I'm going to inlay some pearls inside with the help of Starbond glue. This will create a nice little effect. I've done this a couple of times and it works very well. I'm going to inlay two colors of pearl but don't limit yourself. You can actually inlay other objects of your preference. Just a quick tip, after applying your CA glue, wipe it off with a paper towel. That way, the tubes would not clog up. Also, you can put your CA glue in the refrigerator to extend its shelf life. Typically, a standard CA glue has a shelf life of 33 months but if you store it in the refrigerator, it will last longer. Alright, I'm gonna go ahead and do the white pearl first. I did this on a Lichtenberg piece a while back and it looked really cool. I'm just gonna fill in the carve with the CA glue slowly so it doesn't set up too fast. Then I'm going to put a few amount of pearls. Just keep working your way up until the carve is full. By the way, I've been using Starbond for a few months now and it's really an excellent CA glue. It does a very nice job for fixing cracks and for applying finish. I did a couple of CA finishes on some gear shift knobs I made. I kind of struggle finding a decent CA glue but with the help of some other people on YouTube, I think I finally got it.

There we go, if you want to add some more on top of it, you can keep filling it in. Remember that you can inlay different things - you don't have to just use the pearl but it gives really cool effect. We can then let this set up and move over to the black one. With this, I'm just gonna put on a few thin coats and let it set up and then keep on reapplying. When done, you can hit it with a sander to sand it all. Just go nice and slow so it doesn't puddle up in one spot. Remember that the thin CA will set up very fast. Using the medium glue, you'll have little bit of time to work with. It just nice and easy. If it does puddle up or if it's not level, you can always sand it right back. You don't have to worry too much unless you don't wanna waste a bunch of pearls. I'll let that set up for few minutes or even seconds. You can always add a little bit more if you want to. The Starbond works fantastic. I think with the black pearl, you can do some neat stuff such as highlight some natural cracks that are in the wood. If you have a little bit of punky wood or something like that, you can use the super thin to stabilize that as well. There we go. I used a random orbital sander to sand it smooth. Just some different ideas for doing some inlay work. I really like the black. It gives a sort of silhouette. I did a bowl a couple months ago and I used the Lichtenberg machine to burn it and then inlaid the pearl into it but I didn't sand it smooth. I left it kind of rougher but it's still nice. I've been using this Starbond CA for few months now and it works fantastic. I hope this article helps.