A bit frustrated – but learning

I’ve been working on this beautiful custom djembe for a while now, a long while.  I had cut this inlay and put it in a week or so ago and today was looking at it real close.  I noticed some streaking in the maple, it wasn’t bad but it was dark and I was unsure of how it would pan out after I oiled it up.  I debated with myself if I was just being to nit-picky of my own work, or if there was a real issue I needed to take care of.

om-inlay

I though about it on and off, and finally realized if I was thinking about it, I needed to do something to fix it.  So, I took a chisel to this beautiful inlay that I spend so long getting just right in the drum.  I think what happened is that I tried to clean some residue off the sides of the inlay pieces, and that bleed into the grain of the maple..  making streaks.

I was so scared knowing that if I messed up I’d have to start all over with the djembe as this om symbol is the highlight of the drum… It’s gotta be just right.

I was able to get the old inlay out with a really small chisel and cleaned up the recess of all traces of glue.  I’ll have to cut another inlay tomorrow and then really test how well it worked… but I have some ideas for making the joints even less noticeable than before.

I was curious as to why the inlay wasn’t any harder to take out.. I used a gel consistency super glue.  There was little grain tearing as I expected and the glue left seemed really brittle.  I did some research on glues most people use for inlay and found that a lot of guys use this same CA glue (super glue).  However, they’ll mix it with some super fine dust of the wood they are inlaying too.  This helps seal up the gaps for the inlay and make things seem more… seamless.   Maybe I’ll have a shot at mixing some fine saw dust in with the glue this time.  I also think I’m going to reach for the 5 min epoxy instead of the Gel CA.  I’m a bit skeptical of that stuff now after seeing how brittle it was.  I’m worried that over time there wont be enough give and the inlay would eventually pop.  I know there is a flexible epoxy, maybe I should look into that as well…  So I’m excited about the new technique that might make my inlay work look that much better.

 

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