So my first attempt with the Inlace inlay system didn’t go as smooth as I had hoped.? It’s a very thin, watery mixture that would normally go on a flat level surface to cure.? They have a product called thicken-it that you can add to the Inlace resin to make it able to be used in the round… so I opted for that since I was inlaying a groove all around the base of the djembe.
I kept adding the stuff until it was the consistency of a thick paste.? I then added the (what I now know was too much) hardener.? I have 12-15 minutes to get all the resin in place before it starts to cure.
I got the consistency right and started applying it to the shell. I just sort of gooped it on, and then used a small piece of cardboard to smooth over and leave it level to the groove. It worked OK, but I felt it recessed a bit and wanted it flush…thinking back, I should have left it…. Well, doing this process over and over until the mix started to harden I finally just said, this is good enough.
The next day I went out and attempted to sand it down, I had let it cure for well over 12 hours, which is the recommended cure time before sanding. The inlay felt hard, but not rock hard, and when I started to sand it gummed up the paper super quick. It’s supposed to not do this and sand with a fine dust…so I’m thinking I added too much hardener, which can cause the mixture to not fully harden.
I left it for a few days to maybe harden more and then tried sanding again..
After the sanding it still wasn’t what I wanted.? Some walnut dust had mixed in with the mix and made it dull, I believe maybe I used too much thicken-it and too much hardener, it just wasn’t glossy at all.? Instead of cutting it out, I decided to put some more on top as there were some voids and chips out from me trying to work a paste that was too thick and curing…?? I used tape to tape off the groove (would have been a lot easier and better if I had done this the first time)…
Next step I refilled the groove with some more Inlace product.? Making extra sure not to use too much hardener.? I also used way less thicken-it…? It wasn’t near as thick as my first attempt, but was thick enough not to run… Here is the “after” shot.
The time to set is 12-15 minutes, and I didn’t want the inlace to become too hard and brittle before I pulled the tape off… so I waited until the mix was gummy, just starting to set, and then I pulled off the tape.
I’m really happy with it at this stage.? I’ll give it 24 hours before I attempt to sand, but I have high hopes.? It’s recommended to be sanded down to 600 grit or more before buffing and polishing, so if it sands down correct, I’ll be doing that.? But for now, we wait..