Wood Turning

Milliput Epoxy Inlay- Lidded Boxes

I love turning boxes. If it weren’t for YouTube, I’d turn boxes more or less every day. This week, I wanted to experiment with Milliput, a two-part epoxy clay. This seemed like the perfect excuse to turn a box with a Milliput inlay (or, even better, two boxes with Milliput inlay!).
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I turned the lid by securing the piece to a waste block with hot glue. I decided to add an inlay to the lid of the box as well, so I used a parting tool to create a channel into which I could place the Milliput.
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For the body of the box, I turned a tenon on a piece of maple after truing up the piece with a roughing gouge. I removed most of the waste using a Forstner bit, then added a channel for the Milliput. Because of the channel and added inlay, I left the walls of the box a little thicker than I normally would.
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Playing with the Milliput brought out my inner child a little bit — I used two colors to create a striated effect, then molded it to the piece and allowed it to dry overnight. The instructions say Milliput only takes 2-3 hours to cure completely, but when you’re going to spin something at several thousand RPM, better safe than sorry. Once cured, the Milliput cuts like butter.
While working with the clay, I protected my workbench with some contact paper, because the Milliput sticks to everything it touches. That’s great because it will stick to your workpiece, but not so great because it also sticks to the bench and your hands. If you don’t wear gloves, be sure to wash your hands between colors, or you will cross-contaminate the clay.
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One important note: Milliput is heat resistant to a point, but I wouldn’t recommend a buffing wheel as that might bring it above its safe temperature. All in all, it seems like a great way to add detailed patterns and inlay to projects without cutting hundreds of tiny pieces. It’s also very easy to create random swirls and marbling by just kneading the clay around until you get the effect you want.
If you’ve got other ideas for how to use Milliput, let me know in the comments. Thanks for watching!

2 Comments

  1. michael j harrison
    Jan 24, 2017

    Carl ,
    Looking for tips on dyeing the milliput I have some alc based stain or shoe dye or?? I appreciate your input, as I did not see anything on this session to explain “how” you got your colors.
    Big thanks,
    Michael

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