Inlay aluminum question

I’ve looked around but couldn’t find anything. Have some trophies to make for a PRS competition next month and tossing around ideas thought of maybe doing any inlay on wood, but using aluminum. Has anyone tried to inlay aluminum in to wood? I wouldn’t think the process would be any different as far as cutting it out to fit, but thought I’d ask to before attempting it.

Carving an aluminum inlay would take a long time to mill.

If you have some time to order supplies, I would recommend using an epoxy resin inlay with a metallic filler. I like https://www.smooth-on.com/products/epoxacast-655-ht-hardener/

If you go this route, make sure you get both the base and the hardener. They are sold separately.

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I use this and use spray adhesive to hold it to a scrap of mdf while cutting

or if your hardware carries it you can but project sheet/shim stock also can use brass or copper

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I had originally thought of resin but I think aluminum or another soft metal would look pretty cool.

Phil, I found solder inlay, resins, and hot glue but no aluminum. That frog table is pretty cool!!

I’m going to look around for that project stock Shane! That stuff would be perfect.

I’m going to give the inlays a try on wood first, just to play with. I’ve got a little over a month to get these done, so no huge rush, but I’d like to get them done well before the competition.

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Thin metals cut easily But be aware that with a upcut bit they can also be pulled up by the bit and sent flying. as a safety measure I recommend clamping a thin scrap of wood over the metal. If you have fine detail parts you can use a heat gun to release the adhesive.

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I’ve got upcut and downcut bits. Would downcut be ok for aluminum? I’ve found those K&S metal pieces at hobby lobby here, at least it says they are in stock online. I’m going to run by after work to pick up one to mess with.

before cutting wipe the metal down with some wd-40. I prefer these for thin metal.


just search for corn end mill.

Ah, sorry - for some reason I read your original post as doing a VCarve inlay in aluminum. That’s what the metal-filled epoxy suggestion was geared towards.

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I would clamp a thin sheet of aluminum between two pieces of mdf and cut down spiral at full DOC through the metal

Those sheets from HomeDepot, the aluminum ones are junk. I have not tried the brass/copper yet. but the aluminum are flaky and do not carve well.

that frog video was the first CNC machine I ever saw and it blew my mind. He has the tools he uses for each job in the video which is handy

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