Copper Wire Inlay
This idea started off because every year at Christmas time I cant think of anything to buy my wife, so this year I decided to make her something.
I saw a sign somewhere that used a brass wire to make the house name, so I thought that`s it. Rather making a house name for my wife, don`t think she
would be to chuffed with that, I decided to make her a picture of the one thing I have to fight for her affections with, Her horse. I looked for a nice
picture to use and chose a prancing horse.
Now remember this is my first time that I have done this so you will be seeing the mess up I make as the good bits, if there are any. I did go one line for some guidance and most of them were using contact adhesive to glue the picture on to the timber.
I followed this idea but came up to a few problems. Most people were using CNC machines to cut out the groove for the wire so after they have finished
the wire groove, they sanded the paper template of and all is good, unfortunately when you use chisels to cut the groove, the sticky paper template gets pushed down into the groove and is a nightmare to get out.So I come up with the idea of using carbon paper in between the template and the wood. Also the first piece of timber I used was Sapele, now, this is the point I find out that timber selection is a major part of the process, After starting to chisel around the template, when I came to do the hooves they started to fall out and when I tried to chisel around the ears, because it was coming to a point, they started to fall out too. So I thought it must be the timber. I decided to try a piece of Teak, That did the same thing, not the start I was looking for. As a last resort I used a piece of Oak. This was a better move because after all that work, I was loosing the will to live. In the UK the electrical wire is measured mainly in mm2, rather than gauge, the common sizes being, either 1 mm or 1.5 mm for lighting and 2.5 mm for the ring main circuits. I think the measurement is mm area of the cable. The ears were still a problem but I worked out if you chiseled the first part of the ear, glued the wire in then chiseled the second part of the ear, the ear wouldn’t fall out. After chiseling the whole template it was time to prepare the wire. I have seen on the internet that you can get a two roller press that squashes the wire at an even pressure, but these machines are about two hundred dollars. I don`t know how many times I`m going to do this so it is not worth me buying one so I went the hammer way. I saw a jewelry video where they flattened the copper wire with a flat head hammer so I brought one off amazon. When I tried it out, the hammer felt to light to use on the wire so I used my work hammer, which I`m used to, to flatten the wire and the flat faced hammer I brought, to hammer the wire into the groove. This worked well so I stuck to this idea. As I fed the wire into the grooves I made with the chisels, I would glue in the wire every so often with a thin CA glue which soaked into the wood and held the wire. After finishing the wire work, I sanded down the wire and timber with 80 grit, then 120 and finally with 240 grit. To seal it I used three coats of clear coat spray.I finished it off by fitting a picture frame hanging loop. As a first go it doesn’t look to bad and I think if something looks hand made, it means more than if I used a CNC machine or a router.
I`m going to have a few more goes at this so this might not be the last you see of the wire inlay. Cheers.