Learn how to make Solder Metal Inlay for your Woodworking Projects
In just a few easy steps you can create an great looking metal inlay using solder that can be purchased from any hardware store.
Step 1: Carve the Pattern You Want
Carve the pattern for your solder inlay.
I used the X Carve CNC from Inventables to carve out a design to about 3mm deep. I carved out Superman's Logo
You can use any sort of carving or boring tool like a Dremel, Drill Press, Router Table, Table Saw, Chisel, Scroll Saw etc.
Even lots of dots from a drill press would look nice on the lid of a jewelry box.
Step 2: Melt the Solder for the Inlay
Melt the solder with a blowtorch
I used solid solder that is used in plumbing and using a blowtorch melted it over the carving, I found clumping it together worked better as each drip would merge with the one next to it, keep going until you fill the mould with solder.
Step 3: Sand the Solder Inlay Flush
Sand the solder inlay flush to the wood.
Using a belt sander to sand down the excess solder it did a pretty good job of quickly removing material, you can finish it off with a random orbit sander and some hand sanding to give it a bit of a polished look.
I did not fill a few spots enough and used a soldering iron and some more solder to fill the gaps.
WARNING: Some Solders contain lead so as with any potential hazardous material like fibreglass, MDF etc you should wear a mask and use dust extraction.
Step 4: Give It That Burnt Look
Burn that wood
I used a blowtorch to burn the wood around the Superman logo which looked pretty cool and gave it a nice contrast, you could also stain the wood if needed.
I then used Minwax wipe on poly to finish it off.