I decided to make these turtle pendants to participate in Steve Ramsey's Makers Care foundation. He and a sponsor are donating $5 for every animal related project posted to his website. http://makerscare.org
I thought it would e the perfect excuse to make these pendants with an inlay. I have never done it before so I wanted to give it a try. I plan to make these into necklaces but I didn't have the proper hardware to do it.
Step 1: Tools & Materials
2. Some kind of stone (I used mother of pearl & crushed coral)
3. Band Saw
4. Sand Paper
5. End mill drill bit
7. Super Glue
Step 2: Cutting the Wood.
I made a turtle template in Illustrator and glued it to the piece of walnut wood. The turtle is roughly 2" by 2". I originally wanted to cut these out on the scroll saw but the blade wouldn't cut through the wood. So went with plan b and cut them out on the band saw. Since these were so small I took a piece of scrap wood and pushed it about halfway through the blade. I did this so the small cut off pieces wouldn't fall through and stall the blade.
I have included a template in case anyone wants to make one.
Step 3: Drilling Out the Holes for Inlay.
To drill the holes for the inlay I used an end mill bit. This is different from a normal drill bit since they cut differently. End mill bits are normally used on a cnc machine. I set a stop on my drill press so it wouldn't cut very deep and just tried to follow the pattern the best I could. You could easily put this bit in a Dremel tool to cut the pockets out.
Step 4: Applying the Inlay.
So I picked up some crushed coral off of amazon and I already had a few pieces of mother of pearl. The coral came crushed so this was the easier inlay of the two. I added a drop of glue to the pockets and sprinkled the inlay over it. Then I used a toothpick to spread the coral around and push it into the voids. I repeated those steps until it was all filled.
Step 5: Sanding & Finishing.
I put a spindle sanding attachment in my hand drill and used it to shape the turtle a little more. I then used to sand down the inlay and make it flush with the wood. This can take some time so just be patient.
I poured some tung oil into a little container and put the turtles in there to soak up the oil. Then let them dry and I had some pretty cool turtles.
Step 6: Enjoy Your New Turtle Pendants.
Now that the turtles are done you can make them into necklaces or key chains. You could even make bigger ones and turn them into paper weights. The possibilities are endless with the wood/inlay combinations.
Let me know in the comments if you make one or have any questions.