In the past I have made miniature versions of these turtles. I cut them out by hand and used little stones to fill in the pockets. That would take forever so I decided to cut these out on my cnc machine and fill them with resin. This saved a bunch of time and I was able to batch these out. These can still easily be made by hand, especially since they are bigger in size. I made a video showing the process. If you like the video please consider subscribing to my youtube channel, and if you want to see what I'm working on then you can check out my instagram.
Step 1: Cutting Out the Turtles
I made the file in Illustrator and sent it to my cnc machine to cut out. I am using a 1/8th. I was able to cut out 4 in roughly 25 mins. If you want to make it by hand you can use a band saw or scroll saw to cut the shape and a drill press with a endmill to hollow out the pockets.
Step 2: Tools & Materials
Band saw or Scroll saw
Step 3: Filling the Pockets With Resin
I love resin! I recently made a epoxy resin river table and love how it looks. So I decided to use resin for this since it was easier than how I used to do it. In the past I would fill it with colored stones and sand them down but that would take forever. I used rustoleum super glaze resin for this, its pretty cheap and I get great results. Its super easy to use as well, its a 1:1 ratio of part a to part b. I mixed about 4 oz and added some color pigment to it.
I decided to overfill the pockets slightly and used a popsicle stick to spread it evenly, I did this incase a bunch of epoxy got soaked into the wood. Once that was done I used a small torch to pop any of the bubbles that rose to the top of the pockets.
Step 4: Sanding the Turtles
I used a belt sander to flush up the resin to the wood. Resin can really gum up sandpaper so I suggest getting one of the sandpaper eraser things to clean it off. Once they were flushed up I finished it with some hand sanding. I used a 120 grit sandpaper and small files to make it nice and smooth.
Step 5: Sanding the Resin
I used micro mesh sanding pads to remove the scratch marks and make the resin shinier. I didnt use water since I would be sanding part of the wood. It doesn't look like a big difference but it does make the final product look much better!
Step 6: Finishing the Turtle
I used tung oil to finish these. I poured a lot on and let it really soak up into the wood. Once it was dried I then wiped off the excess.
These turtles ended up looking great and they make awesome gifts and sell well at craft shows. If you have any questions or make one let me know in the comments.