This is a heart box I made for my Wife's Valentines present. The lid and the base are made from 3/8" walnut.
The main body of the box is 1-3/4" thick hard maple and the oval shape was scrollsawn from a solid block
After cutting the fretwork on the lid and adding a backer board I considered many options to fill in the fretwork and take this box from a simple design to the next level. I was going to fill in the fretwork with embossing powder and locking it in place with CA glue. I've used embossing powder and CA for accent bands on ink pens but nothing of this size. Epoxy resin was not an option because of the smell and the cure time involved. After a tip from Greg I found an idea from Steve Good's website www.scrollsawworkshop.com using Polymer Clay to fill in letters for key chains.
At first I was going to use a red clay but felt that would be too bright and take the attention away from the fretwork so I went with a light pink. After attaching a 1/4" BB plywood backer using Wellbond glue. To decrease the possibility of cracking I placed the lid in the oven for 20 minutes at 225 deg. F, removed and allowed to cool to room temp. No cracks or warps. Next I conditioned the clay by kneading it to soften it up and began pressing the clay into the fretwork making sure to fill the voids up completely and then adding a little more to account for any shrinkage. After filling all the coids I rolled the clay further with a small oller to make double sure all the air pockets were removed and the clay got into all the nooks & crannies. After preheating the oven to 275 deg.F and checking it with a digital themometer I baked the wood and clay fretwork for 25 minutes (per manufactures instructions 15 min bake time for every 1/4" in thickness). Removed and allowed to cool to room temp then sanded the excess clay down to flush with the wood using 150 grit ROS with a vacuum attachment. No gaps or cracks and I was relieved.
I will sand through the grits to 320 grit and then apply 3 coats of Minwax Polycrylic spray finish and will post completed picks. If you have questions I'll be happy to help where I can.
Thanks for viewing.