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Abalone Question
Posted by: Stuart schley (---.mobile.att.net)
Date: June 03, 2019 03:27PM

I'd like to do an abalone shell design. I've got the adhesive sheets from mudhole and was wondering if it's possible to cut out a design from that sheet without major cracking ? My thought process is an exacto knife and a heat gun.

Additionally, if I were to put that design on a cork handle would it be best to epoxy the handle first in order to ensure a good surface to apply the abalone to and finish with another coat of epoxy?

If anyone has any tips I'd love to hear them !

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/03/2019 03:48PM by Stuart schley.

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Re: Abalone Question
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: June 04, 2019 04:23PM

I'm no expert at abalone, but since no one is answering, I'll give my opinion. Then we'll find out how wrong I am. I don't think what you propose is practical. I would ruin a lot of abalone before I got a successful design cut out. It is very brittle until heated in water. If you tried to cut it when heated, I think it would cool too soon and you'd have brittle material again.

The adhesive is amazing. Even after heating in water to the point that the backing is almost totally saturated, peel the backing and it STICKS! Whether it would on cork or not, I would test a small piece to find out. It certainly would stick to epoxy. It probably will stick on cork that has had the dust carefully removed. Especially burl cork.
One thing that might work, and again I would test it, would be to apply the abalone, then cut your design strategically making your cuts so that the material outside the design could be chipped away. Then coat with epoxy.

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Re: Abalone Question
Posted by: Robert A. Guist (---.triad.rr.com)
Date: June 04, 2019 08:13PM

Hello Stuart & Michael.

What if you clamp it tightly between 2 dies and cut it out with a super fine toothed scroll saw?

Tight Wraps & Tighter Lines.


New Bern, NC.

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Re: Abalone Question
Posted by: Fred Yarmolowicz (---.hsd1.nj.comcast.net)
Date: June 04, 2019 08:15PM

I have seen designs cut out but they were laser cut , Problem was when working with them they broke apart. When the abalone is small it make it harder to work with .

Freddwhy (Rapt-Ryte)

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Re: Abalone Question
Posted by: Stuart schley (---.mobile.att.net)
Date: June 05, 2019 01:07AM

Thanks for the replies fellas.
Abalone has an awesome look to it as is but I had seen some designs (specifically fish such as Marlin and Tuna) that take it to a whole new level.

I suppose what I'll do is save some smaller scrap pieces and experiment to determine if they can be made without laser cutting. The clamping idea Bob mentioned intrigues me as well as applying it first and then cutting away


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Re: Abalone Question
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: June 05, 2019 06:05PM

It may be just me, but I have never been able to apply abalone without water. The heat gun doesn't work for me. BUT, the very hot water does. I think that the water adds to the heat in softening the material. Good luck, and let us know if you solve this.

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