How to Inlay Turquoise into Wood with CA Glue

1. Planning and Preparing the Grooves

Gather all of your woodturning supplies and choose a piece of wood or any wooden item that you want to inlay. Determine which voids to fill, and if no voids are present, carve grooves into the wood with a sharpened chisel or any type of carving tool. Make sure the grooves are smooth and even. If the void extends to the other end of the wooden piece, use plumber’s tape or painter’s tape so it can keep the inlay in place. Use a sealer to seal the wood around the inlay so that the cyanoacrylate glue, does not stain the wood. Mix sanding sealer and lacquer thinner together to create a more effective sealer or purchase a can of polyurethane sealer. Use a paintbrush to apply a thin coat of the sealer into the interior surfaces of each groove. Make sure to use protective gloves and wash hands thoroughly after application.

2. Preparing and Adding the Turquoise

When the appropriate cuts or grooves are set in place, it is time to add the turquoise. You can buy ready-to-use turquoise powder or you can crush small turquoise stone scraps into a fine powder yourself at home using metal sheets and a hammer. Put the appropriate amount of turquoise powder into the crack or groove. Insert as much inlay material as you can. You should have the powder bulge or extend above the top of the crack or groove. For deeper cracks, you can stuff it with a wadded paper towel and then coat with thin CA glue. Then put the turquoise powder on top of the hardened paper towel to conserve the turquoise powder. Turquoise liquid is also available that can be a cheaper alternative.

3. Choosing the Right CA Glue


4. Finishing Your Beautiful Inlay

Recoat the entire area with thin CA glue. If you need to fill in larger gaps or voids, use a medium CA glue. After the CA glue has fully cured and dried, sanding is the next and final step. Make sure to wear the proper protective equipment before sanding, such as safety goggles and a respirator mask. Use finer or higher grit sandpaper and sand your inlay until it is smooth. Do not press too hard on the sandpaper since CA glue works as a finish. Too much sanding can remove the finish. The inlay should be as smooth as the surface of the wood. You may use an electric sander for larger wooden inlay pieces.