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Feather inlay question
Posted by: Paul Wood (---.columbus.res.rr.com)
Date: April 15, 2017 08:19AM

I just finished my first feather inlay on a rod, and while it turned out pretty well, the feathers lost a lot of their color when finished. I used different pheasant feathers and applied using CP. Prior to applying the epoxy, the hints of green and blue and vivid white were still apparent, but after the epoxy was applied, most of these colors were lost. Is there a trick to keeping these colors after epoxy? Are there feathers available that keep their colors?
Thanks in advance!

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Re: Feather inlay question
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.mskg.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: April 15, 2017 08:59AM

I have used pheasant feathers and have found them striking, with good retention of original color. I suspect either bad CP or not using enough of it. I use Flex Coat CP, and put some onto the surface on which to place the feathers. They should be fully soaked with CP. If the inlay is multi layered, every layer gets placed onto CP, so in the end, all the layers except the top layer will have multi coats. And I give that one another coat. And the colors are well retained.

CP can be damaged by freezing, so if yours was shipped in the winter , that might be it. Also, CP's like Flex Coat have to be mixed for every use. I have not found clear CP's to be as effective, but I have not tried all brands, I'm sure.

[www.rodbuilding.org]

Don't give up. It can be done once you figure out the problem.

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Re: Feather inlay question
Posted by: Paul Wood (---.sub-174-233-131.myvzw.com)
Date: April 15, 2017 11:26AM

Michael- I did almost exactly as you described, using Flex Coat CP. The only thing I didn't do was mix the CP. Can you share your formula for mixing?

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Re: Feather inlay question
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.mskg.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: April 15, 2017 01:16PM

Just use a slim stick to stir it for a couple minutes before using it. I think that CP has solids that can settle, so you want to disperse them throughout the fluid.

Some people wash their feathers, but I have never done that. I have enough trouble keeping them looking good without another step, and I've never had color problems or epoxy problems.

I can't think of anything else, other than there are a lot of builders on this forum who do feather inlays, and I expect them to chime in, maybe with some good ideas for this issue. But mixing the CP is important, and it may be the solution.

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Re: Feather inlay question
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 15, 2017 01:52PM

The background can also have an effect. If thin light colored feathers are on a dark background it can mute the colors.

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Re: Feather inlay question
Posted by: lewis morgan (---.dhcp.gwnt.ga.charter.com)
Date: April 15, 2017 05:39PM

Paul,
I have been doing feather inlays for years and taught classes on how to do them. I found that the U40 color preserver works best for me, tried several different brands but for me this is the best. The key to feathers to retain their color after applying preserve is to let them dry really good(like overnight) . I always apply 2 coats to my inlays before applying my finish to them.
You can go to Sun Coast Rod Crafters. com and click on feather inlays by Fuzz Morgan and you can see my step by step procedure.
Good luck --Fuzz Morgan---"KEEP THE RODS TURNING AND THE FEATHERS FLYING"

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Re: Feather inlay question
Posted by: Paul Wood (---.columbus.res.rr.com)
Date: April 15, 2017 06:03PM

Michael-I misunderstood your first post, and thought you mixed your CP with something. I'm new to rod building and had read a post about bubbles in CP, so I've never done anything to agitate or stir it. I'll definitely try that the next time. The rod you built in the link you posted looked awesome, btw!
Phil- I did two inlays on the rod I built...the first between the butt and the rear grip, and the second in front of the fore grip. One was done on gold colored thread (not metallic), and the other on a dark red. I used different feathers from the bird for each inlay, and they seemed to work well with the background color. I tested each with some feathers I wasn't going to use by wetting them and doing a test fit. When the epoxy was applied, the colors were muted on the dark red background far more than the gold. Thanks for the tip!
The rod I built was by far my favorite (my 7th), and really did turn out well. Any further advice with feather inlays will be most appreciated

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Re: Feather inlay question
Posted by: Paul Wood (---.columbus.res.rr.com)
Date: April 15, 2017 06:14PM

Fuzz- In a word, Amazing!!! Your work far exceeds my level, but maybe someday! Thanks for your help!

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Re: Feather inlay question
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.mskg.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: April 15, 2017 11:47PM

the comment on background makes a lot of sense. The inlay I posted was done on an ivory background, just about ideal. If on a dark background, might not have looked so good for two reasons. 1. Contrast of the darker feather colors against the light background 2. The light feather colors were not darkened by a dark background. Very important observation by Phil Erikson.

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