Making cufflinks - using white wood filler to fill acrylic lettering
posted this on June 09, 2011 19:55
I needed to make some small spot prizes for our upcoming Kindergarten fundraiser, so I made a few small badges and cufflinks out of 3mm black acrylic, using local place names. The pieces are tiny - they measure about 1cm across, and contain heavy raster-engraved letters.
I forgot to tell our Production Manager to keep the paper on both sides before she cut the designs, and was a bit disappointed to see they had scorch marks all around the edges after they'd been cut. The writing was also really hard to read unless you held them up to the light, but I thought there must be some way to salvage them.
The first thing I did was see if I could remove the scorch marks from around the edges of the designs. Our Production Manager recommended trying Brasso, and I initially thought she was joking - but figured it was worth a go. I rubbed a tiny amount of Brasso onto a cotton bud and carefully applied it to the edges of the acrylic, before buffing it off with a clean cloth. To my pleasant surprise, the scorch marks all disappeared and left the surface beautifully glossy.
I then turned to the forums and saw that Josh Reuss mentioned he had used white wood filler on acrylic before, so I figured I’d give that a shot to see if it could possibly make the tiny letters more visible.
Using plain white wood filler, I used a piece of card to scrap it across the top of the raster engraving, so that the letters were completely filled. I then cleaned up the surface as much as possible, and after the filler had dried I ‘buffed’ the surface with a clean cloth.
Once everything was dried and clean, I used some coarse sandpaper to sand a strip on the back of the acrylic, before gluing the badge backings and metal cufflink attachments on. Sanding the back turns out to be an important step, otherwise the glue doesn’t have as strong a surface to bond to.
I also used the white wood filler on my little red acrylic apple cufflink designs, and am really pleased with the final effect! It definitely helps the designs ‘pop’ and tiny details become much clearer.