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How to Use Shell Veneer

Shell Veneer is so fun and easy to work with. All it takes is a little practice to take your creations  to the next level! Here are some steps to help you get started! 

1. Decide what your design is. 

Shell Veneer works great to inlay in jewelry, musical instruments, trays, signs and things like that. 

      Here are some examples of what we have made with Shell Veneer:

      Shell Veneer Projects

      These earrings are our shell veneer attached to our wood veneer:

      Shell veneer & wood veneer earrings

      2. It is best to attach it to something because by itself it is too fragile.

      Start by carefully taking the shell veneer out of the package.

      Abalone Natural Shell Veneer


      Our Shell Veneer comes with an unattached sheet of 3M. You can use it or another adhesive that you like. To attach the 3M adhesive, lay the shell face down on a flat surface and attach the 3M adhesive by removing one side of the 3M adhesive masking and gently but firmly adhering it.  

      If the veneer is flat and on a flat surface I will gently roll over the masking with a small roller. Once the 3M is attached you are ready to go! 

      Brayer Roller

      Lay the shell face up with the 3M backing down on your laser bed.  

      Pin the shell down carefully with honeycomb pins to keep it in one place when you start cutting. Sometimes the air assist fan can blow it out of place if you don’t pin it down. 

      Cut your design. We suggest Glowforge cut settings of 250 speed full power.  

      It will cut at a faster speed but since everyone’s lasers seem to cut differently, this is a good setting to start at.  

      You can score on the shell as well. The settings we use for this are 500 speed full power.  

      You can engrave on the shell but that kind of defeats the purpose of showing off the shell. Once the cut is done, carefully remove the pieces from the laser bed. Carefully unpeeled the 3M masking from the back of the 3M/shell and apply to your prepared design. 

      For information on preparing wood for inlaying, please see our tutorial on Engraving by following this link.

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