Epoxy River Coffee Table

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Introduction: Epoxy River Coffee Table

About: Hello, my name is Gabriel, born and raised in south-east Poland. Even though my grandfather and father were working with wood all their lives I got interested in it in 2014. Somehow I didn't feel like crafti...

Some time ago I managed to make my first instructable presenting to you guys a console table with epoxy resin inlays. Now it's time for somethin new. Epoxy River Coffee Table - walnut slab with resin.

Hope you enjoy the story!

Step 1: Cleaning and Removing Bad Things

So, I've acquired another great slab of walnut. Originally it was 2,5 meters long so decision was made to cut it in half. After doing so, the slab cracked into 2 beautiful pieces. I used a steel brush and a drill to remove cortex from the edges and all ather loose pieces off rotten wood. Of course the slab was leveld and sanded a bit.

Step 2: The Connection

In order to put resin on this beauty I had to connect the slabs somehow. So the slabs were drilled with a 12mm drill and prepared to fit a 12mm stainles tube.

Step 3: 1st Pour

After taping the back with packing tape time came to do the first pour of resin. I used the same epoxy that was used with the pervious work (click here). A thin layer of well mized epo cured to be beautifully crystal clear.

Step 4: Meantime Activities

In the meantime between pours of epoxy I welded legs for this coffee table. 6 by 2 steel profile was cut into short pieces and welded (with a little help from my friend). I used flap sanding discs to "polish" the steel, nut the effext did not satisfy me so I sanded it with 120/150/180 grit sanding paper to give it a satin look.

Step 5: More and More...

Pouring thin layers of epoxy took a long time, every pour cured 16 to 24 hours and took ages to do it. But finally all the cracks were filled with resin and left for 3 days to cure. Why 3? To be sure that it hardened perfectly.

Step 6: Preparations Befor Sanding

When the resin got 100% hard it was time to remove the protective tape. The first impression was great, but looking close I saw that the tape folded and it was visible through the resin. But before any further work I had to see if what I have done already was consistent with the vision in my head how it was supposed to look like. And surprisingly it looks just like in my head 4 weeks ago.

Step 7: Sanding, Sanding...

Being sure that the epoxy is cured I started sandig it with a 100 grit paper. I use this tool, doing it manually would take another month to get rid of all the extra resin. The pictures were taken halfway through snading. Still a lot to work on, and most important polishing the epoxy to high gloss.

You have to remember this important thing: when sanding epoxy resin the amount of white dust is unbelievable and covers everything what's in your workshop. It's good to use a dust mask and all avaliable protective gear you can think of. Just for your own health.

Step 8: More Sanding

After all the previous sanding I had to sand it a bit more to smooth the surface (resin), but still to be a bit rough (wood).

Step 9: Water and Sanding Paper

When the slab was sanded time came to work on the resin inlay. I used water sandpaper (1000, 1500, 2000, 2500) and manually sanded it. Too a while to do it, but it looked better and better.

Step 10: Polishing the River

After water sandind the resin was still mat. To polish it I used Tempo and a furry polishing pad. THe resin was polished on all sides (top, bottom, left and right). Also used a special polish used by my brother to polish restored and painted motorcycle parts. Unfortunately I don't know the producer of it.

Step 11: Metal Work

The slab was polised and to have a little break on the woodwork I measured the right places to drill holes in the legs. 8mm and 16mm drills were used (I want to hide the bolts screwing them from below). Slightly polished the metal was covered with clear spray varnish. As you can see in the pictures the slab is slightly darker on the edges, but you'll read about it the the next step ;)

Step 12: Finishing

The work is almost finished. The wood sanded, epoxy polished and all put toghether to see how it fits.

Step 13: Oiling the Slab

To finish the woodwork I thought of usig sepcial oil. All the information on it is in the picture, except for the price, a 0.8 litre can costs about 80 PLN (about 20 USD). It's a german product, and gives very satisfying effects on the wood, and no matter if it's oak, ash, pine or walnut. Satin touch and look.

Ther one thing that you might want to look out when applying the oil. It somehow reacts wtih the epoxy and makes it mat. Even when left for a few seconds it ruins all the polishing work.

Step 14: The Last Step

Now the Epoxy River Coffee Table is done. Legs screwed to the slab, all the wooden surface covered with oil so final toush to the resin is being taken. For the fact, the the epoxy reacted with oil, it's was polished again.

The work is done, workshop cleaned and gathering ideas for another piece of woodwork. Hope you have enjoyed my instructable. If you have any questions feel free to ask them.

2 People Made This Project!

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6 Questions

I love your beautiful work!
I have a question. Which brand and what product name of epoxy did you use for it?

Brand: Techniart, product: Techniplast 400. I found it and bought it over the internet.

1 more answer

thank you so much! I will try to make one!

How many millimeters did you add per layer of Epoxy?

It was more or less 5 millimeters. Thanks to that it didn't boil.

what where your dimensions of the wood? How much epoxy did you use?

Whole slab was about 2,5 meters long and more or less 50 cm wide, 2 inches thick.
It took about 3 kilograms of epoxy to fill th e gap.

How much epoxy did you use? Could you tell me the length width and depth of that gap?

o'Dimensions of the gap are (more or less) length 110cm, width 5 cm and depth 4 cm. Not long ago I sold it and can't give you precise dimensons.

I used about 3 kilograms of the epoxy. It was done a long time ago and can't remember exactly.

0

Roughly how much did all the materials cost you to make this?

To be honest, I can't remember ;) but more or less it was about 800 PLN which is 200$ I think.

Three questions. Where did you purchase the rods holding the 2 pieces together? What did you use to get the rods into the holes? And is it just packaging tape on the end to hold the resin between the slabs?

Q 1: my brother bought them for me in some "metal shop", not shure where it was.
Q 2: Hole were drilled, rods were cut and I just hamerred it all together.
Q 3: Yes, just packing tape, in taped along and across a few times.

38 Comments

Perhaps acrylic dowels would work for the connections (if not too
delicate or flexible). They might "vanish" into the poured resin, making
the joining method completely invisible...?

3 replies

Would cutting a channel on the underside of the live edge and letting the resin flow deeper into each half of the slab provide enough surface area for good bonding? It would still be hidden under the live edge and you could leave the router cut rough for better adherence.

It might be a good idea to do so, but still I didn't find a way to set the parts of the slab firmly, so they don't move and make the epoxy flow out to waste...

That is an option, but I fear that acrylic might crash... The stainless tubes were fit pretty tight and after hammering the in place there was and is no way to separate parts of the slab. And, I did't wabt to use any glue because I have no idea what can happen to resin when it contacts the glue.

could you dye the epoxy if you wanted to?

1 reply

Of course, there are different coloring powders for epoxy, just need to search the web ;)

For now I wanted to try clear one, but who knows, maybe next time the epoxy will be colored ;)

Wow, im impress with your work , how i wish i can do with my teak wood , i have a plantation of forest teak wood back in my village , hope i can start doing it

1 reply

If I had a plantation I'd probably quit my regular job and spend the rest of my life in the workshop making new things :) and of course you can, a little knowledge , good attitude and faith in your own abillities, some tools and place to work ;)

Thank you, my pleasure that I could make you smile :)

Very beautiful and well done, you started with a very special piece of wood, may I ask where you found it?

1 reply

There is a guy one hour drive from my hometown that has a lot of different types of wood (oak, ash, walnut) and asked him to show me what he has, picked this one and started the work ;) I'm from Poland btw ;)

You've done a beautiful job working with an interesting live edge treatment. I've seen similar work on the internet before and I'm always glad to see someone else doing this type of table construction. One of my inspirational bookmarks for this type of work is http://gregklassen.com. One of these days I plan to try one of this type of table as a dining room table (I've got to finish building a house first (75% complete)). Since I've done stained glass and glass carving work before (and still have all the hand tools and some of the power tools) I feel up to the challenge of working the plate glass to imitate Greg Klassen's style of work. I have some 8/4 slabs of 100 year old Texas Pecan with live edges I've already set aside. We'll see what the future holds.

1 reply

The gregklassen.com works are really nice, perfectly finished... and that's the thing, they are too perfect... I prefer a style with a little more roughness, a bit more imperfestions than the wood itself has.

I would love to see the wood that you have prepared and the results of your work with the slabs.

I wish you luck with building the house and after it's done, with live edges.

Just beautiful. Forwarding to my husband for inspiration since he has been wanting to make a live edge slab project!

1 reply

I'm glad and very happy to be inpiration :) thank you

would you ever consider joining the 2 slabs with glass or plexy rod instead? it would disappear once the epoxy was added...
just wondering

1 reply

Actually I didn't think about it, but the steel rods here were fit pretty tight and hammered in the slab. After fitting them, there was no way to separate the slab pieces. Glass or plexy would probably be destroyed while doing that kind of stuff, and one thing for sure I didn't want to use any glue or that kind of stuff because I didn't know how would epoxy react with glue. I could have use resin to glues them, but it would complicate the project.