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.