Introduction: Frozen Sea Water Console

Picture of Frozen Sea Water Console

So, this is my first time on instructables, but not the first wooden creation I made. First idea was a little different from what came out in the end, but as you can see it looks good.

I failed to document all the work done with this, but I hope it will show how the work was going.

And a word about the name. When you are at the beach and the waves come to the shore they create sort of a foam (not sure if it's clear to understand). But the resin looks like this foam was frozen, so that's what this piece is called.

Step 1: The Slab

Picture of The Slab

I've acquired a walnut slab with beautiful natural cracks. First I planned to crack it to the end and put a piece of glass between two parts of this wood. But I thought taht it would be a nice thing to fill the cracks with epoxy resin.

Step 2: Taping the Slab

Picture of Taping the Slab

I do not have photos of all the process, but I used a packing tape to close all the holes co the resin don't stick my slab to the board I placed it on. Then mixed the epoxy and pored it into the cracks. First pour was to thick, co the epoxy boiled and a lot of air was closed in it.

Step 3: More Epoxy

Picture of More Epoxy

After the expoxy settled time came to add more. I had some difficulties with the resin, caused by temperature. While epoxy hardens it creates temperature and the tape started metling so i feared that it will flood everytihn near, but after adding more tape it all went more or less as planned.

Step 4: Plannig the Slab and Finishing Touch

Picture of Plannig the Slab and Finishing Touch

That's the part where most pictures are unfortunately missing. I used a wood planner to level the slab and get rid of the extra epoxy. After doing so time came to sand it. First with 80 grit using 120 and 180 and 400/500 grit sandpaper. When it looked good enough I used waterproof sandpaper with grits of 800, 1200 and 2500 (as far as I remember). When the sanding was done, time came to cover it with transparent varnish. I put 6 or 7 layers of it.

Step 5: The Effect

Picture of The Effect

Legs for this console were made from steel, welded as seen on the picture. The steel is 20 by 30 mm. There's is not much to say about it except that I was carefull to keep all the angles 90 degrees. The legs have been also covered with clear varnish but were not polished before to look more "rough".

Step 6: The End

Picture of The End

After all the pouring, sanding, welding and screwing legs to the slab the work was done. I didn't enjoy having it at home neither to take proper photos because it was sold just another day after the work was completed.

Hope you enjoy this little project, and if you have any questions feel free to ask them.

Regards from Polang

Gabriel

Comments

JimF93 (author)2016-09-27

Fantastic look! This gives me some great ideas. I have done a slab bench, and slab table in the past, but both times, they were done with solid non-cracked slabs. I think the natural cracks add SO much additional character and doing the project the way you did it, the end product is good quality and very solid. Not having a technique like this has what has kept me away from working with wood such as this. I hope to use some ideas here in the future. THANK you very much for this great guide.

Gabriel_S_PL (author)JimF932016-09-27

Thank you very much Jim, I'm happy to inspire you. You may also want to look at my other project to get more ideas ;)

jleslie48 (author)2016-09-23

I think I speak for a lot of folks in that its the epoxy that is the devil. I have no idea how to use it. Could you add some steps showing how the epoxy works? I mean from what to buy from the hardware store (what YOU actually bought,) what you used to mix it, prepare it, did you check the weather/temp?, drop cloths use, etc.)

TIA, Jon

Gabriel_S_PL (author)jleslie482016-09-23

So... In a comment below I gave info on the resin. You need mixing cups. What I found on the web is "3 cups mixing" - one for resin, one for hardener and one to mix the ingredients. Important thing is to mix small amout in a wide vessel. The reason is simple - large amount in a narrow vessel will imediately boil (resin produces high temperature while curing).

So I bought the resin and the cups (like shown here, mine was 0,8 litre as far as I remember). Cups are avaliable online for sure and (in my case) a local car lacquer shop.To mix it together I used, already prepared, wooden sticks (like one of these).

My epoxy is mixed in weight ratio, so I used an old weight (like this) to measure the right amount. And the ratios should be as precise as possible, otherwise the resin would cure to fast or... never cure.

For safety, of course, latex gloves (click here) and and clothes that are only for dirty work. If you get a resin stain on anythig, you'll never wash it off.

About the epoxy. There are diffferent types avaliable to buy, some mixed by weight other by volume with different ratios. Best would be 1:1 ratio, cause it's just easier to measure the proper amounts of resin and hardener.

Good thing about epoxy is that, that it doesn't smell bad, and with caution can be mixed at home).

I didn't check the temperature, it was hot like hell outside and sure about 20-25 Ceslius in my workshop, so the conditions were perfect for resin work.

Hopefully I helped you a bit with your questions. With new projects I will sure document the process of measuring, mixing and pouring the resin, but for that you'll have to be a little patient ;)

jleslie48 (author)Gabriel_S_PL2016-09-23

thanks for the description. I will want to see it step by step before I play the chemist.

SherylinRM (author)2016-09-21

Just an idea.

One, dye the resin a light blue. Nothing too deep. Just as a hint of water coloured.

Two, a friend of mine would use an old sander, the kind that went back and forth, and touch the object he had pour a large amount of resin into in order to remove bubbles.

It had no sandpaper on it. He just needed the vibration.

Anyhow, thought it might help for the next one :)

It looks very good and I just wish I had a safe place to do one as well.

The fumes can be very bad when indoors.

Thanks for this project :)

Gabriel_S_PL (author)SherylinRM2016-09-21

Thanks for the ideas, however I did'nt want to colour the resin. And vibrating the resin? That might be something worth trying, will sure think about it next time ;)

About the fumes, epoxy resin is much less smelly than poliurethane ones and, from my experience, can be prepared and poured indors. But of course ventilation is required, as always when working with chemicals.

SherylinRM (author)Gabriel_S_PL2016-09-22

I use to vibrate many things. However those with water in them like plaster and cement you have to be careful not to let too much of the water come up and out.

But resins etc are fine to vibrate the bubbles out of :)

Kinnishian (author)2016-09-21

Hi, I think that sounds like it has worked well for you in the past and experience is a powerful benchmark in my opinion.

That said, I would just mention if you get into more composite-type resin work, it is likely something to read up on (as clearly I don't *know* the answer but I think I know there is some answer out there.) I am fairly confident that the strength of the resin changes quickly when straying far from the formula.

Gabriel_S_PL (author)Kinnishian2016-09-21

Of course I did a lot of research on the epoxy over the web. There are many types of epoxy (meaning resin-hardener ratio). After gathering all the knowledge I chose the 2:1 weight ratio. You are right that the further you go from the manufacturer instructions on the ratios the different the epoxy will be (more elastic or hard but still clear).

There are types of resin that you mix with 1:1 ratio, but for the same amount I'd have to pay a lot (like 5 or 6 time) more than I did.

Kinnishian (author)Gabriel_S_PL2016-09-21

Oh, yeah! Not to be mistaken- I think what you're doing is perfect for the application. More a word to "if you go into other stuff, and apply the same technique, it might not work."

I'm absolutely on board with you on the costs of resins in bulk. Sadly they are damn expensive! I've been always dreaming of finding someone who works in the industry who can get me less expensive barely expired resin, or something like that (I imagine the high tech composites industry, for example, sometimes manages to waste resin and wouldn't use anything expired due to the extreme performance demands.)

Similar issue in general with fabrics like quality fiberglass (less so) but definitively with carbon fiber - I know the market price for big quantities is somewhat reasonable, but the ability to get reliable sources as a hobbyist is quite hard.

Gabriel_S_PL (author)Kinnishian2016-09-22

Doing other stuff with resin... a few years back my brother made motorcycle fairing with fiberglass and poliurethane resin (click here and here (lamp, freont fender and half of the rear end)) and I hleped him. It was like 4th or 5th thing done with this method. More or less I think i'd manage to make something out of galss or carbon fiber materials.

You gave me an idea. There is a company,1 hour drive that makes resins (Ciech Sarzyna). Maybe they'd have some barely expired resin... anyways I still have about 3-4kg of epoxy to use, so I'll think about it in the future.

Kinnishian (author)Gabriel_S_PL2016-09-21

Oh, yeah! Not to be mistaken- I think what you're doing is perfect for the application. More a word to "if you go into other stuff, and apply the same technique, it might not work."

I'm absolutely on board with you on the costs of resins in bulk. Sadly they are damn expensive! I've been always dreaming of finding someone who works in the industry who can get me less expensive barely expired resin, or something like that (I imagine the high tech composites industry, for example, sometimes manages to waste resin and wouldn't use anything expired due to the extreme performance demands.)

Similar issue in general with fabrics like quality fiberglass (less so) but definitively with carbon fiber - I know the market price for big quantities is somewhat reasonable, but the ability to get reliable sources as a hobbyist is quite hard.

JerryM4 (author)2016-09-20

that belongs in your front room. Looks great.

Gabriel_S_PL (author)JerryM42016-09-20

It belongs in someones room now. Sold it just after it was finished. And thank you :)

JerryM4 (author)Gabriel_S_PL2016-09-21

Where did you get that piece of wood from?

Gabriel_S_PL (author)JerryM42016-09-22

There is a guy near my home town that sells wood. Almost anything you want, ash, oak, walnut,acacia and many many more. But... it's in Poland

David Catriel (author)2016-09-20

Very cool project. Can you provide some info on the epoxy you used? I've been thinking of trying this stuff out. For example, brand, container size, approximate cost, how much was used for this project, etc ?

Thanks. The epoxy is Techniart, Techniplas 400 (I thinks it's made in Poland). I bought 3 kilograms (2 kg epoxy, 1 kg hardener) .It cost me 140 PLN (about 50USD) and I used almost al of it. Very little left, less than 0,5 kg. And, as the company (Techniart) says it's a "flooring system", but works fine with wood.

Great, thx for the info. This is helpful!

amcgamcg (author)2016-09-20

This is a lovely piece of garden furniture. Well done!

wquoyle (author)amcgamcg2016-09-20

I'd say too good for the garden. :) I'd happily have it in my hall.

@Gabriel: Lovely work, I know exactly what you mean about the seafoam, we get a lot of it blowing off the North Sea around here.

amcgamcg (author)wquoyle2016-09-21

Lovely inside and outside!!!

Gabriel_S_PL (author)wquoyle2016-09-20

Thank you, and honestly, I've never seen frozen seafoam, I only imagined that it must look something like that :)

Gabriel_S_PL (author)amcgamcg2016-09-20

Thanks, and like @wquoyle said it wa smeant to be inside the house :)

Glowe49 (author)2016-09-20

It really is a beautiful piece, I'm currently working on a burr oak piece using luminescent powders suspended in the resin. Do you think the price you got for yours covered the amount of work you had to do on it? At the moment it is a labour of love. Hope you do more and good luck with it.

Gabriel_S_PL (author)Glowe492016-09-20

To be honest, I'm not sure if it did. But just like you said, it's about love, so any income is satisfying. The cash I got let me buy more resin and another slab of walnut, and I started another project already. As soon as it's done, a new instructable will be avaliable. And thank you, every comment on this makes me want to create something new :)

Glowe49 (author)Gabriel_S_PL2016-09-21

Glad to help, I look forward to seeing the new piece. Carry on the good work, it's impressive.

kirk thill (author)2016-09-20

Beautiful, I made a glass table this size and used copper pipe. It shines up nice with a little sanding and I used varnish to stop the tarnishing. I have made large sculpture pieces in epoxy and was very lucky. I cut down on the catalyst and had no problem with heat. Although sometimes I would find a few tiny bubbles of uncured resin during the sanding. It still turned out crystal clear. Lots of sanding though. ugh.

Gabriel_S_PL (author)kirk thill2016-09-21

Thanks. I'd like to see a picture of your glass copper table, must look awesome. What you say about cutting down on the hardener may be frustraiting. When doing it on purpouse you may expect the epoxy not to cure, but if you want it hard and be super crystal clear the A:B ratio must be exact. Otherwise, while sanding it would be like rubber. In my project I used a heat blower to help the resin cure and harden.

Mr Joshua (author)2016-09-20

Looks fantastic. Walnut is beautiful!

Gabriel_S_PL (author)Mr Joshua2016-09-20

Thank you! Beautiful, a bit expensive but the way it looks polished makes it worth it :)

BobF68 (author)2016-09-20

Less hardener will lower the heat on the epoxy, you can also pour smaller layers at a time, and they make a black dye that would have, in my opinion, made the project more attractive.

Kinnishian (author)BobF682016-09-20

Is the hardener exclusively a catalyst? I am not sure if it is good to tweak the ratios more than 10-30%, because otherwise they wouldn't sell 30min, 5min , 60min, epoxy ect. You would just have different ratios of A:B to produce a given hardening time. I think the answer is if you're using a resin set to cure in 30 minutes use a resin set for 60+mins to get a cooler cure. Also, you can slightly chill the A:B which slows heat build up not so much because it has to be warmed up but because the chilled A:B react more slowly and so can't get heat ramping runaway.

Dunno, though. I genuinely meant my first question - are you sure that just changing the hardener percentage is an acceptable way at least in applications where you're using the resin for structural purposes.

I also may be conflating epoxy work with resin work, and I realize I could be totally off-base as a result. Thanks for any feedback!

Gabriel_S_PL (author)Kinnishian2016-09-20

The epoxy I use is resin:hardener = 2:1 weight proportions. Less hardener will make the epoxy cure longer and it might end (if the amout of hardener is too small) with the epoxy never cured, and will aways be rubber-alike. Not on purpouse I tweak the ratios about 20% while weighting the epoxy and the hardener (the weight I use is not to precise) and can tell you.

With another project that I'm on now, and some experience gathered with this I poured the resin very thin and it didn't tend to boil (except for the first time, I mixed almost 1kg, and it boiled in the mixing cup, luckilly not in the slab)

Gabriel_S_PL (author)BobF682016-09-20

Less hardener will make the epoxy cure longer and let all the air bubbles leave the mixture so it's glass-alike clear. Of course, smaller layers prevent the resin from boiling, and that's how I do it in my next project. Black dye you say? It would be different, but my first idea was to make it clear (as said in the instructable) and the seafoam effect was "accidental".

dramamama1961 (author)2016-09-20

I love raw edge slab work:)

Thank you! :)

calistoar (author)2016-09-20

Nice table, Gabriel!!. Good work!!!. And you somehow covered the open ends of the square ( oh, well, rectangular...) steel pipe?

Gabriel_S_PL (author)calistoar2016-09-20

Thank you :) The only open ends of the pipe are with the horizontal pieces that touch the ground/floor. When you look from the side the legs look as in the picture here, so that I could mount the slab to them. Drilled holes and took screws to put it together

vtafoya (author)2016-09-20

I'm really impressed. By it's beauty and simplicity. Thank you! You have inspired me. I live in the middle of the forest in Oregon and actually have tons of lumber laying about, and i used to use epoxy all the time fabricating countertops. I just gotta give er a go

Gabriel_S_PL (author)vtafoya2016-09-20

Thank you! :) and lucky you that you have all the lumber just at your fingertips, I envy you ;) wood with epoxy and a little imagination can gice really impresive effects, just gotta try, and if you try once you'll see beauty i nevery crack or knot ;)

marksstudio (author)2016-09-20

Nice job. Good Instructable.

Gabriel_S_PL (author)marksstudio2016-09-20

Thank you :)

ChrisS487 (author)2016-09-20

Looks great! Well done.

Gabriel_S_PL (author)ChrisS4872016-09-20

Thanks :)

mschober (author)2016-09-20

Eine tolle Idee! Das Ergebnis ist einfach super!!! Ich bin
neidisch.

Gabriel_S_PL (author)mschober2016-09-20

Vielen Dank :)

Bwmaverick (author)2016-09-20

Very nice looking piece. Can you please elaborate on the cost of the slab? I know they can be very expensive. Especially around here. Thank you for your time and keep up the good work!

Gabriel_S_PL (author)Bwmaverick2016-09-20

The slab itself, the wood it was 110 or 120 PLN which is like 30-40 USD, and you are right walnut is quite expensive.

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Bio: 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 ... More »
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