I started making this table last year after seeing the penny desk that Epbot made. I have to say, it certainly inspired me to get back into what I love doing.

And now we have my latest creation....

Let me know what you think :~)

Step 1: Let's Get Started :~)

You will need some materials to get started:

* table legs
* epoxy
* pennies
* 3/4" melamine or MDF (23" W  X  31" L )
* trim
* white glue
* Q-tips
* CLR cleaner
* plumbers torch

I happened to get this bar table for free. The legs were powder coated an ugly brown. I removed the coating from the legs with a grinder with an attached paint removal disk. If you don't have a grinder (noisy and creates a LOT of dust) you can use paint stripper.

Clean the pennies using CLR - but be careful: after 1998 (if not mistaken) the pennies were only copper PLATED. If you leave them in the cleanser for too long, they will turn kind of a rose colour.

For convenience, I used white melamine for the table backer - but next time I will just paint some MDF. Paint will be brighter and show better. I cut the melamine to the size I was after and was ready to lay down some pennies!!

<p>How many pennies did you use on the table? Looks really cool.</p>
<p>Thank you.</p><p> I used about 1500 pennies.</p>
<p>awesome </p>
<p>Thank you :~)</p>
what kind of epoxy did you use? the shine on it is amazing! I would love to attempt this!
<p>Hi Taylor - thanks for contacting me.</p><p>I used a cheaper epoxy from a local arts and crafts store called Michaels here in Canada. It was called Envirotex Lite. </p><p>If starting out like me, practice on a few pieces and learn as much as you can online before doing a big project. If you can afford it, go with West Systems epoxy - its what the pros use!</p><p>Send me a pic when you get it done. Love to see it :~)</p>
<p>For a smaller project idea, try &quot;coasters&quot; or &quot;trivets&quot; (trivets are like potholders for your tabletop. You can Google it if you are still not sure.) They would be great accents for a larger table, such as a dinette table.</p>
<p>Good idea for cold drinks but you can't warm/hot items on epoxy - it will melt it.</p>
Not much wood on this project huh
I've always wanted to do this. What about paper bills? <br>Should I do the same thing?
<p>Only thing I can tell you is - do what feels right, and do whatever makes you happy and believe in what you are doing. If you have a passion for doing something, it doesn't matter what me or anyone else thinks - though feedback is good :~)</p><p>I think paper bills would look pretty damn good, but make sure they aren't worth a lot of money first. If you mean doing it with $1, or $2 bills - sure why not. Have a look at my other Instructable, &quot;Vintage Ad Coffee Table&quot; for an idea if you want to use bills. Or find a pic of a bill you want and have it enlarged/blown up to a bigger size and put that on a small table or even a coffee table.</p><p>Hope that helps :~)</p>
<p>Maybe you can enclose paper bills in some sort of plastic before putting them in the epoxy. That way you MIGHT be able to salvage them some day.</p>
<p>Laminate them maybe...that would work. It is only the outer edges around the bill that would be joined.</p>
<p>Stunning work. And smart recycling. Thank you for sharing. Please do more. </p>
<p>I've read that it costs more than a penny to make a penny. <br>If this is true, what could be the reasoning?</p><p>Why don't we just phase out pennies?</p>
<p>Yes, that is correct. It costs more just to make one. High copper prices and cost to manufacture, therefore they reduced the amount of copper in the penny from 95-98% copper - down to only 5% or so.</p><p>We did phase out the penny in 2012.</p>
<p>Ah.<br>The Royal (Canoodlian) &quot;WE&quot; phased out the penny in 2012.</p><p>We 'Muricans still have pocketsful.</p><p>LOL.</p>
<p>LOL, you didn't know I am from Canada eh?</p>
<p>Don't Canadians say LOLA? :)</p>
<p>First time Ive heard of it....LOL eh?</p>
<p>Thank you.</p><p>I am always coming up with new ideas :~) Just have to keep watching......</p>
I wish I hadn't got rid of my pennies when they were discontinued this is awesome!
<p>Thank you :~)</p><p style="margin-top: 0.0px;margin-right: 0.0px;margin-bottom: 10.0px;margin-left: 0.0px;font-family: Arial , Helvetica , Verdana , Tahoma , sans-serif;font-size: 15.0px;border-right-style: none;border-bottom-style: none;border-left-style: none;background-image: none;">I was able to grab a bunch from the bank just before the crack down. Once they closed that door, I was able to ask some friends - everyone seems to have a jar of some kind with pennies and other coins in them.</p><p style="margin-top: 0.0px;margin-right: 0.0px;margin-bottom: 10.0px;margin-left: 0.0px;font-family: Arial , Helvetica , Verdana , Tahoma , sans-serif;font-size: 15.0px;border-right-style: none;border-bottom-style: none;border-left-style: none;background-image: none;">How's life out in Chestermere? A lot of steady growth that way in the last 20 years hey? Didn't they just approve another gigantic development out that way?</p>
Yes it is blowing up right now! Stony trail got finished and we got a Walmart down the road. Plus we are getting a whole bunch more stores and development on the west side of town.
<p>Years ago, there was a bar in Wheeling WV that had the surface done in assorted coins. When asked, the owner said I wouldn't believe how much change the tipsy patrons left behind.</p>
<p>Wow, I bet it was a lot :~)</p>
<p>I have a question. I don't know how much this weighs, but would it be <br>possible to just mount the coins tightly in the frame without the glue, <br>between 2 pieces of plexiglass and then mount the plexiglass on some <br>little pegs about 1&quot; to 1/2&quot;, strategically placed for strength of course, over the bottom <br> which has a mirrored surface so one could see both sides of the coins? And, instead of cutting the coins, just leave the spaces, gives it a lovely lace look:) <br> Does this make any sense to anyone but me?:) Love the Lincoln pennies <br> put in there too.</p>
<p>It has good weight to it. It is solid and won't be blown over by wind.</p><p>Ok, your question makes sense to me - you want to kinda put it on silts with a mirror under it to see bith sides of the coins: </p><p>1) if the coins are tightly grouped together like on my table - you won't be able to see underneath except from the sides/edges. You would want to space out the coins enough to be able to see the reflection from any angle of observation.</p><p>2) it would be a real pain trying to hold those coins in position btw 2 plexi pieces while you work and assemble your table.</p><p>3) get a piece of glass the size you want, put on 2-3 coats of wax and buff it off well. Build a border around the glass (say~1&quot;), pour in enough epoxy to get half way up the border, let it harden, put your coins in spaced out enough, pour the rest of the epoxy over that and up to the edge of your border. Let it harden for 2-7 days, remove border. NOW - you have your suspended coins, which you can put on a framed mirror held up by pegs or stilts in the corners.</p><p>Hope that give you some ideas for your project. Just don't finish it till AFTER the Woodworking contest ;~)</p>
<p>Oh, here it is!:) Had trouble finding the site again. If I put a thin coat of epoxy on the bottom sheet of plexiglass, just enough to secure the coins, and then put the coins on and put the top plexiglass on and maybe epoxied the corners and spots on the edges, then put that on several little clear plastic stilts, maybe 2&quot; or so, epoxied on the bottom sheet of the plexiglass, like how one does for a tiered cake, that should take away some of the weight and lift the coin sheet so you can see underneath. Then, put that on the mirrored table. Would that work? I'm just not sure if I can find all that epoxy and don't think I could lift it if I did. I'm a weenie:) Yeah, I didn't think about spacing out the coins, but that's a great idea. One could use different types, dimes, nickles, quarters, and it would avoid cutting and reduce the weight. I love thinking outside of the box. That's why I want to be cremated:) Yeah, I'll wait, until after the contest:) I have to clean the yard and garage. And, of course, there's a nap to take:)</p>
<p>No, I was thinking without the plexiglass. Instead, imbed the coins into the epoxy (gives the impression its floating). Im assuming these are not valuable collector coins though. Imagine 1-1.5&quot; of sold epoxy with coins floating in the middle. Mount that over a mirror with clear plexi or metal or wood stilts/posts in the corners to elevate it. (to get a glass like surface underneath, you must pour the epoxy onto a glass surface - then pop it off there when it cures. THEN the bottom of the epoxy will be...glass smooth.)</p>
<p>Bessy F B My same thoughts ,also it would not damage the coins and if and when the table top gets marked up you could replace the plexiglass . For those looking for 1 cent coins E-bay has great deals on rolls or by the pound.</p>
<p>Has anyone asked about the one penny that is heads up, and why you did it?</p>
<p>Damn it! Im going to have to take that up with my quality control dept.</p><p>It was obviously a mistake that I made - thanks for pointing that out......kinda. </p><p>I didn't even see it to tell you the truth. I think what had happened was when I was trimming down the board after making it too big - I hit some of the pennies with my saw blade, popping some off. In a haste to replace them, I probably put it on without thinking. :~)</p>
<p>don't beat yourself up about it, I really like it! I likened it to the work of the masters, or architecture, where in some minds that perfection is divine so we as humans can not truly achieve it.</p><p>Years ago, and I still remember, I was on a tour of some sort for college at a large public library where we were studying architecture/perspective drawing. The sides of the main staircase were lined with small pillars which formed the side rails and the instructor pointed out that of these numerous pillars the second to last one at the top on one side was... upside down for the very reason I mentioned above. :)</p><p>And if anyone asks, it was all part of the plan ;)</p>
<p>Well it looks as though I've had one of those Marty McFly moments: all the Canadian ones were shown with the maple leafs up and the US ones were kept with their main faces showing up as well eg: Lincoln etc. Having the faces showing was the goal regardless of where the penny came from.</p><p>Thank you for the nice compliment &quot;likening it to the work of the masters&quot;.</p>
<p>Gee, I thought it was because the States and Canada always have each others backs:) After all, we're both in North America:)</p>
<p>Of course we got each others backs :~)</p>
<p>We did this in an old apartment. A couple years ago we did a booth at the Bay Area Makers Faire showing how to do it. I created a quick reference flyer to hand out that includes calculations of cost per square foot for the different coins. You can get it here: http://www.artifacturestudios.com/how-to/</p>
<p>Got any pics of those projects?</p><p>Thanks for the useful quick reference write-up.</p>
http://www.artifacturestudios.com/archives/619/<br><br>It's also on Make:Projects with more pictures<br>http://makezine.com/projects/Install-a-Penny-Countertop/
<p>That looks pretty good, I was actually looking into making a custom bar top using bottles caps instead of pennies. </p>
<p>Cool. Pennies would be my choice. Richer looking, better conversation piece whereas bottle caps scream 'frat-house' IMO :~)</p>
<p>How did you finish the edges of the table?</p>
<p>I attached the painted wood trim to the sides to the table top. When I poured on the epoxy, I let it flow over the side of the table/over the trim.</p>
<p>VERY nice! I am entertaining a similar project where I encase old cassette tapes! After the final pour, did you have to buff the surface, or was it that glossy and pristine when dried? Thanks.</p>
<p>Thank you :~)</p><p>I'd love to see some pics when done. Sounds cool.</p><p>No, epoxy dries to a clear, glass like surface - and it 'self-levels' too.</p><p>As long as you don't burn it when using the torch to get out the bubbles. Also, you must be careful about getting contaminants in the epoxy - this is difficult but not impossible to avoid. I pour the epoxy on and careful slide a piece of wood over the project to cover it from airborne dust. After 15mins. - I slide that off and then use the torch on the bubbles and brush away any drips underneath. I slide the cover back on and wait another 15mins and repeat the process.</p><p>Hope that helps :~)</p>
<p>What did you mean by you &quot;did 3 pours&quot;?</p>
<p>Sorry I didn't expand on that.</p><p>When I did the first thick pour/coat of epoxy over the entire table, it was not deep enough to cover the pennies completely. When it dried I could see small ridges around the pennies after the epoxy dried. I did a second pour/coat of epoxy which was fine and provided a nice glass surface on top when dry. BUT, there were dried epoxy drips all along the bottom edge underneath, so I sanded those down. The sides/trim had ripples in the epoxy and I didn't like that. I sanded those down to the paint and did a 3rd coat/pour of epoxy. THIS TIME: I heated the epoxy in hot water before mixing (flows way easier) and used painters tape underneath near the edge to stop the epoxy. When I poured, it flowed really well over the top and down the sides - this time I used a small fine paint brush to feather/thin out the epoxy on the sides and underneath to prevent those epoxy drips. Epoxy is a self levelling liquid. On a vertical surface it just drops - no consistency = you have to be careful and lightly brush it out. </p><p>Hope that helps :~)</p>

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