Introduction: Deconstructed Object Table
A few days ago I saw this photo of this deconstructed typewriter and I thought that it would look awesome if it was encased in epoxy and turned into a table so I tried to do that but with an old calculator. I'd like to say that, the outcome of this project did not meet my expectations but I do think it's a cool concept.I figured I'd post this build even if it was a bit of a fail so hopefully, someone else could learn from my mistakes and try this again.
- Epoxy (I used 1 gallon for a 1ft by 1ft table by 1.5" tall)
- Whatever item you want to deconstruct and encase (I used a calculator)
- Melamine board
- Square steel tubing
- Sandpaper going from 120 grit to 1000 grit
- Polishing compound(I just used car wax)
- Blowtorch or heat gun
- Bandsaw (any type of saw will work as long as it can cut the melamine sheet)
Step 1: Take Apart the Object
Firstly take apart whatever object you will be incasing in epoxy, in my case an old HP calculator(don't worry it was already broken). It really is up to you how much you take your object apart. I could have desoldered every single component and casted them but that seemed a bit tedious for me so I just kept the circuit boards together.
Step 2: Make the Mold
Next, I made the mold to cast the tabletop in. Before you do anything, I highly recommend spot testing your epoxy on your mold material to make sure it doesn't stick. To do this, pour a little bit of epoxy on your mold material and after letting it dry, try popping it off. If it doesn't pull off, use a different mold material. I did not do this and I had to spend 3 hours chiseling off melamine board.
After you have done that, I recommend laying out all the parts of your object and then drawing a box or rectangle around them to find the right size. Next, cut out melamine strips that are about 1" taller than the desired thickness of your tabletop. Next glue these around the perimeter of the box you just drew to make our mold. You can also line all the edges in caulk to prevent epoxy from leaking out.
Step 3: Lay Out Your Parts in Your Mold
Next, layout all your parts in your mold glue them to the bottom of your mold with epoxy.
Step 4: Mix Your Epoxy
After you have all parts glued down to the mold, mix your epoxy. If you have never mixed epoxy before, you need to mix it extremely well. It will look completely clear after a bit of stirring, but trust me, it's not! Stir for at least 3 minutes and until there are no separations in the epoxy.
Step 5: Pour Your Epoxy
After you have mixed your epoxy, pour it into your mold. Make sure it is set on a level surface so it does not set uneven. After this, run either a blowtorch or heat gun over the surface of the epoxy for a few seconds to get all the bubbles out to make it as clear as possible(make sure your epoxy isn't flammable before doing this).
Step 6: Demold the Table Top
Next, demold your tabletop. If you spot tested your mold material with your epoxy it should just pop out. If you didn't do that like me, unfortunately, you will have to spend a good amount of time chiseling your tabletop out of your mold.
Step 7: Sand and Polish Table Top
After you have demolded your tabletop, it's time to start the sanding and polishing process. If you had any blemishes or imperfections on the surface of your table, use low grit sandpaper like 120 grit to get these out. Next, I started the long and tedious polishing process. First, start with 180 grit sandpaper and then move up to 1000 grit going by around 100 grit intervals(180, 280, 380, etc..). After you have finished sanding with 1000 grit, polish the table with some sort of polishing compound. I found that buffing it with some car wax worked well for me.
Step 8: Add Table Legs
Once you have finished sanding and polishing the table, add your table legs. I used 1/2" steel square tubing for this. To attach them, I just heated the ends of them up and pushed them into each corner of the bottom of the table. I don't think this was the best method but it's all I had on hand so it's what I used. I think the best option would to used hairpin legs.
Step 9: Finish
After you've added your table legs you're pretty much done. Thanks for reading and let me know if you build one!
Participated in the
Epoxy Speed Challenge