Epoxy Heart As Wedding Present

Introduction: Epoxy Heart As Wedding Present

I need a wedding present for a really good friend of mine. As a maker, it was clear, the present has to build by my self and the best sign for a wedding is a big heart.

The plan was, one part out of wood and the other side out of epoxy including the first letter of the names.

Sorry for the point, that I have nearly no pictures of the making off...

Supplies

Material:

  • clear epoxy
  • oak wood
  • black high-pressure laminate (not sure what's the correct english translation)

Tools:

  • Drill press
  • band saw / table saw
  • Disk sander
  • blowtorch

Step 1: Coating the Letters

At first I coat the three letters with a thin layer of clear epoxy. That is important, because otherwise a lot of air bubbles come out of the wood when you cast the big form and that looks really bad.

This step becomes more important the softer the wood is you are using. I was using oiled letters out of oak, so I think could skip this step, but I didnt have the time to cast a new heart if the first try fails. Because of this, I coat them.

Step 2: Rough Cut Out of the Parts and Building Cast Form

While the letters are drying the other parts could cut out. As you can see in the drawing, the plan was more wood instead of 50:50 epoxy and wood.

So first the rough contour of the wooden part could cut out with the table saw or the band saw. Also the size of the HPL plate could be masured and cut out. The HPL plate will be the backpanel of the epoxy part.


For the cast form I take three small wooden bricks covered in aluminium foil. The foil ensures that at the end you can remove the bricks easier from the epoxy. To save epoxy the cast form looks a bit like the heart I want to have. This is just to minimize the consumption of epoxy

Step 3: Casting the Heart

Next step when the form is finished I fill it with resin. First mix the resin as written in the manual. If you have a vacuum chamber put the resin in it to remove the air bubbles. I dont have one, so I try to mix the two parts of the resin as carefull as possible to get less air in it. The plan was that between the letters and the bottom should be around 1 cm. So I fill the form with resin up to 1 cm. After waiting a few hours, so the resin can dry a bit, I put the letters on the planed position. Especially at the beginning of the drying process I try to remove as much air bubbles at the surface as possible. To remove them I take the blowtorch, but you have to be really carefully not to overheat the resin! After putting in the letters I fill up the form as high as I want. In this case, I fill up to 0,5 cm below the top of the letters. Same procedure here, remove the air bubbles with the blowtorch.


Let everything dry, needs around 25 to 30 hours with my resin, but this depends on the resin you are using and the climat condition (e.g. temperature)

Step 4: Get Everything in the Right Shape

Last step for the heart: Get everything in the right shape. Therefore I cut the rough form out by using the table saw and the band saw. After that I work out the details by using my disk sander. Especially with by using this machine it is really important to protect yourself against the dust. Also important do not overheat the resin by using the disc sander.

Step 5: Making the Stand for the Heart

The heart should stand upright. So I need something to put it on. For the stand I use the same oak wood as I used for the heart. To get a nice contrast I use the blowtorch to get a burned wood finish.

For this finish you have to burn the wood so it is really black, if its burning, no problem. After cool down I use a wire brush to remove the ash to get the nice finish you see in the photo.

Step 6: Put Everything Together

Last step: Assembly and cleaning everything.


First I figure out in which angle the heart should stand on the baseplate. This angle is needet to cut the small side pice. When everything fits together I drill the holes in the baseplate, the heart and the side arm. The heart and the side arm where screwed to the baseplate from the bottom side. To get a rigid connection between heart and side arm I use a small pin which is fixed with some clue. The reason for using a pin was to build a unvisible connection. I dont want to have a visible screw head on the side.

When everything is fixed, the whole construction will be cleaned up and also polished a bit to get it as pretty as possible.

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