Introduction: Epoxy Resin Playing Cards Box
In this project, I will be going over the steps I took to make a playing cards box for my grandparents. I used both wood and epoxy resin in this project. This was one of the first times I actually used epoxy resin and I have to say it turned out quite nice. Enjoy!
- 10-inch sticks of pinewood x 8-10
- Epoxy resin bottles
- Resin dye (I use color pour)
- Thin wood (2mm or more) sheet
- Teak oil (for finish)
- Something to cut the wood (e.g mini hacksaw)
- Wood glue
- Orbital sander (or just sanding paper) - Make sure to have a variety of grits from 60 - 320. Wet sanding paper as well for the epoxy resin.
Step 1: Measurements and Preliminary Cutting
The first step of the process is to identify the necessary measurements for the box. On average playing cards are about 9x6cm, including the thickness of the wood (0.5cm) and some clearance for the cards (0.5cm), my final dimensions were 11.5x16.5 cm. I recommend these dimensions are varied depending on the dimensions of your cards.
Step 2: The Base
The first step was creating a suitable base for the box. I already knew I wanted to incorporate epoxy resin into the design which is why I made the base a mold for the resin. I started off with the bottom of the mold (the thin wood sheet) and cut it to the dimensions of the box (11.5x16.5cm). I then cut the wood stick pieces to size and glued them atop the wood sheet in the pattern shown in the images (I used wood glue).
Once this was complete, I had my base/mold. The next step is pouring the epoxy resin in. (you will notice that the space for the resin plus one layer of wood around it will be the allocated area for the playing cards)
Side note: I was a bit lazy in cutting the lengths of the pieces to the perfect size you might notice some slight discolourations where I used wood filler after everything was done.
Step 3: Pouring the Epoxy Resin
The epoxy resin I'm using has a 1:1 ratio for solution A to B. I'd already decided that I wanted the color theme of the box to be red against blue. In cases like these, I prefer mixing and pouring the resin in first before adding the color. I calculated a rough volume of the space that had to be occupied by the resin (in my case 8.5x5.5x0.5cm which is 23.375cm^3). I tend to round up so I chose 25cm^3. I split this fifty-fifty between solutions A and B measuring out 12.5cm^3 of each. I then mixed them together in one cup. What became extremely important here was making sure they were very well mixed together. I used a wooden stick to do this.
Once the two solutions are joined there is a limited time before they started hardening which is why it's important to work fast. Once I felt they were adequately mixed (30 seconds of mixing) I poured it into one of the mold spaces. The objective is to fill it up to the brim and if the measurements were carried out correctly it should. I rounded up earlier because some resin always tends to be lost when transferring between containers (stuck to sides).
When the resin was in I began adding my color pigments (blue and white) and moved them around until I got a satisfactory result. I then waited to let it dry. Once this was done I repeated the same process for the other mold and used red and white this time.
Once both were done and dried. I sanded down the surface till the wood and resin were exactly level. I then gradually increased grit to get rid of any noticeable scratches on the resin as those tend to stick out. It's very common to sand epoxy resin with wet sand paper (sand paper where the grit still sticks when it's wet) as well as it can bring out better clarity in the resin. Wet sandpaper is used with water to remove tiny particles that may cause deep scratches when sanding.
Step 4: The Walls
Unfortunately, I don't have any images of this outside of the final image but this process is not very hard. I simply glued together layers of wood to fit around the box and one to serve as a divider in the middle. They were 2cm in height. Once the pieces were done I glued them to the base as shown in the photo.
Step 5: The Top
I wanted to incorporate epoxy resin in the top as well however this time I wanted it to be double-sided. Instead of using a thin sheet of wood as the base, I used a thick paper which would serve as a mold and then be sanded off later. In the photo above you can see the shape of the design I made using the wood sticks. The dimensions of the lid were 12.5x17.5cm as I wanted it to fit around the box. Once everything was glued together I began the process of pouring the resin.
Step 6: Epoxy Resin
I poured the epoxy into three different areas. The two triangles would be red and blue, and in the middle row, I left clear (without pigment). Again I measured the volume for each area and carried out the same process as before. Once the resin was dried I sanded the piece down on both sides getting rid of the paper that served as the mold base. Unfortunately, I don't have many images of the process but you can see the final result in the cover image. In the attached image you can see the second layer of wood I framed around the sides of the piece to hold in place when it is on the main box (attached via wood glue).
Step 7: Finish Up
With everything else done, all that is left is to apply a finish to the wood. I chose to use teak oil and lightly coated the box three times, letting each coat dry in between. Something that some people like to do to get better clarity in their resin is buff it however due to lack of equipment that's something I haven't been able to do.
With all that done your card box is ready for use!