Epoxy Resin and Walnut LED Night Lamp

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Introduction: Epoxy Resin and Walnut LED Night Lamp

This time I had the main goal to try a very first-time epoxy resin casting. I’ll show you how from epoxy resin, American walnut, and cheap electronics I made this stunning LED night lamp.

How I did it - you can check by looking DIY video or you can follow up instructions bellow.

For this project you will need:

Materials:

Walnut 20x20x120mm and 20x20x200 ( or other your preferred wood)

Wood glue, CA glue

Transparent epoxy resing for deep casting

Fairy string LED light

Plastic sheets for casting form (mold)

Hot glue

Micro USB connector

Buffing pad and automotive polishing paste

Danish oil for wood finish

Sandpaper 400, 800, 1000, 1500 grit.

Electric tape

Tools:

Belt sander with 80 grit sandpaper

Miter saw

Palm router

Orbital sander with 120, 240 and 320 grit sandpaper

Drill and bits

Clamps and some other usual bits and bobs which is laying around the workshop.

Cutters

Soldering iron and solder

Step 1: Materials

One of the main materials will be those American walnut pieces. Since I don't have a thickness planer - I ordered to prepare all workpieces of the required size. They all are in 20 by 20 millimeters. Talking about length - the longer ones are in 200, and the shorter in 120-millimeter length.

Step 2: The First Glue Up

The very first step is to glue every 4 pieces together by misaligning them in a random pattern. The same procedure was done with longer pieces too.

When the glue was dried - prepared the surface for the next glue-up by sanding down to get a nice flat surface.

Step 3: The Second Glue-up

The second glue-up was similar to the first one. The only difference was that this time I glued 4 already pre-glued boards to a solid rectangular wood block.

Glue dried and I got two solid walnut blocks.

Step 4: Flattening Ends

Used miter saw and flattened one end of each block. Sacrificial plywood pieces helped to avoid any walnut tear outs.

Cleaned cut ends with the sandpaper. Take a look at that nice end grain!

Step 5: Few Holes for Electronics

I used a palm router and milled a hole on the flat walnut block end. Here will be hidden all electronics parts.

Drilled 3-millimeter hole all the way thru the block. Thru this hole will be wired LEDs from top to bottom.

Step 6: Preparing Wood Surface for the Epoxy

I mixed a small part of the same epoxy resin which will be used later and covered all wood surfaces which will have a contact with epoxy resin pour. This should seal the wood and prevent the formation of bubbles in the casting.

Step 7: The Electronics

I bought this fairy string LED light with 100pcs of individual colored LEDs connected inline. It could be powered from any USB power source, like the power bank, smartphone charger, laptop and etc. My fairy string light version had a controller that gives a few different operating modes. However most of the time I’m planning to use this one - constant light.

Cut the power wire and managed it all the way thru. I used hot glue to seal the hole and fixed the wire in it.

Step 8: The Casting Mold

From random plastic that layed around I start making the outer form for epoxy resin pour. Placed on the side a straight reference and adjusted to my preferred spacing of wood pieces. To seal up all edges I used hot glue. All seams should be weather tight because the resin will find the smallest hole or crack and will follow out. I take my time and sealed all joints to avoid the mentioned situation. On the top, I made a small barrier to keep epoxy resin overfill.

Step 9: The Epoxy Resing

Ok, the epoxy resin. I bought locally this highly transparent and UV stabilized epoxy casting resin. It’s designed to use in deep pours, like up to 10 centimeters. Mine will be only 8 centimeters deep so I should work just fine. I poured the resing and hardener according to the indicated mixing ratio and mixed very very well. After that, I gave a light transparent color tone by adding a few drops of turquoise pigment. Once again a bit of mixing and I poured the resin into the form.

This is very slow curing epoxy resin so all bubbles will escape naturally. Here is the casting after 20 minutes - I can’t see any of bubbles (last picture).

Step 10: Taking Out

This epoxy requires 3 days to fully cure, but I left it a bit longer. One week later the resin was rock solid and it was the perfect time to remove from the mold.

Step 11: Lot of Sanding

To clean all sides I used a belt sander and 80 grit sandpaper. When the job was done here I changed it to an orbital sander and passed with 120, 240, and 320 grit sandpaper.

After that moved to the finer grits and sanded by hand. Started with 400 grit, then 800 grit, 1000 and finished with 1500 grit sandpaper.

Step 12: Polishing the Epoxy

To bring back the shine I used 8 centimeters buffing pad on a drill and a regular automotive polishing paste. After good 20minutes of polishing the shine is back.

Step 13: Working on Electronic Part

It is time to rework the electronic part so, that It will fit in our prepared place. First of all, I need to desolder a power on/off button and relocate it. Second - I no need this USB connector anymore, so it should be desoldered too. All electronics should fit inside this hole.

Step 14: Some Soldering

To fix the power button in needed place I desoldered from the mainboard and made a simple housing with extended two wires. To fix it in the palace I use CA glue and activator. Soldered micro USB port to the power IN terminals, extended wires from the ON/OFF button, and lastly soldered the fairy light wires.

Step 15: Closing the Internals of Light

Finished up with some electric tape and hidden inside the hole. CA glue helped to fix permanently the micro USB port in needed place. With the thin piece of walnut and a few drops of wood glue - closed the hole.

Step 16: Finishing the Wood

Finished up with some electric tape and hidden inside the hole. CA glue helped to fix permanently the micro USB port in needed place. With the thin piece of walnut and a few drops of wood glue - closed the hole.

Step 17: The Result

And here it is - clear epoxy resin and walnut fairy string LED lamp.

As for the very first project with the epoxy resin casting - the result exceeded my expectations. Despite a few small mistakes made during the project - I’m more than happy with the finished product. It’s a pity that the camera cannot transmit a real view of how it looks in real. If you ever tried to film a lamp or any light source, you understand my pain.

Step 18: BONUS

By the way, do you remember those two offcuts left by flattening the main pieces? They weren’t thrown out. I made another smaller and darker lamp version.

I used epoxy resin made for casting for the first time, but certainly not the last. I will definitely use it again in the future, especially in projects where I will combine several different materials by using epoxy resin.

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28 Comments

0
Tweetysvoice
Tweetysvoice

8 weeks ago

It is just me, but are the text descriptors for #15 and #16 the same?

Very awesome project! Can't wait to try!

0
Shaun651
Shaun651

4 months ago

How did you avoid the wires from the light going to the edges of the mould? Concerned when sanding that could strip the wires.

0
DustyWaves
DustyWaves

Reply 3 months ago

We made a slightly smaller version in woodwork classes this term. keeping the wires away from the edge was a mission! I found that scrunching the wire up into a tight ball and then making minor adjustments with tweezers did the job. Some students still managed to over sand them tho!

0
Petersenxx10
Petersenxx10

Question 5 months ago on Step 8

How do you keep the kights in the middle and not on the edge of your light, exp on the bottom were you cant see

0
MikeWill42
MikeWill42

Question 5 months ago on Step 9

How do you keep the resin from sticking to the plastic mold walls? Do you apply some time of oil to them? They seem to peel away with very little effort and don't seem to leave any pieces behind.

0
annqam
annqam

6 months ago

Hello there,
Anybody who can tell me where I can buy these stuff? any website? especially LED. I could not find such LED online or maybe I was not lucky with my google search.
Thanks

Annqam

0
pitbullronnie
pitbullronnie

Question 6 months ago on Step 7

I bougt a fairystring ledlight. it came with a battery-box for 3 AA penlights. On the positive side there is a resistor.
I removed the batterybox and connected a 5V USB-charger. The resistor gets very hot! this migth become a problem if placed inside the wooden lamp...
I will remove the resistor, but what will be the result for the bulbs???

kind regards
Pit

1
haddles
haddles

9 months ago

Can you give me more specific details around the USB LED fairy lights and the electric board the lights and USB connector are connected to.
Links to the where you purchased them etc. I have found many variations but very unsure if they would work.
Thanks

0
wielvliegen
wielvliegen

Reply 8 months ago

I post 6 weeks ago the same question but did not recieved a answer Did you meanwhile find out what material is needed I finished the woodwork weeks ago and waiting now for the elektronics to order Hope you can help me with kind regards Wiel

0
haddles
haddles

Reply 7 months ago

Hi Wielvligen,

I took a slightly different route and worked out that I could skip the on off circuitry and on off button. I just found a smaller power supply and soldered directly to the lights.

I potentially should have used a resistor to dampen the power to the lights but as I was testing I didn't bother with that one.

0
williju
williju

7 months ago on Introduction

Hello, can you please tell me where you can buy these Plastic sheets for casting form (mold).

3
bpark1000
bpark1000

Question 10 months ago on Step 4

What is the brand/type of the casting epoxy resin you are using? I see UN3082 but can not find.

0
fredweber5
fredweber5

Reply 7 months ago

Hi, nice work! The pic shows about where I am with this project. Ready to do the pour but can’t get your link to work. Found the Sicomin website but they don’t list the product you used. Thought I’d try you before doing a whole search thing. Is there a better link I could use to find the SRGreenCast 160?
I made this project infinitely more difficult in 2 ways: choosing Black Walnut (which is harder than steel) and deciding to have the grain of the Walnut go all the way around the lamp. Easier said than done. Let me know if there is a better link for the epoxy. My email: fred.weber5@verizon.net.
Rock (never been called Fred)

0
wielvliegen
wielvliegen

Question 9 months ago on Step 16

I have the same question as mr Haddles

4
awenda
awenda

Question 9 months ago

How did you keep the lights away from the sides of the cast epoxy, especially the bottom of the mold, so you don't damage them when sanding the epoxy?

0
doing2much
doing2much

10 months ago

Congratulations! I'm wondering, what happens when the bulbs go out? Is there a way you could achieve the same effect without embedding them in resin?

6
ScarletStar
ScarletStar

Question 10 months ago

On Step 4, couldn't you just have used longer pieces at maybe varying lengths so you can glue those together and then just use both ends of just one block?
So when you just cut in the middle of that block you already end up with both ends of the lamp. Zero waste in flattening the ends of two blocks.

4
Mgingas
Mgingas

10 months ago

You did a wonderful job and I love the colors you choose...that I would buy to display in my home. I don't have the tools to make one but if I did I'd have fun with your directions. I had to share it on Facebook because it turned out so beautiful!

2
cathblint
cathblint

10 months ago on Introduction

Loved this wish I could make but do not have all the tools needed, really liked your video but both lamps were beautiful just my taste, people will buy them for sure