Introduction: Frosted Epoxy Resin Clock
This time I’ll combine this nice elm burr piece with an epoxy resin to make a stunning frosted wall clock.
How I did it - you can check by looking DIY video or you can follow up instructions below.
For this project you will need:
Elm burr ( or any other kind of figured wood piece)
Transparent epoxy resing for casting
Black pigment to dye epoxy resin
Osmo hard wax for the finish
Sandpaper: 80, 120, 180, 240, 320 grit.
Aluminum foil tape
Piece of melamine or plywood for mold base
Belt sander with 80 grit sandpaper
Palm router with the flush cut bit
Drill and bits
Clamps and some other usual bits and bobs are laying around the workshop.
Step 1: The Elm Burr
First things first, I need to cut a manageable piece that fits the best with the size of the upcoming clock. I'm planning that it should be 30 centimeters in diameter.
Step 2: Cleaning the Burr
This burr is barck free already, so I brushed off all other loose parts.
Step 3: Painting and Sealing the Burr
The surface is clean and is ready to be covered with color. Instead of using an epoxy resin with a pigment I simply sprayed with chrome spray paint.
It may be that spray paint sealed the wood already, but I used epoxy resin and primed the whole piece to be 100% sure and to avoid any potential bubbles in the casting later.
Step 4: Making the Mold
While the epoxy resin was curing I made a very simple mold. A scrap piece of melamine was cut to a round base with a bandsaw. Then covered with packing tape which helps me to remove the casting from the mold later. Around the perimeter I used a polypropylene piece - because I had it in my scrap pile and it wont stick to the epoxy resin too. To make the joint watertight I sealed it with regular silicon.
Step 5: Epoxy Time!
Alright, time to mix some epoxy resin. I used a slow curing casting epoxy which is UV resistant and could be poured up to 10 centimeters deep. This is the same resin that I used in my epoxy LED night lamp
Well mixed and poured into the mold. Suddenly I was reminded that the wood isn't as dense as the epoxy resin and it floats. Somehow I forgot to glue the elm burr to the mold. Not a big deal - the situation was controlled by adding weight from above.
Here is the beauty of the slow curing epoxy resin - all air bubbles disappeared naturally. It is so clear that it’s very hard to tell how deep this pour actually is.
Step 6: Taking Out of the Mold
One week later the epoxy resin was rock solid and I removed it from the mold.
Step 7: Surface Flattening With the Palm Router
I don’t show anything new for a surface flattening - just a simple jig and router sled with a straight cut bit.
Made pass by pass until the unpainted wood surface was uncovered.
Step 8: Marking Hour Marks
Drilled a hole in the middle and used a pin to center the paper template. This template has 12 marks which represent 12 hours. Marked those reference points on the surface and connected them with the line.
Step 9: Milling Hours Marks
To mill each hour mark I made a simple jig for my palm router. The cut on the left will help to align and double-check before milling each new hour mark. Clamping, milling, unclamping, repeat.
Step 10: Milling 3, 6, 9 and 12 Hour Marks
When all 12 marks were done I changed the router template to another. This one allows milling longer and wider hour marks on 3, 6, 9, and 12 hours marks by using the same router bit.
Step 11: Preparing for Second Epoxy Filling
With aluminium foil tape I sealed the edge and with hot glue made a small dam around each mark. Epoxy resin has an annoying tendency of shrinking upon curing. This dam will allow a small overfill which will compensate for that potential sag.
Step 12: Mix, Dye and Fill the Grooves With Epoxy Resin
Mixed some epoxy resin with a black pigment and filled all grooves.
Step 13: Here Is the Sag
Here is visible that sag. If the overfill was too small, I will need to fill that spot again or take off additional millimeters from the whole surface.
Step 14: Working to Make Final Shape
Instead of working hard and sanding those overfills - I flattened them with the router sled.
Cut to the final 30 centimeters of diameter with a band saw because the mold was made a bit larger. Ruff bandsaw cut marks were sanded with a disc sander. And later on, finished by hand with 220 and 320 grit sandpaper.
Step 15: Clock Mechanism
Drilled a hole for the shaft of the clock mechanism and marked ruff outer shape. With the palm router and straight cut bit milled needed hole.
Step 16: Sanding...
And it’s sanding time. I pasted through various grits by starting with 80, 120, 180, 240 and finished with 320 grit. From 180 I often wiped the dust from the surface during the sanding. This helped a lot to avoid swirl marks on the epoxy surface.
I call that a success.
Step 17: Final Touches
I added a small chamfer on the edge for a more aesthetic look. This is the same palm router that was used along with the build, just attached to the Dewalt job site table saw. Very handy modification.
I was opening the oil can to apply a finish, but then I realized the hanging hole is missing - so milled a needed hole with the palm router.
Step 18: Appling Finish
And now the grand reveal of the final look. I used Osmo polyx oil for the finish. This is one of the two most popular products used on epoxy projects by the makers so far. I used a small amount of product and well buffed it into the surface.
Step 19: Hardware Installation
What's left - to assemble everything in their place.
I used a cheap clock mechanism, but the silent one - which does not make that annoying ticking sound.
Step 20: The Result!
I could make this build way faster by using CNC for surface flattening, milling all grooves and pockets. But I wanted to show that the same result could be achieved by using a few basic electric tools, some imagination, and a few extra hours in a workshop. I hope this will be the right amount of inspiration to try it by yourself.
First Prize in the
Clocks Speed Challenge