Introduction: Wave Layered End Table
Longing for the beach but stuck at home, I was inspired to make an end-table that makes me feel like the ocean is within reach. So here is my wave themed layered ocean table!
You can also lay it sideway as a layered art sculpture.
- 8 clear plexiglass 12”x12”x1/8”
- Epoxy resin & Epoxy resin pigment
- Clear fake crushed ice rocks
- 4 Acrylic clear rods 5/16”
- Dessert cups (from dollar store)
Other tools & accessories:
- Nail polish remover (To remove extra epoxy resin)
- Smoothie straw (For space fitting and temporary support)
- Sanding tools & Sandpaper
- Masking tape
- Caulk strip repair tape (optional)
Step 1: Drill Holes at the Four Corners of Each of the Eight Plexiglass Boards
The plan is to use poles to connect the 8 layers, so we need to drill holes on each board. We decide to drill the holes first because these plexiglass boards are a new material and we’re not sure how well they work against the drill.
To start, use masking tape to bind two pieces of board together, then measure and mark where the holes should be. Use a drill head of a size that matches that of the pole.
After drilling the first pair, use the top board as a template and bind (again, with masking tape) to each of the rest 6 boards. This way, we can ensure that the holes drilled on all the boards are aligned. You can also choose to leave one board undrilled for top of the end-table.
Once we are done with drilling each board, remove the protective sheet and immediately mark the board in an orientation that aligns with the others as shown. This helps us to keep track of the orientation and makes it easy to align the boards later when we assemble them.
Step 2: Prep Board for Epoxy Resin
To prevent epoxy from leaking through/blocking the holes, we use old pencils to plug the hole, and seal the holes with hot glue (this can be easily removed after curing). We also protect the sides with masking tape.
Tip: We tried both masking sides and not masking sides. Masking sides saves the resin as it prevents the epoxy from dripping off the side. However, it makes the side look rough. No masking of the side creates a smoother side, which is nice. It is your choice.
Step 3: Epoxy Resin Pouring
I have been planning an ocean themed end table for a while. This design has 8 layers to reflect the ocean and wave theme with colors ranging from clear to green, then to blue, then to darker blue, and finally into purple. Each layer will reflect some transitions, as can be seen.
The top layer is decorated with fake ice cubes—the original intention was to make it look like waves but it turned out more like icebergs. Works out in a pleasantly surprising way.
This is the most time-consuming step as some layers of board take several pourings. We have to wait for one pouring to cure completely before pouring the next one to get the desired effect.
Tip: draw out design really helps, esp. with epoxy resin. You might get carried away with the fun of flowing epoxy resin and completely miss your original plan...
Step 4: Clean Up Each Layer
Once the pouring step is done, we need to use either a knife or a sanding machine to clean up each piece (there are sometimes remains after taking off the protective masking tape, dripping, or other unintentional parts.)
If there is resin stuck in the hole, you might need to drill the holes again.
Use nail polish remover to clean any sticky parts of the board.
Step 5: Connect the Layers With Poles
Carefully stick poles through the corresponding holes on the boards. Laying the structure sideway helps.
Step 6: Secure Positions With Epoxy Resin.
Using dessert cups as spacers in between each layer of board, carefully flip the structure upside-down (since we want to glue on the bottom of each board, we need to flip it upside-down, so the bottom side of each board is facing up.)
Cut a straw as shown in the picture to create a tip. This helps us guide the resin to the exact location around the holes. We can also use caulk strip repair tape to help secure the structure by creating a raised square to hold resin.
Tip: If the filling around holes looks too obvious, consider adding some “wave” with clear resin around it.
Step 7: Install Table Legs
Carefully position the remaining portions of the 4 poles into 4 dessert cups laying on the protective plastic sheet.
Center along the pole and twist the dessert cups outward so you can fill in some fake ice cubes. This gives the table legs transparent and sparkling touch.
Fill 4 dessert cups with epoxy resin till it raises to the bottom of lowest layer to glue/secure the table legs. Twist the dessert cups back into proper position as table legs.
Step 8: Let Cure! Done! Enjoy!
Once fully cured, remove the structure from the protection sheet at the bottom.
You can position the end-table upright, and enjoy a cup of tea;
Or you can lay it down as an art piece to entertain :)
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