Hi Everyone! Hope you will enjoy this Instructable!
In this Instructable I'll be making an epoxy river table using elm wood and coloured Glasscast 50 by Easy Composites. I think the video should speak for itself and give you the rough guidelines, but I'll also add some notes here step by step! I devided this tutorial in 7 steps.
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Step 1: Preparing the Wood
- Planing the wood till fully flat on the bottom, the top side can still have some curved shapes as it will be casted with epoxy resin creating small 'Islands' in the top part of the table.
- Grinding of the bark is very important to create a strong bond between the wood and the resin, if you don't remove the bark, you might face some problems with the resin breaking of the rest of the wood as it isn't a strong bond.
- Sanding everything flat and smooth with grid p180.
- Clean your wood with degreaser or acetone to remove any oil residues or natural residues from the wood that might cause some problems with the epoxy.
- Blow of the wood with compressed air to remove any wood dust left that might get trapped in the resin later on.
Step 2: Creating the Mould Box
- The mould box is made from melamine to have a smooth surface and make it easier to release the casted table top from the mould.
- Chemical release agent is used to have a good release! this is a very important step, if you don’t do this, your slab might get stuck forever on your mould.
- Edges are being sealed with some hot melt, Silicone and caulking might work as well but make sure to test this in advance.
- Bridges are added to the sides for good clamping.
- Make sure everything is well sealed! you dont want any resin to escape from your mouldbox!
Step 3: Casting the River
- DON'T BE A FOOL BUT PLAY IT SAFE! Wear a good facemask and gloves for your own safety
- To cast the river in between the wood I’m using Glasscast from Easy Composites. You might try it with other brands but make sure you're able to cast big volumes with that epoxy resin. Regular epoxy resin won’t allow you to cast thicker pours, due to an exothermal reaction. Glasscast 50 was specially developed for these kind of processes.
You can find the Glass Cast epoxy here: http://www.easycomposites.co.uk/#!/resin-gel-silic...
By clicking here you'll find their technical data sheet if you need more specific information
- I'm using the 2-cup system to make sure everything is mixed well. You mix in the first cup, then transfer everything to a second cup and mix again! this is the best way to make sure all resin is properly mixed.
- Add desired pigment in desired density.
- Pour a first thin layer and lay down the wood.
- Seal the wood with resin (otherwise you might get some bubbles)
- Add some clamps so the wood can't start floating or moving
- Let the first layer cure to a semi-state, that way the next layers will still chemically bond.
- Fill the entire river with resin.
- Let cure for 48 hours ideally at 20°C and demould
Step 4: The Flattening
- Flattened the entire slab on one side, resin will shrink or expand sometimes, that's why it is important to flatten it all out.
- Used the X-carve from Inventables to flatten it all out, took me quite some time but at least the table is flat, which is important, I think! check: www.inventables.com to se some of their carvers
- Sanded it smooth from one side, then repeated for the other side.
- Your table top should now be totally level and smooth!
Step 5: Flowcoat
- Flow coating the entire table top again on a 200 grid sanded table top.
- The flowcoat will hide the heavy scratchmarks and flatten the entire table again with resin.
- Glasscast 10 was used here, without pigment. on both sides
- Now we can sand everything starting with 320 till 600.
Step 6: Frame and Table Paint
- A friend welded the frame for me, but was still bare
- The frame was scuffed and cleaned to have no oil residues left.
- mounting holes were drilled.
- Spray can filler was used first, followed by matte black spray paint.
- This could be enough but 1K spray can paints won’t be very durable so a 2K cleared was added on the spray paint for a durable finish. Finish was matte here.
- Table top is cleaned and degreased and coated with a 2K matte clear, this is a matter of preference but I preferred it matte than glossy, but this is all up to you!
Step 7: Assembly
- Final assembly mounting the frame on the table top!
- Adding spacers under the frame
- Drilling holes and fix the frame with screws in the table top
- Final cleaning
Step 8: Enjoy Your Table
The table is ready and you can now enjoy your new table!
For more information and technical data sheets I suggest you to visit the Easy Composites Website:
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