This river inspired board is made with wood, turquoise stones and epoxy resins. I got this idea because I recently picked up a piece of holly wood, which is very light in color which made me think of sand. To contrast the wood, I figured turquoise stones would be beautiful, and then I also got some seashells to go all out. Let's make the board! Also, make sure to watch the complete build video with all the steps and the final result.
Step 1: Cutting to Size
I began with marking out where on the board I wanted to create this piece. The wood had a few knots and some movement and I thought it would be nice to plan out the rivers where the patterns naturally occurred. I cut the board into a rough shape using the jigsaw.
Step 2: Planing
The board was not quite even, so to make it level I used my number 5 hand plane on both sides of the wood.
Step 3: Routing Rivers
After I marked out where my "rivers" were going to go, I used my handheld router and took several passes with the router, making some sections of the rivers wider and others more narrow.
Step 4: Crushing Stones
Once I had routed the rivers, I decided to crush some of my stones. I wanted to use a combination of whole stones, and some finer pieces to create variation. I also decided to get some white stones to combine with the turquoise. To crush the stones I used a mortle and pestle.
Step 5: Epoxy Pour
To begin with I closed off the ends of the rivers using cardstock and hot glue. Then I mixed some epoxy resin together and combined the stones and the epoxy in the rivers.
Step 6: Sanding
I let the epoxy set over night and the next day I first used a file to file down any sharp bumbs, so they wouldn't tear the sandpaper right away. I then used a belt sander and moved up the grits. It took quite a bit of sanding to get the board smooth.
Step 7: Sea Shells
I added a couple of sea shells in the rivers, and while they look really cool, they also are empty and hollow so when you sand and one break, it leaves a void. This means I had to re-apply epoxy in those areas a couple of times in between sanding.
Step 8: Finish
I wanted to keep the wood as light as possible, so after doing some testing I settled on shellac for a finish.
Step 9: Conclusion - Watch the Video
For a much better perspective, and to view the final result, make sure to watch the video!