Epoxy Waterfall River Table

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Intro: Epoxy Waterfall River Table

In this Instructable I'll show you how I took a piece of wood destined to rot away or be burned and made an Epoxy Waterfall River Table out of it. It was my first time using epoxy and my first time welding, so I had a lot of fun with this one. Hope you enjoy the project!

Be sure to watch the video above, and if you like it please subscribe to my YouTube channel!

You can also see a more detailed blog post where a detailed easy to follow plan is available at:

http://fixthisbuildthat.com/diy-waterfall-epoxy-river-table/

Step 1: Gather Materials and Tools

Step 2: Split and Prep the Slab

The heart of this project is this old nasty slab of wood. I saw it at a friend of the families and it was just sitting there literally rotting away. The guy had planned to do something with it but never have and was talking about just burning it. I told him I thought I could do something cool with it and got it from him. It took me a couple years to figure out what to do with it, but I finally figured it out! The slab had some nice curves to it. So to find the best cut line to split it in half, I used a string and centered it on each end of the slab.

I clamped a straight edge to the live edge slab and split it down my cut line to form two halves.

I surfaced the slabs with my jointer and planer to get them flat and ready for the next steps.

The slabs were too thick and long so I cut them to the size I needed on my miter saw.

The final prep steps were to fill any cracks in the slab edges with 5 minute epoxy and then sand and clean up the live edge for the epoxy pour.

Step 3: Build the Form

I used ¾” MDF for the form but plywood or melamine can also be used here. To keep the resin from sticking to the form I covered the pieces in a special tape.

I screwed the sides to the form base and then sealed the inside corners of the form with more tape. If I do it again I’ll probably use silicone in the corners as the taping took quite a while to get right.

I put the slabs in the form, clamped the wood down and screwed it to the form from underneath. You could also just clamp them down if you don’t want holes in the underside.

I also hot glued some small gaps at the end of the slabs to keep the epoxy out. The last thing I did to prep the form was to level it so the epoxy would flow out.

Step 4: Measure and Pour the Epoxy

To get the amount of epoxy resin I needed I measured the gap between the slabs in 4 to 8” segments at a time and multiplied the average gap by the length of that segment. I added up all those numbers and multiplied by the height of the slab to get the total volume of the gap.

I used an epoxy with a 2 to 1 resin to hardener mix. I used a two-color pour so I measured out 1.5L of the 2 to 1 mix in one container and 1L in the other.

I added some metallic pigment to the epoxy resin and stirred each mix for several minutes.

I poured the epoxy from both ends at the same time. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this, but it worked for me. When the colors mixed together and it turned out amazing.

Step 5: Build a Metal Base

I went with a simple metal base using 1” square tube.

I tacked and welded it together in a C shape with an open end for a floating appearance.

I ground down the welds on the base with my grinder and a flap disc. Then I drilled mounting holes in the base for the top, primed it, and sprayed on some matte black paint and matte clear coat.

Step 6: Clean Up the Top

After the 72 hour cure time was complete I unscrewed and removed the sides from the form then removed the slab from the form.

I used my 13” planer to the level wood with the epoxy and remove excess from the bottom. You could also use a belt sander for this step on a larger piece.

After the planing a few voids showed up and I filled them using 5 minute epoxy with some of the blue pigment added to blend it in. I squared up the slab on my table saw then started final prep on the slab.

I sanded the wood up to 180 grit and took the epoxy up to 400 grit. I’d probably do this after the glue up next time though.

Step 7: Make the Waterfall Edge

I used my table saw and a crosscut sled and tilted the blade to 45 degrees for the initial bevel on the larger vertical piece.

Then I flipped the smaller top piece over and back beveled it with a matching miter.

I moved the blade back to 90 degrees and cut the larger piece to exact size for the base.

To glue up the miter I lined up the pieces with the miters facing down and put a piece of packing tape across the seam.

I flipped the top over and used 5 minute epoxy for this connection and applied it liberally to one side of the joint then folded up the miter and clamped it together with right angle squares.

Step 8: Finish and Assemble the Epoxy Resin River Table

I applied a two part oil based finish to the slab and the cherry and epoxy really came to life.

I buffed the oil off the surface and was ready for the base.

I mounted the base upside down and shimmed the wood as necessary to fit the base. I left the top of the base open in the back so at no is the metal crossing under the epoxy and obscuring the light passing through.

This project really challenged me to try new things. It was fun to work with new materials like metal and epoxy resin and I’m looking forward to incorporating them into more projects in the future.

Be sure to watch the video above, and if you like it please subscribe to my YouTube channel!

You can also see a more detailed blog post where a detailed easy to follow plan is available at:

http://fixthisbuildthat.com/diy-waterfall-epoxy-river-table/

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    33 Discussions

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    ZachD45

    Question 4 months ago on Introduction

    How much pigment did you use for the project?

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    ArtHouseTieZ

    Question 5 months ago on Step 4

    I watched your video, it was impressive! I saw that some people pour epoxy little by little but you poured all in at the same time. Is that OK? Didn't it get too hot? I would like to know your technique if you can teach me.

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    RetBill

    6 months ago on Step 8

    Very nice, but I don't have the patience...or skill.

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    Dangerously Explosive

    6 months ago

    I always loved the look of these tables, but the color mixing in yours takes it to a whole new level. Too bad I don't have the tools or supplies to make one...

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    Meglymoo87

    6 months ago

    I'm in love!!

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    schreib

    6 months ago

    Great job, excellent video description. Besides teaching the base process for using epoxy to fill in wood table tops I learned a bit about welding, how and where to use a joiner to square up and level wood planks, how to make a crisp miter joint. . . on and on. Excellent. Thank you.

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    sue.donim.144

    6 months ago on Step 1

    looks great ! i was thinking you were going to use a lighting effect to make the water seem to flow over the piece. i think a sequential and variable brightness light string set might have an effect of water flowing . though a projection of water flowing could work good too.

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    MbConcertina

    6 months ago

    Thank you for sharing this. Did the wood need any sort of prep to keep the resin adhered longterm?

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    blissdismissed

    6 months ago

    Awesome project, I'm getting materials together to try it out myself.
    Just as a reference how big of a slab did you start out with, or end up with for the table size?