1st off... my apologies for the really long set of instructions. I realized I like to give every detail I can possibly have!
Another build for my Dad. ;) I decided to make him a side table using that fancy Resin/Epoxy trick that I've seen all over the internet. Key parts for this build - the top had to be small enough to fit in my suitcase, and it had to have removable legs! My apologies I don't have a lot of pictures for this. I was in a hurry to get this done before Christmas. I should also note that the finished product is not the same as what I built in the pictures. I had to change it due to an issue I had with the Epoxy, which I'll explain later.
Step 1: Supplies
The legs I purchased from Amazon, but you can get them anywhere online. Use whatever you like. Here's the link for amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QVKNXVG/ref=o...
I had some scrap wood laying around the garage with some fancy trim. You just need a piece of wood that's thick enough to hold the Epoxy/Resin and still have room to attach legs to it without screwing into the Epoxy. I think mine is about an inch and a half thick. You also need some trim for the edges around the table. This is key to making sure your epoxy goes where you want it too. Make sure the trim is tall enough to cover the bottom of your base board and reach just above what you want to epoxy inside.
Lures - you can use just about anything. My recommendation is to use something a little more flat, like paper, or cards, or even pennies. The bigger and thicker the object the more Epoxy you need to use. I used about 30 lures. In the picture there are also some bobbers... my advice don't use them or anything that really traps air too much. I'll explain later :(
Epoxy/Resin - you want to use a bar top resin/epoxy for this. I got it at the local hardware store. Comes in 2 parts and in gallon and half gallon sizes. I used a gallon and a 1/2. If you are working with a small table and something like pictures - you could get away with a lot less. **IMPORTANT** get extra epoxy so you can make a tiny test run of your project. Doesn't have to be big or expensive. just something to test things out. (and secret tip - gloves gloves gloves - this stuff is sticky and goes everywhere!!)
Mixing cups for the epoxy - get one extra for your test. They come from the hardware store, but really you can use anything.
Something to stir the epoxy with. I used a putty knife that was plastic. I also used it to spread the epoxy across the top.
Printed Map - I used this as the bottom of my table under the lures - you don't have to use anything, I wanted to add a map for fun.
Mod Podge - use it to seal your maps and glue them down
Clear coat spray - sprayed the lures with these before I laid them inside the table top.
grill lighter or straw - something to remove the air bubbles that form on the top of the epoxy.
Tarp for under your table when using the epoxy.
Typical tools for building wood stuff:
level (SO SO IMPORTANT!)
circular saw (my cute little one from Ryobi worked perfectly.)
polyurethane quick dry spray matte (you can use a gloss if you like, I didn't)
rags for the stain
Gloves - I went thru a lot of these!!
Sand paper - a high grit for finishing and a lower for removing any kind of fall out epoxy.
nail punch (these are my fav! they make everything nice and pretty)
nail gun - for attaching the trim to the base
Step 2: Test Epoxy
WEAR GLOVES PPL! Read the Epoxy instructions before mixing or doing anything! If you are using a larger item in your table like me with the fishing lures, take the extra mixing cup and place a lure inside. Mix up a small amount of your epoxy and pour epoxy over it as a test. set aside. This is important, because it will let you know how the epoxy will effect your items. It will also let you know how much epoxy it will take to cover your items. I made a table using items that are mostly meant to float. This presented multiple problems. 1st - the bobbers I tried to used collapsed under the epoxy due to all the air being sucked out and 2nd - bubbles bubbles bubbles!! They just kept popping up and ruining the top of my table.
Step 3: Table Top Box Build
making sure to level everything flat, I measured the trim out and laid it out so that the the sides sat longer than the ends. You can see this in the photo. I also positioned the trim so it covered the sides and ends of the base board. Cut 2 sides and 2 ends (duh you knew that). I laid down some wood glue first, clamped everything together, and nailed it. (optional nail gun for faster work here.) Once everything was set in place, I made sure it was level (again and again and again) and then used a punch to clean up the nail heads and wood filler to fix any holes from those nails. Once that dried I sanded everything down and cleaned it up. (don't go too crazy over that fancy trim!) **Key points** all sides, holes, and any place epoxy might drip through need to be sealed and closed. Epoxy pours like a thick drink so you don't want any spilled.
Step 4: Stain!
Once the wood filler was dry and everything was sanded, I wiped it all down with a damp rag. Then went ahead and used rags to stain the whole thing. Note: don't put your artwork inside the box before it's been stained! (duh! I should have known better! I was trying to see if I could stain over the top to give it an "antique look" - failure!) I will recommend to stain the bottom of the table, even if you are covering it. It seals the wood for the epoxy later. Let it dry.
Step 5: Add Legs and Inside Decor!
I wanted to be able to have the holes drilled for my legs so when they got to my destination the pilot holes were already in place. You can just attach the legs at this point. Make sure they don't go thru to the inside of your table. This is key - we want no epoxy escaping!
put down a layer of mod podge and then place your maps down and cover them again with another layer of mod podge. If you are working with paper or something similar (instead of the fishing lures) you still need to do this step. This will work for covering most flat items.
My fishing lures I had to spray a clear coat over them and let them dry. I also put a layer of epoxy over them, but I'll explain that next step.
don't forget to check your test cup with epoxy in it!
Step 6: Ugh! Epoxy!
WEAR GLOVES PPL! Okay first off I should mention that this is where I had to start completely over. It was just disaster all over. As you saw earlier from my notes on making a test run first. Also should note, the thicker the epoxy the more cure time it takes! Read your epoxy instructions!! Timing does matter for this next few steps too!
Make sure your table is on level ground!! Also put down a cover under your table incase of anything spilling. This stuff is soooo sticky and gets everywhere! once it is dry, it takes forever to remove it.
Once the lures were dry I laid them out on the table top and positioned them where I wanted them. I then mixed a small amount of epoxy for the "Seal Coat". My mix said to stir for 6 minutes. I found that if I did a whisking motion and really stirred it the mix, it added far too many tiny bubbles when I poured it. So for my mixture I stirred almost like I was folding in some cream to a light and fluffy cake batter (or something of that nature). Once the two parts were mixed together, I poured a thin layer over the top of the table and the lures, making sure to completely cover the lures. Use either the grill lighter or straw with some air to remove any bubbles that appear on the surface. I did this for about 7 minutes. Let this dry for about 4 hours (this is what my instructions said about the "seal coat") The "seal coat" will also act as a glue for the lures and hold them down so they don't float up to the surface. If you were to just go ahead and pour the "flood coat" now all the lures would rise to the surface. (if you are working with just a flat picture, you can skip the "seal coat")
Okay here's where things get dicey... If you are working with something as big as like a fishing lure, I found that it was cleaner and easier to pour the "flood coat" in stages.
So I mixed up about half the amount to completely fill the table and pour that over the top, making sure to spend about 15 minutes getting rid of the bubbles. I let this set for about 4-6 hours.
Then I mixed up the second "flood coat" and poured this over the top. I made sure that the epoxy was flat and level across the top. I pushed the epoxy ever so gently over the top of the trim edges, but not down the sides of the trim. You want a smooth surface across the top, but the rest of the wood box to remain the pretty stained wood you used. Spend a good amount of time getting rid of any bubbles that pop up. The epoxy has about a 15 minute window where any of those can be removed, use it! Let dry for the next 4 days. (or whatever your instructions say.) If it is as thick as my table top, let it cure for about a month - no joke. (My mom put a hot cup of coffee on it and it started to sink in a little. we caught it in time so yay, but it's got to cure for about a month at this thickness.)
Step 7: What Did We Learn Class??
This project takes forever to dry!!
don't use things that hold air!
work with a thinner piece of art
make sure you have plenty of time to let this cure!
read the epoxy instructions!
Make a test run if you are using a thick piece of art
Epoxy spills everywhere! seal all holes and cracks!
LEVEL LEVEL LEVEL (maybe that's just a rule for me, but It's super important!)
P.S. My Dad was super surprised! And I was surprised it made it through the airport safe and sound!! :)