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I love building tables with unique wood and epoxy resin.
The combination of these two elements enhances the wood's natural beauty and preserves it's look for many years. In this tutorial, I show you how to make a rustic table with epoxy resin and reclaimed wood.
I offered to build a table for my sister in November while brainstorming project ideas during Thanksgiving. My sister is older than me, which typically means she does more favors for me than I do for her.
I spoke to my sister and traded many Pinterest screenshots via text over a two-week period to get an idea of the style table she wanted me to build. The final decision was a industrial style table with a rustic flare with reclaimed wood.
I decided to incorporate a few unique elements to this rustic table, which compliment my sister's personality and her faith.
Needless to say, I was happy to build this table for my sister. I completed the table the same week as her birthday, which made it more special.
Step 1: Gather Materials
The first step to all of my projects is to gather the materials. I become frustrated when I start a project and realize I don't have the materials I need to proceed with the build.
I separated the materials I used and tools I used into 2 sections for this rustic table with epoxy resin project. I referred to this list many times before I started my project to make sure I had the materials I needed.
Casting Epoxy Resin (Used to fill inlays): http://amzn.to/2ppVtJZ
- NOTE: Can be used for casting AND top coat.
Epoxy Used for Top Coat: https://goo.gl/J5R1i5
- Use the code jeremy10 at checkout to get $10.00 off an order of $50.00 or more. NOTE: Can ONLY be used as top coat.
Glow Powder for Resin: https://goo.gl/8okFCu
Pigment Powder for Resin
- Blue Pigment Powder: http://amzn.to/2GGSvJj
- Black Pigment Powder: http://amzn.to/2GGSvJj
- White Pigment Powder: http://amzn.to/2GGSvJj
Finish Used to Seal Underside of Table: http://amzn.to/2G7TMeE
Burn In Stick: http://amzn.to/2u21XV4
Micro Butane Torch: http://amzn.to/2FUEiI9
Larger Butane Torch: http://amzn.to/2pp5k2A
Acetone (Used for Resin & Black Pipe clean up): http://amzn.to/2u23Gtw
Resin Measuring Containers: http://amzn.to/2u8KD0L
Resin Rubber Squeegee: http://amzn.to/2poy7VM
Resin 1/8" Trowel: http://amzn.to/2tXbPPW
Resin Chop Brush: http://amzn.to/2pnXiXO
Resin Mixing Paddle: http://amzn.to/2u2cGyE
Resin Stir Sticks: http://amzn.to/2FdhsOT
Rubber Gloves: http://amzn.to/2FexyI8
Foil Tape: http://amzn.to/2pnSxOL
Wood Glue: http://amzn.to/2poWXUF
CA Glue and Activator: http://amzn.to/2G32aMv
Foam Brush used for Underside of Table: http://amzn.to/2GHEBGM
1000 Grit Sandpaper: http://amzn.to/2u25gLY
220 grit sandpaper: http://amzn.to/2FRjwZd
3/8" Dowel Rod: http://amzn.to/2FUkZOF
Reclaimed Heart Pine Wood: Your Local Hardwood Dealer
84" x 13.5" x 2.5"
Festool Track Saw TS-75 w/ Track: http://amzn.to/2IzAmhf
Festool RO125 Sander: http://amzn.to/2FXHimE
Festool Sandpaper (40 grit - 320 grit): http://amzn.to/2polcmL
Dowel Jig: http://amzn.to/2FXFd9W
Grizzly Table Saw: http://amzn.to/2pqQUiv
Bosch Miter Saw: http://amzn.to/2FOBijR
Dewalt Planer: http://amzn.to/2FSqi12
Dust Right Planer Dust Bag: http://amzn.to/2ICPjik
Dewalt Trim Router: http://amzn.to/2po9PLE
- Roundover bit: http://amzn.to/2G89CWD
- Spiral Bit: http://amzn.to/2G89CWD
- Dado Bit: http://amzn.to/2G89CWD
Sheetrock Square: http://amzn.to/2GHi9xy
Bessey clamps: http://amzn.to/2Izon30
Dewalt Trigger Clamps: http://amzn.to/2pp78tv
Tape Measure: http://amzn.to/2pnIoB1
Glue Scraper: http://amzn.to/2G4TkO5
Straight Edge: http://amzn.to/2FLiCS6
Chisel Set: http://amzn.to/2pp2LgV
Low Angle Jack Plane w/ toothed blade (lie-nielsen)
- Cheaper Alternative, but just as good: http://amzn.to/2FNx3Fq
Step 2: Mill Wood
Once I obtained the materials, I started milling the wood.
I used 3 pieces of reclaimed heart pine for this project.
Since I don't own a joiner, I used my festool track saw to get one straight side. Next, I used my table saw to get the other side of the same board straight. Then, I placed the straight side against the table saw fence to use as reference and trimmed off a thing piece on the other side.
I repeated this process for each board.
Since the boards were relatively flat, I ran each side through my planer. I removed just enough to remove the dirt and grime from each piece.
Step 3: Join Wood
Next, I decided to use 3/8" wood dowels to join each
piece of wood. I lined up the 3 pieces of heart pine and marked where I would use dowels. Each dowel is spaced 12" apart.
Additionally, I marked each join as 'A/B' and 'B/C' to avoid confusion. The first board is 'A', the second is 'B', and the third is 'C'. Therefore, the first join was between 'A' & 'B' and the second was between 'B' & 'C'.
My dowel jig came in very handy during this step; however, the dowel jig is setup to be used on 3/4" stock.
These reclaimed heart pine wood pieces were 2.5" thick. I decided to place the dowels on the upper side and lower side of each piece of wood.
In other words, I placed the first dowel with the jig laying on top of the wood. I placed the next dowel 12" away with the dowel jig laying on the bottom of the wood. This provided enough spacing horizontally and vertically for a nice join.
Next, I cut the dowels on my miter saw, spread glue on each surface, and tightened the boards together with clamps.
Step 4: Remove High Spots
After the glue dried for 8 hours, I removed the clamps and
used my glue scraper to remove excess glue.
Next, I used my straight edge to locate high spots. Then, I used my low angle jack plane with a toothed blade to remove the high spots.
It is crucial to get a flat surface when using epoxy resin.
Step 5: Trim Table Ends and Roundover Edges
After the resin hardened, I used my festool track saw to trim off both ends of the table.
Next, I used my trim router with a roundover bit to round the edges of the rustic table.
An orbital sander and circular saw are alternate tools that can be used to complete this step.
Step 6: Cut Inlays & River
There were many cracks and imperfections in the reclaimed
heart pine wood.
I used my chisels to carve 2 bowties horizontally over a crack in the wood. My sister loves her christian church, so I used my trim router and chisels to make a cross in the middle of the table over a crack that extended the length of the middle board.
Next, I used my trim router and spiral bit to route a 1/2" deep channel from one end of the middle board to the top of the cross and from the other end to the bottom of the cross. In order to create an illusion of a river in the middle of the table, I used my router to drop the river down 1/2" deep into the end of the table.
To make the table more unique, I decided to secure them using resin bowties instead of wood bowties.
Step 7: Fill Inlays With Resin, Then Sand
I used Pro Marine epoxy resin to fill the inlays along with
pigment powder and glow powder.
I mixed white pigment powder and glow powder with the epoxy resin for the bowties and christian cross. For the river color, I used blue pigment powder in the epoxy resin.
Next, I poured the resin and popped the bubbles with a mini torch.
I sanded the table with 60 grit, 80 grit, 100 grit, 120 grit, 150 grit, 180 grit, 220 grit, and 320 grit sandpaper.
Often times, people tell me each grit is unnecessary; however, I learned this isn't entirely true.
If I want a smooth, nice surface each grit is necessary.
If I don't care that much about a perfect finish, I skip every other grit mentioned above.
Step 8: Fill Voids on Underside of Table
After sanding, I flipped the table over and filled all
cracks, knots, and imperfections with epoxy resin mixed with black pigment powder.
Since the wood for this rustic table was reclaimed and old, I knew it could potentially leak resin through the top when it came time for me to apply a finish to the bottom of the table.
Step 9: Sand and Finish Underside of Table
I sanded the underside of the table with all grits I
mentioned above using my festool RO125 sander. The excess black resin was easy to remove with the lower grit sandpaper.
Next, I applied a satin finish to the underside of the table.
Why did I finish the underside of this table? Good question.
Not everyone likes colored resin inlays that glow in the dark. I wanted to finish the underside of the table to give my sister the option to flip the table over if she chooses to do so.
This certainly added extra work to this project as I normally don't finish the underside of the tables I build.
Step 10: Assemble and Attach Black Pipe Table Legs
After the underside was finished, I flipped the table back
over to assemble the table base.
For the table base, I used black pipe legs to add an industrial look to the table. I built the black pipe table base to incorporate a piece of heart pine I cut from an extra wide piece I used for the table top. The size of this piece was roughly the size of a 2x4 and 60 inches long.
I used acetone to clean the grime/grease from the table legs.
Next, I used a razor blade to remove the stubborn stickers/tape from each pipe. The stickers and tape were very aggravating to remove, but acetone made it easier.
Then, I coated the leg base with 3 coats of black spray paint.
Step 11: Apply Epoxy Seal Coats
I used a product called Stonecoat Countertop Epoxy made by
This product is made to cover old countertops and is very durable, which is why I decided to use it for this project. It is heat resistant and more scratch resistant than most table top epoxy resin products.
This was my first time using the product and it is quite different than most epoxy resins used for tables. It has a longer working & curing time.
I really like the fact this product can be mixed with a mixing paddle attached to a drill, which saves time and takes the guess work out of mixing by hand.
Stonecoat recommends applying 3 seal coats. Unlike other manufactures that take a conservative approach to their instructions, this recommendation from Stonecoat is very accurate. I recommend following their instructions very closely and to not skip a step.
The 3 seal coats I applied went on without any issues.
I removed the bubbles after each coat with a torch for approximately every 2 minutes for approximately 20 minutes.
Step 12: Fill Voids and Lightly Sand
Reclaimed wood is beautiful, but it can be challenging to
use with epoxy resin. It often has stubborn pin holes that are very thirsty.
Before I applied the flood coat, I used a burn in stick to seal the stubborn holes. I used a razor blade
Additionally, I used 220 grit sandpaper to lightly sand the table to remove any high spots.
I cleaned the table with a roll of paper towels after sanding.
Step 13: Apply Epoxy Flood Coat
I applied the flood coat and made sure I followed
I used a 1/8” trowel to spread the material across the table and create a consistent thickness.
Next, I used a chop brush on the entire table to pat the material down in order for it to blend together and remove the trowel marks.
Then, I used my blow torch to remove the bubbles. The heat from the blow torch also helps the material gel together and flatten out.
Step 14: Conclusion
I hope this project on how to make a rustic table with epoxy resin provided you with some value because this is, and always will be, my ultimate goal.
I am in the process of creating a very detailed tutorial with over 100 pictures for this project, so check my website often to download a copy.