This is a little table with a NES cartridge floating in poured resin in the top.
Having seen some great poured resin Instructables, I really wanted to have a crack at it. My NES finally broke beyond my fixing abilities this year, so to honour its memory, I thought I'd I made myself a little table/foot stool that incorporated something from my all time favourite console.
Tools I used
- Table saw
- Mitre saw
- Router - 25mm top bearing & rounding over bit
Hand tool option
- Chisel & mallet
- 5 litres of elbow grease
- Chunk of solid oak 40mm worktop
- Pour on resin (16oz)
- NES cartridge
Step 1: Plan and Gather Materials
So, I got a NES cartridge out, measured it, and decided it would need a 175mm square (25mm deep) to sit in. Stick a 50mm border on that and I ended up with a 275mm table top. I did a little sketch, and took to the shed.
I had a chunk of 40mm thick oak worktop that had been gathering dust for a few years, so finally had an excuse to use it!
Using the table saw i cut off a 275mm square, and gave it a little love with some sandpaper to make sure there weren't any deep grooves or anything ugly on my face edge. Now this needed a "well" in the middle for the resin and cartridge.....
Step 2: Router O' Clock
After marking on the square with a knife, get yer router out, and working from the center outwards start hollowing out the oak. Not much to say here other than gradually drop the height of the cutter, and be patient. The router is a dangerous tool, so if you're not experienced with them maybe find a friend that is.
After the bulk of the well was dug, I made a little right angle guide for my template bit and cut all the sides and corners, ensuring the edges were straight.
If you don't have a router, you could probably do it with a simple mallet & chisel, but I reckon it would take rather a long time!
After giving it a well earned rest, I switched a chamfering bit into the router and put some bold chamfers on all the outside edges.
Step 3: Legs
I ripped what was left of the worktop into 40mm wide strips, then fed it through the planer/thicknesser to take off the nasty surface to get them square and even. I selected the best bits for the legs and cut them to length (300mm) on the mitre saw.
I made the rails (140mm long, 45mm wide) from a piece of scrap oak I had kicking about, on the table saw & mitre saw.
I chose to use mortice & tenon joint, because they're strong and sexy. After marking out where the mortices would go in the legs, I cut them using a morticer. You can do this with mallet, chisel, and a great deal of care if you don't have a morticer. The tenons where cut using a rebating bit in the router.
After a cheeky test fit to make sure everything was nice and snug, I gave the appropriate edges a bold chamfer using the router.
A few clamps and some glue and it was ready for some sandpaper love, and a few coats of varnish.
Step 4: Pour the Resin
To prepare the well i gave it a few coats of varnish. This sealed the oak, and would stop air bubbles from seeping out the wood when the resin was poured. Then I glued a little platform to the bottom for the cartridge to sit on so it would look like it was floating, and glued the cart to this so it wouldn't float away.
Right then, this bit's a little tricky! The resin I used was "EasyCast", and I got it from amazon.
On my first attempt I didn't believe that each pour would blend seemlessly with the previous, so I threw caution to the wind and attempted to pour it all in one go (see last pic). This was a mistake...don't do this.
READ THE INSTRUCTIONS IN THE PACK AND FOLLOW THEM TO THE LETTER!
Get a couple of plastic cups, and measure out equal amounts of the resin & hardener (around a quarter of the bottle for me). Then pour one into the other and mix vigorously for a couple of minutes. Then pour this into a third container (I used a cheap plastic measuring jug), and continue mixing for a couple more minutes. Then carefully pour the mixture into the well.
It's likely there will be a lot of bubbles in the resin. EasyCast does quite a good job of degassing itself, but I did have to give it a hand will my heat torch (a hairdryer will work too). You'll want to set aside a good hour to keep checking for bubbles and degassing and picking any imperfections out the resin.
Then I covered it, and left it for around 12hrs before doing the next pour. If you leave it for longer than 24hrs you have to do some extra stuff to get the layers to blend, so avoid this. I filled the well in 4 pours, then left it to fully cure for around 72hrs.
Then glue the top to the leg section, and you're all done!
Step 5: In Case You'd Rather Just Buy One....
I'm really pleased with my little table and it's the perfect height for me to put my feet up! If you can get your hands on the tools please have a crack at it, but if you'd like to commission me to make you one, hit me up at Jonny@1upLiving.com , and check out my Etsy shop for some other stuff I make!