With Halloween around the corner, we've got orange and black on the brain so we wanted to take on a DIY resin art and woodworking project using Halloween colors! We recently got a wall-mounted magnetic knife bar as a gift and thought it would be a great opportunity to dial up the awesome with some beautiful purpleheart wood and epoxy resin.
Combining woodworking with other mediums is one of our favorite things. We used black and orange pigments and turned a basic metal knife bar into a majestic Halloween nebula of awesomeness!
We recommend watching the video above and following along with the written steps!
Total Boat 2:1 Epoxy Kit - http://www.totalboat.com/ (Use code 'WICKED' at checkout for 20% off.)
Magnetic Knife Bar - https://amzn.to/2mRiXKp
Superglue - https://amzn.to/2PVzlHJ
Black Diamond Pigment Powder (Copper Penny) - https://amzn.to/2mTYIM8
Black Diamond Pigment Powder (Black Diamond) - https://amzn.to/2mTYIM8
Waterlox Finish - https://amzn.to/2mZ1YWs
Nitrile/Latex Gloves - https://amzn.to/2QaOCVc
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Step 1: The Wooden Strips!
We wanted to put wood on both sides of the magnetic knife bar, so we looked at a few species of wood and landed on Purpleheart as our choice because it has a great color and fits the Halloween theme.
It measured about 1.875" wide, so we used the Golden Ratio (1.618) to determine the ideal width for the strips on the side, which was 1.16". We then ripped the two strips on the table saw.
Next, we lined up the ends of the two strips to one end of the magnet and then traced a line on the opposite side to mark the total length. We then cut off the extra from the ends, giving us two wood strips that were the exact same length as the magnetic bar.
Step 2: Gluing the Wood to the Magnetic Bar!
To attach the wood to the metal, we used regular super glue! Later on, the epoxy will help all of it stay securely together, but at this stage, the superglue is plenty strong enough.
We applied enough super glue to cover the entire surface, aligned the ends using a piece of wood, and then used some clamps to secure everything together. Even though the glue dries in a matter of minutes, the clamps help make sure it stays aligned and stays firmly together.
The magnetic bar has a slight bevel on the edges, so we laid a small bead of super glue on the inside edge to prevent any resin from dripping down in between the wood and metal when we pour it. (This can be seen more easily in the video linked in step one.)
Step 3: Prepping for the Epoxy Pour!
We needed to dam the sides so epoxy can't leak out, so to do that we took two small pieces of wood and covered one side of each piece in packing tape. (Epoxy doesn't stick to packing tape, so the wood will come off easily after!) We also put a strip of packing tape on each end of the workpiece and then trimmed off the excess. A few dabs of superglue the wood securely to the workpiece on each end.
This creates an enclosed space so when we pour the epoxy into the center, it will pool up and not run out the edges.
Lastly, we flipped the workpiece over and put a small bead of super glue on the bottom where the metal meets the wood just in case any epoxy leaked through our tape seal.
Step 4: Epoxy Tests!
We're using orange and black pigments to dye our epoxy and to figure out the pattern we wanted to create, we ran quite a few tests ahead of time to see what we wanted it to look like.
Often with epoxy pours like this, you really only get one shot at it and if things go wrong it can sometimes ruin a lot of hard work. Your best friend at this stage is a LOT of testing.
We ran many tests to see what kind of pattern, colors, etc. that we wanted before doing the actual pour. Bonus, you might end up with some pretty neat epoxy resin art afterward from all your tests! :)
Step 5: Mixing the Epoxy!
We're using Total Boat's 2:1 Epoxy Kit, which is mixed in two parts resin to one part hardener, by volume. Once we poured the appropriate amount, we then thoroughly mixed them in a container.
When they're fully mixed, we split them into two separate containers and add a small amount of the colored pigment powder to each container, which is then mixed in. This gives us some really nice colors and is also really, really fun. :)
Step 6: The Pour!
We poured a small bit of our black epoxy around the edges and then a thick pour of orange down the middle. In order to avoid the "meniscus effect", we did our best to fill the entire space with epoxy (up to the edges of the wood), otherwise, it won't end up flat and we'll have problems later when it dries.
Once we poured all the resin in, we used a stick to mix it together and create the abstract effect.
Step 7: Sanding and Polishing!
Try as we did, we still ended up with a slight meniscus effect in some places which meant the top wasn't very flat. We could have stopped here, but we opted to sand the entire thing flat. But, that meant the epoxy surface gets very dull and loses its appealing shine.
To address that, we sanded the entire surface up to 1000 grit. We've since learned we could have stopped at about 400 and then just put another thin layer of epoxy on top of the entire thing to bring back the shine. We'll definitely try that next time!
We used sandpaper to put a very small chamfer on the edges and remove any sharp corners.
Step 8: The Oil Finish!
After wiping off all of the dust, we used a waterproof oil finish (Waterlox) and applied three coats with a foam brush to both the wood and the epoxy. This really brings out the grain of the purpleheart and the beautiful shine of the epoxy and has the added bonus of making it waterproof since it will be in the kitchen.
The epoxy came out looking kind of like an orange Halloween space nebula, which is just amazing.
Step 9: The Results!
To mount it to the wall, a thin metal bar is screwed to the wall. The magnetic knife bar sticks to it easily from the back with the built-in magnet.
We then did the final test, and we were happy to see that the knives still stuck to the magnet firmly even through the 1/8" of epoxy. Our goal was to take a somewhat boring piece of metal and turn it into something unique and awesome, and we're really happy with the results!
If you'd like to see more of our work, here are some links:
Thanks for reading!
Runner Up in the
Art Skills Challenge