Have you always wanted to use epoxy resin in your woodworking projects? If you are looking to create a river table design or are just looking to seal your work with a high gloss finish, there is an epoxy resin for you.
There are a ton of ways to use epoxy resin for woodwork. However, here are some things you should know before you start.
Epoxy Resin Options
There are a few options for resin on the market, and you want to make sure you pick one that matches the needs of your project. These are the two most common types you can find.
High Viscosity Resin
You can use this when coating surfaces, like tables or floors. This type may also be called laminating resin.
High viscosity resin tends to be thicker and isn't great for pouring more than one cm thickness. Also, due to how thick it is, air bubbles have a difficult time escaping.
Low Viscosity Resin
This type of resin can also be called casting resin or deep pour epoxy resin. It's more watery and can be poured in thin layers, which allows for thicker pours. Due to its texture, this low viscosity resin has an easier time getting into all crevices of a mould or woodworking project.
You can make a variety of things with this resin. Dice, jewelry, and river tables, to name a few.
Low viscosity resin tends to harden after 12-24 hours, and it doesn't heat up as quickly. Removing any air bubbles that form is easy with this resin type with a hot hair dryer or some other heating device.
Things You Need to Know When Buying Epoxy Resin
You will need to determine how much epoxy resin you'll need for your project. For example, if you are making a small piece of jewelry, you'll need much less than a river table.
If using resin is new to you, try mixing smaller batches of resin before you get started. This way, you'll know the exact consistency you want and the measurements to get there.
You'll also figure out how fast the resin hardens in your environment. But, again, this can change based on how cool or warm it is.
Temperature is critical when working with resin and storing it. If you live in a cold climate, make sure your resin stays in a warm room, or it can change the overall texture.
You should become familiar with the term 'pot time.' This is the amount of time resin can be used for pouring after it's been mixed. If you wait too long, the resin gets lumpy and is pretty much unusable.
Tools You'll Need
You may already have some of these tools available to you, depending on the type of woodworking you do.
To make sure the wood is smooth, you'll want sandpaper of different strengths. If you are working on large projects, you may wish to use a hand sander.
As previously mentioned, a silicon mixing bowl or one-use plastic mixing pots. You'll also want a silicon hand mixer or a paint mixer and drill to make your mixing time a little easier.
A simple wooden paint stick can also get the job done when mixing. Just be careful if you've used a particular mixer before. You don't want colors to mix unexpectedly.
A heat gun can also be handy when working with resin. If you don't have a heat gun a hairdryer will do. These will help any trapped bubbles come to the surface, and then you can sand the imperfections down.
How To Mix Epoxy Resin
Make sure you are mixing your epoxy resin properly. You don't want to waste your time and money only to find out you've added too much or too little hardener.
To mix your epoxy resin, you'll need a silicone bowl or a reusable plastic cup. Depending on how much resin you're mixing, you might need to get creative.
A drill with a paint mixer attached to it can work wonders for mixing resin. You can also do this by hand. If you are adding color to your resin, you can pour it in while you're mixing. This will give it an even tone.
Once everything is mixed correctly, you can start to pour into your mold.
Things to Remember When Working With Epoxy Resin
You'll want to get everything organized before you start mixing. For example, you don't want the epoxy to start hardening in your mixing bowl or cup.
Consider purchasing a silicon mixing bowl or something reusable to mix in. Using a ton of one-use plastic cups can be wasteful.
Remember, the temperature is critical when mixing. You don't want your resin to get too hot, and you don't want it to get cold.
When working with resin and wood, make sure you sand down your wood and clean the surface with alcohol before pouring. This ensures dust particles or imperfections won't show up in your resin pour.
How to Make Epoxy Resin Pretty
One of the best parts of using resin is you can make it any color you want.
When adding color, you have options. There is liquid pigment and powder pigment. Liquid can be a little bit more challenging to handle. If you are looking to make your resin a precise color, it might be best to measure a powder pigment.
There are also things like mica powder that you can add to make your woodworking art stand out.
Ready to Start Your Next Woodworking Project?
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