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How to Make a Stunning River Resin Table
Waterfall tables with live edge wood are aesthetically pleasing and highly sought-after pieces of furniture. If you enjoy carpentry, you can create your own river tables for home, family and friends. The result will be satisfying and rewarding.
Here are the steps to create a resin table for your patio or garden:
- Clear epoxy resin
- Wood with live waney edge
- Translucent coloring pigments
- Flash and release tape
- Double-sided tape
- Polypropylene sheet
- Carpentry tools
- Epoxy adhesive
- Safety gear
- Polishing oil
Important Points to Note
- Always start creating epoxy resin tables in a dry and heated environment, as the ambient temperature of the space should be around 68 deg F throughout the making process.
- Ensure that the epoxy resin is at room temperature when you begin working with it.
- Damp and cold conditions will have an adverse effect on the result
- Ensure the workspace is free from dust and dirt to get desired result
Choose and Prep the Wood
Opt for live waney wood edges as they are the best choice for making these tables. Also, the wood should be dry, seasoned and flat. Since you will be making the waterfall effect, cut and prep the wood based on dimensions of the table you want to create. Then slit the wood into half so that you can create the central channel of river.
If you do not have the tools to cut and prep the wood, ask your wood supplier to do it on your behalf. Give the supplier clear instructions to avoid mistakes.
Seal the Wood
The wood will have cracks, gaps and knotholes which you would have to fill. Use release tape to seal one side of the wood; it will prevent resin from leaking out. Carefully pour the resin into the gaps and holes and set aside the wood for a few hours. After that check; the wood may absorb the resin, so you would need to top it up and leave it again for drying. After the resin completely dries, use the abrasive to level the resin so that you have an even surface.
Create a Container for the Wood
You need to keep the two pieces of wood slab in a container that can hold them steady as you pour the resin between the pieces to create your river table. Space the pieces so that you get the desired width for the resin river.
Take a chipboard that is bigger than the dimensions of your river table and cover it with polypropylene sheet, as the resin does not adhere to this sheet. Position the wood slabs on the sheet. Then create side barriers with the polypropylene sheet and glue them together.
Coloring the Resin
You can use coloring pigments, like metallic pigments, to color your resin river. Take amount of resin and add a little pigment to get the color you want. To make river tables, use translucent coloring pigment (blue preferably) as it will give the solidified resin a water-like effect. Once you get the desired color, divide the resin into two portions. Measure the right about of pigment and add to one portion with the necessary amount of hardening agent. Mix thoroughly. Repeat the same process with the second portion, but a little later.
Pouring the Resin Part 1
Take the first portion and pour it gently in the gap between the two pieces of wood slabs. If you like you can make a base of resin and then position the pieces of wood into position on top of it. Many experts recommend the latter as it prevents air bubble formation when you create the resin river. Use a brush to get the resin into the waney edges to seal knots and cracks. Allow the resin to harden but not become completely dry before you pour the second portion of the resin in the channel. If you notice any bubble, use a heat gun to get rid of it. Alternatively, you can use a hairdryer on a medium heat setting. Make sure you pour just halfway up the channel.
Pouring the Resin Part 2
The first layer of the river resin will help cure base resin that you have used. Once the first layer begins to harden and is still a little tacky, pour another portion of the pigmented resin. Continue doing this, until the resin river reaches the brim. You should marginally overfill the river channel. Let it then stand until it dries completely.
Sanding and Smoothing
Now it is time to smooth your river table. Use a router to route the surface so that it is completely even. Then use a handheld sander to smooth the rough bits on the resin and wood to give it a stunning finish.
If you do not want to route and sand, apply layer of coating resin to achieve the smooth, even finish on the surface.
Making and Attaching Sides
While river tables do not need it, to create waterfall tables with live edge wood, it is best to create the waterfall effect on both sides of the table. Take a slab of wood and in the center V-shaped cut. Now use the process of creating the base and then the river channel explained above. Once the resin is cured, this slab will be one side of your table. Similarly, create a second side. Use an epoxy adhesive to bond the sides to the under surface of river table.
Polishing the Resin River or Waterfall Table
After making the table, it is necessary to seal the wood. Use a wood polishing oil and lint-free cloth to buff the table. Allow the oil to soak into the wood and let it dry. Once the oil dries, start polishing the resin with a good quality polishing compound. Apply only on the resin river and buff until you see a high gloss.
If you like, you can change the look and feel of river tables and waterfall tables with live edge wood using a stain or wax to alter the color and appearance of the wood. You can also change the appearance of the resin river by using multiple colors or embedding pebbles or other objects in the resin after pouring it.
In epoxy resin tables, the resin gets an opaque appearance after sanding and you have the option of leaving it as it is to get a matte finish, or you can use coating resin to achieve a high-gloss finish. The choice is yours.