What is Epoxy Resin?
Epoxy resin is a versatile compound that, although used in a wide range of industries, has relatively recently captured the imagination of creative souls in disciplines such as woodworking and jewellery making. When combined with wood especially, this durable adhesive offers a modern take on classic rustic designs, from table tops right down to coasters. What’s more, it allows designers to make use of pieces of wood that would normally be thrown away; an unsightly yet interesting burr, for instance, will bond easily to epoxy resins to make a bespoke pen blank or stunning pendant. To achieve these designs, the resin is mixed with a hardener that slowly cures the compound, allowing time to add colourful dyes or objects such as flowers and ferns. The end result is a durable, shapeable material that will last longer than other epoxies – especially when combined with wood because it doesn’t shrink as readily during the curing process.
Creating Resin Epoxy Tables
Resin epoxy tables are particularly popular right now, with many unique designs out there that make use of the compound’s wonderful properties. These tables are essentially a mix of epoxy resin for wood and the wood itself, creating a striking contrast on the table surface, and the river table is perhaps the most popular as it’s simple yet effective. A live edge plank, for example, can easily be split down the middle, inverted and connected with a “river” of casting epoxy resin, dyed in a multitude of colours to create any desired effect, from crystal clear waters to flowing lava. This rustic-looking design utilises the natural lines of the wood, but it’s also possible to cut out unique and modern shapes of wood and set them in epoxy, creating striking coffee table designs and bespoke side tables. Smoothing down these surfaces with an orbital sander before polishing and treating the wood with a finishing oil will really bring out the details.
Epoxy Casting with Wood
Once hardened, epoxy resin, just like wood, can be sanded and shaped to make jewellery such as pendants, rings and bracelets, which are often embellished with small added details set into the clear epoxy finish. On a pendant, for instance, the surface of the wood, whether it’s a unique burr or a dramatic piece of snapped wood, can be shaped and coloured to represent anything from a snowy mountain range to a rocky canyon, and plants and flowers set in the resin will only add to the beauty. These types of castings, as mentioned, are also ideal for making rings, resulting in a bespoke piece of jewellery that can be sanded and polished. Another simple design is to take metal hollow shapes and fill them with epoxy and small flowers, petals or bits of fern to create hanging decorative pieces, which are often used as pendants or even for hanging on the Christmas tree. Other popular ideas include paperweights, wall art and pens.
Filling Cracks with Wood Epoxy
Wood can sometimes not be in the best condition due to natural deterioration or trapped moisture. Luckily, wood epoxy offers an effective solution for a range of imperfections, whether it’s a rotting window sill or a cracked table. For situations where cracks need filling in, a normal resin – hardener composite will reach into those crevices and provide deep support when it cures. When rot has compromised wooden features, however, an easy-to-mould epoxy is available that can be shaped right away. This option consists of a consolidant applied to the affected area that soaks in, providing a solid base for the paste filler when it hardens. Once fully shaped and cured, it’s easy to sand, polish and paint over if necessary, and the finished product will move and flex as the wood does, helping to avoid cracks.