If you have scrolled through woodworking Instagram pages, Pinterest boards or blogs, you have likely come across a river table created with live edge wood and epoxy resin. The epoxy resin acts as a bond between the 2 pieces of live edge and showcases the ridges, groves and character of the lumber that would be otherwise covered. With tinted blue resin and the woods character and edge being reminiscent a real riverbank, it is no surprise how these masterpieces earned their river table name.
Epoxy resin has many uses in modern woodworking, outside of the popular river tables. Its unique properties in conjunction with wood enable its use in a variety of formats. Epoxy resin applications include:
- Sealing and protecting woods surface
- Filling and repairing wood
- Casting wood in resin
- Alternative for glue
- Adding unique color and patterns to projects
Epoxy resin’s unique properties are what make it such an ideal medium that many have incorporated in their woodworking projects. It is a two-component material that can cure within a few hours of the components being mixed and then can be cut, ground and polished. There are different types of resin for different projects, including high-viscosity resin that is best for coating layers and low-viscosity resin that is ideal for casting molds and resin art. It is water and chemical resistant, contributing to the versatility of its implementations. The resin that is used can also fluctuate the surface hardness and resistance to yellowing from UV exposure. Unlike polyurethane resin and polyester resin, epoxy resin shrinks less and bonds to wood indefinitely.
While epoxy resin is an incredible medium to work with in the wood shop, it does have its draw backs. Its strength and ability to adhere to any surface make its application irreversible, making it less than ideal for large scale projects that may need disassembly. Epoxy resin fumes can also be toxic, which is why wearing a respirator with a filter while in a well-ventilated room is highly recommended. Wearing eye protection and nitrile or latex gloves is suggested as well, to avoid potential allergens, irritants, and subsequent reactions. Price, cure time for large scale projects, bubbles and dust are other complaints lodged against epoxy resin.
Check out these Forest 2 Home community projects that feature epoxy resin!
Annalee filled her Louisiana C.O.P.S emblem with blue, white & silver epoxy resin for her F2H Gives Back Project
@annieswoodworks on Instagram
Ron Feathers adorned the lid of his box with a purple epoxy resin river
@succulents_and_sawdust on Instagram
Ethan Abramson used multiple epoxy resin colors to create a cool tie-dye effect on this table top
@thebuildwithethan on Instagram
With the right preparation, incorporating epoxy resin in your woodworking projects can elevate them in ways otherwise not possible. Will you be bringing epoxy resin into the workshop?