Anyone have experience using Epoxy Resin in your woodwork for finishing? I’ve seen some stunning examples but not really sure where to start.
I have used resin in several projects but I am by no means an expert. I have made many bowls out of coloured pencils set in resin which are great sellers at craft fairs. I have also used it in filling splits in logs for turning and have used coloured additives to add a little more interest. Remember that if you are going to use resin it should be the casting resin type, and you must add a flexible additive or else it will splinter and chip rather than cut. I use a company called ABL Stevens as they are specialists and have huge range of resins. When you enter their site click on “Casting Resins” on the left hand side menu. You will also find some of my pots in their picture gallery. Leakage is the biggest problem I have on wood and timber so it is important to thoroughly seal any open ends. I find Plasticine to be one of the best things for this. For pencil bowls etc I always use cheap food containers as moulds which you will find in any supermarket. The main problem to look out for here is to thoroughly coat each individual pencil so the bowl does not break apart during machining. Its also important to spray any moulds with a release agent so that you can get the blank out when its set. I have several Tupperware bowls completely destroyed when I was learning about casting.
You can buy coloured dyes but a much cheaper and just as good option is to use food colourings. If you want an opaque colour use acrylic paint. Thats just a few basic principles and you should look at YouTube where you will find numerous clips on resin work.
I have used resin with wood but not sure if you are talking about “finishing” a wooden object with resin… if thats the case I have not even heard of that technique so would also be interested.
There is a product called Glass Cast 3 which is a coating resin not a casting resin,you use it for river tables and penny floor type applications. I know a lot of our American cousins use Clear Coat which is painted on and gas torched to remove air bubbles. The only other thing I have used is CA glue on smaller turned projects which can be built up and then cut back and polished to a high gloss. I am by no means an expert on this subject.
I have been a boatbuilder most of my career & have used a lot of different epoxies, The main thing to remember with epoxy resins is that their UV resistance is very poor, this means if it is exposed to sunlight for any length of time it will degrade rapidly & fail, first thing that happens is the coating starts to go gingery then breaks up. One year in the sun is all it takes then you have the refinishing job from hell on your hands!
I’m usually working with ProMarine epoxies, and results are totally fine, some of my sample photos here.