top of page

Epoxy Resin for Casting

zf.resinart_20190516180228.png

BUILD A RESIN TABLE

How To Make A River Table

Building an epoxy table or resin river table is a fun way to create your own gorgeous table that can be used for many purposes. Whether you are looking for a new dining room table, coffee table, desk or something else entirely, resin river tables are sure to bring beauty and function in your home!

Things you need to know before taking on an epoxy resin table project.
For this application, we suggest our ArtCast Slow Set, or soon to be released RiverPour which is ideal for resin tables or river tables.

We Recommend These Casting Resins For An Epoxy Table

RiverPour is a clear deep casting epoxy resin system that has been designed specifically for river tables and epoxy tables. With a very easy mixing ratio of 2:1 that is measured by weight, which makes measuring large volumes a breeze, it's also very slow curing with outstanding HALS UV stability, high gloss finish, very low in viscosity, low exotherm and great air release. A single pour can cast up to 50mm deep at 25c, with a pot life of 4 hours which will allow a lot of time for preparation and degassing if needed. Demoulding from 72 hours, with 78-81 shore D hardness once fully cured, which makes this ideal for machine turning.  The high gloss finish makes it perfect for use in decorative applications such as river tables or epoxy tables, where a deep glossy finish is desired.

ArtCast Slow is designed to be extremely hard with a Shore D of 85-90, it will give a high gloss finish and is very low in viscosity. This product is also suitable for filling timber voids, pours can be up to 20mm deep (depending on surface area, and ambient temperature). Should your table pour need greater depth, multiple pours can be completed. For deep pours, we suggest to work in a cool environment (under 22 degrees Celsius) And then a final flood coat in between 22 and 25 degrees Celsius - of which is ideal ambient temperature for pouring tables.​

For further assistance in selecting a product most suitable to your application

Wood1.jpg

How To Make A Resin Table

Are you a first-time user or a seasoned pro?

Here is a basic informational guide to build resin tables with some pro tips, from start to finish on how to work with our artistry systems.

When first receiving your epoxy table resin kit, there are a few things you will need to get set up and ready to pour.

Here is a list of everything you will need to make a river table along with your resin kit to get you started.

Resin Art Supplies To Build A River Table:

  • Silicone Mat or Drop Sheet

  • Cups, Bucket or Jugs

  • Mixing Sticks or Drill Mixer

  • Flat Ruler (or similar)

  • Scales

  • Spirit Level

  • Nitrile Gloves

  • PPE - Mask & Safety Glasses if required please read our SDS before use.

  • Timber Piece

  • Wood Sheets for mould construction (MDF, Chipboard, etc)

  • Wood Screws

  • Silicone and Silicone Gun for gaps

  • Mould Release

  • Pigments

  • Baby Wipes or Alcohol Wipes

  • Heat Gun and or Butane Torch

  • Fragile or Standard transporter tape

  • Water Spray Bottle

  • Sandpaper 40 to 240 grit

  • Cotton Cloth

  • Polishing Compound

The Ultimate Guide To Building A Resin River Table

Building a resin river table can be no easy task.

Before starting any river tables, it is important to ensure your work area / surface is level and clean of dust, free from solvents and any other hazards, and to protect your surface by laying down a drop sheet.

Once your work area is ready, you can now inspect your river table mould and clean if needed. If you are planning to use our ArtCast products please see our Cast an Object page.

For this guide, the table mould we will refer to will be laminated MDF or chipboard. Please note that acrylic, metal and plastic sheets can be suitable for the mould material.

How To Make A River Table Mould

When constructing the resin table mould, we recommend to only allow 10 to 20mm headroom from the highest level of epoxy, as this will help with heat dissipation. Ensure all side walls are attached above the base sheet, as this will help with demoulding later.

The resin pour table mould construction needs to be square and side walls to be level, this will help when sealing the joints and corners. Pre-drill and countersink all holes allowing approximately 100-200mm between screws, once mould is mocked up and all screws are tight, you can apply a bead of silicone to all inside joins making no naked joins visible. If this mould will be for multi-use, we would recommend to use fragile or standard transport tape on all internal faces prior to mocking up and fastening, as this will help with the mould not breaking when demoulding.

Once the mould is sealed with silicone, a little tip is to tape all outer joins, so if the mould were to leak, this will assist in stopping the mould from sticking to the floor or work table once cured. Once the resin pour table mould is completed it's time to place it into position, and this is where it will stay until it's time to demould. It's very important to have the mould as level as possible.

Timber Preparation For River Tables

Now you are ready to cut the timber to size or insert into the mould, when selecting orientation please keep in mind the base of the mould (bottom side) will be the top surface of your River Table.

The reason is when using deep casting systems, during the curing phase, the heat will be above ambient temperature and some (but not all) additives such as defoamer, air release and UV inhibitors, will tend to consolidate in higher concentration in the top portion of the pour, because of this you will find the top of any deep cast to be softer when compared to the bottom. The bottom will be slightly harder and will achieve maximum hardness a lot quicker, this will save a lot of time and will be of higher quality when cutting, sanding and polishing.

Table edit2.jpg

When you have the timber in your tabletop mould, this will be a great time to secure the timber down so it won't float once the epoxy resin is applied. The brace can be mounted on the top face of the mould and spacers covered in tape are wedged between it and the timber in order to achieve this. The timber can also be secured to the mould base with silicone, epoxy for five minutes, glue, or nails.

When using a mould release, in general only a very light spray is needed. Some products may need to be lightly wiped or brushed into the mould with a clean and dry cloth or brush. Please check manufacturers instructions before use, do note that mould release is not mandatory, however will help assist in demoulding and will help prolong the life of the mould for repeated use.

Calculate Resin Needed

Now you are ready for mixing, if you need help on the quantity of the that is required for your pour, check out our volume river table resin calculator. As RiverPour is measured by weight and not volume, you can convert the volume required by adding 13% to calculate the weight of RiverPour required for your project. And to convert from weight to volume, you can minus 13%.

How to Mix Resin For a Table

Once you have confirmed the amount of epoxy resin that is needed, you can gather a set of scales and the mixing vessel/s you will be using. Be sure that the bucket/s will be large enough to hold the total volume of mixed resin. Place the bucket on the scales and turn on, ensuring the scales show zero.

 

We recommend to add the hardener first to the mixing container, and the reason for this is the hardener density is lower than the resin, so when adding the resin to the hardener, the resin will drop to the bottom of the mixing container and while that occurs, the hardener will coat the resin and will help it not stick as much to the base and walls of the container, making mixing a lot easier!

Once both resin and hardener are in the bucket, we recommend using a drill mixer for anything over 3kg. You will start the drill mixer on its slowest speed, making sure the mixing head is at the bottom of the bucket or container, and making sure not to allow any air to be mixed into the mixture, you can increase the drill speed if needed.

 

When mixing, it is normal for the mixture to go hazy as the resin and hardener begins to combine. You can use a mixing stick or a paddle pop stick to scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing vessel. If the amount is too large, you can use the drill mixing head while running to scrape the sides and bottom. Continue mixing until the resin has become clear and does not have any streaks.

Mixing Pigment into Epoxy Resin

You can now add colourant at this point, be sure to remember to always add very minimal in the beginning and slowly build up to the desired colour or opacity. If you require degassing in a vacuum chamber, we recommend to hold a vacuum for 5 minutes and release, this cycle can be repeated for up to 60 minutes from when mixing had commenced.

How to Pour An Epoxy Resin Table Top

When pouring the mixed resin into the mould, we use a ruler (or similar flat surface) placed into the resin art table mould on an angle and pour the epoxy resin very slowly, being careful to avoid allowing the epoxy to drip off and splash, as this aids in minimising air bubbles forming. This can be repeated in many locations if needed, once the table mould is full to the required level. This is a good time to use a paddle pop stick to slowly scrape all the timber inner edges to release any trapped air bubbles, this may need to be repeated later in the curing stage if required.

How Long to Leave Epoxy Resin to Cure

Now you can give the resin surface a light torch to release any surface foam or air bubbles. Over the curing cycle the epoxy will increase in heat, respective to the total volume of product used. We would recommend placing a fan/s on medium speed on one side of the mould around 3 hours after first mixing. The reason for this is to allow time for the epoxy to heat up, and for any air bubbles to rise to the surface, of which can be given it a light torch.

 

Once the casting is free of foam or air bubbles, this is the ideal time to turn on fan/s, as we want to keep the curing cycle as cool as possible. The fan is only there to move the hot air that is generated from the epoxy in its curing cycle. Keeping in mind that the more head room the river table mould has from the epoxy level, it will retain more heat and will create hot spots, which will make the pour cure at different rates and can also create low spots. You will mostly find the low spots form in the corners and this sometimes cannot be avoided.

Allow a minimum of 72 hours for the curing process, you can check at the 24-hour and 48-hour mark for the cured hardness, and this can be performed with a Shore D metre, or alternatively, with your finger nail. A minimum of 75 shore D or when you need to put a lot of force to dent the resin with your fingernail is required prior to demoulding. Note that fans can be switched off at the 24-hour mark.

Table edit1.jpg

Demoulding your River Table Top

Once the cured resin has achieved the correct hardness, demoulding can commence. Depending on the type of epoxy river tables project, such as resin coffee table, resin dining table, or a glow epoxy resin table, it can stay in the mould for longer periods of time. The resin will continue to harden over the next 4-7 days, and it will be a lot easier to demould and perform all next steps once it is harder. If you find the resin to be flexible or denting very easily when you begin to demould, please allow further 24-hours before continuing demoulding.

Once the epoxy table top is demoulded, we like to allow the resin table piece to rest on a flat surface for a further 24 hours, depending on how large the river table piece is, a surface planer (CNC or router sled) will be required, if any other cutting or docking needs to be done, this is the time to do it.

 

If you find any large holes, divots bigger than 10mm from where the resin has not cured this will mostly happen where the resin meets the timber or if there are any timber voids, they can be patched with our ArtCast SlowFast, depending on size. When patching, you may need to tint the resin to match the original table top pour and this must be done before any planning has been performed.

Sanding Epoxy Resin River Table

When you are ready to sand your river table, we recommend starting with 40-60 grit sandpaper for small imperfections or if machine marks are present.

 

Next stage you will do what is called water popping and this step will help raise the woodgrain and any imperfections will be more visible. To do this, you will need a water spray bottle and you lightly mist the whole table surface you are sanding, then wipe down with a dry cotton cloth, please note you will need the water to be distributed evenly, and it is best to wait 45-60 minutes before sanding with 60-80 grit. Water popping should be done in-between each grit size up to 180 grit.

 

Once the table is sanded to 180 grit, any pinholes or divots that are visible can be patched again using the step noted above. Once all patches are sanded, this is a great time to router the edge, and sand all table edges and top surface with 240 grit.

If you are looking for a stained or oiled finish, we recommend cleaning the table with raw wood cleaner or alcohol wipes and applying the wood oil of your choice, please follow product manufacturers instructions. If you are wanting a high gloss polished look, you will need to continue sanding to 400 grit and continue wet sanding to 1200 grit and above. Normally the bottom side of the table will only be sanded up to 180-220 grit.

When you are ready for polishing, we recommend a three-stage polishing kit, which contains a cutting compound, a medium compound and fine compound, please follow product manufacturers instructions.

Which epoxy for an epoxy resin table? 

There are many types of epoxy, which is why some people find it challenging to get into epoxy arts and crafts. However, through our online project helper, you can easily find the right kind of epoxy product for your project.

Here is what we have to offer if you're looking for a glossy wood river table:

Ideal resin for timber voids is ArtCast. You can fill up both medium and small voids and holes on your DIY river table in order to encapsulate its intricate details. It mixes thinner and can be poured deeper than normal coating systems, making it an ideal resin for wood. Also, ArtCast penetrates wood more easily than most casting wood resins.

And we've got kits formulated for that too.

  • RiverPour is specially designed for epoxy resin tables and resin wood applications. With its very low exothermic nature, a single pours up to 50mm deep can be archived.

  • Epoxy ArtCast Slow is designed for art casting, encapsulation, and other creative applications requiring a low viscosity. ArtCast Slow is a clear casting.

  • A low viscosity epoxy, ArtCast Fast is ideal for casting, encapsulating, and filling voids.

RiverPour Product-wood.jpg

How to choose a river table resin top coat?

Resin top coats come in various levels of gloss. DiamondCote is a high gloss. The best option for a simple pour-and-leave method, while ArtCast is the best option for a sand-and-polish method. Both DiamondCote and ArtCast are excellent options for creating unique, long-lasting epoxy resin table top finishes.

How to maintain a timber epoxy resin tabletop?

The maintenance of clear resin for wood is an easy task that does not require highly technical skills.

The best way to prevent scratches on your tabletop is to buff instead of scrub.

While it may seem tempting to use rubbing alcohol to remove oil and dirt, we recommend avoiding this solution since it could cause a dull finish.

In spite of the fact that your tabletop is completely cured, steam cleaning could tamper with its quality. Use a soft cloth, soap, and lukewarm water to clean your table top to keep it looking pristine without causing discoloration.

 

On the table top you should never place anything straight from the stove or microwave. Warm items are safe.

Want to learn more? We have other How To like Casting Resin Projects, Create Resin ArtHow To Make A Resin Art Cheese Board and also great information on like What is Pigment Paste For Resin, What Can I Put in Epoxy Resin and The Effects of Humidity on Epoxy. Have any other questions about our products? Please checkout our FAQ Page.

Visit our online store for all your resin art supplies to help you build an amazing epoxy table.

Disclaimer: Before pouring any resin, please make sure you read the product Safety Data Sheet (SDS) before use. Outcome can vary depending on weather, humidity, mass and other unforeseen factors. All recommendations are for informational purposes only. Just Resin assumes no responsibility, since the method of application and its use is beyond our control. It is the responsibility of the user to ensure a proper assessment has been carried out. No representation or warranties, either expressed or implied, or merchantability, fitness for purpose or any other nature are made here under with Respect to the product to which this information refers.

Please take note a resin table can also be referred to as an epoxy table, river table, river pour table or epoxy resin table. More popular content is seen online referring to river tables, epoxy river tables and river resin tables.

justresin 250px wide Blk.jpg
Just Resin Logo
  • instagram
  • facebook
  • youtube
bottom of page