Epoxy Resin for Casting
BUILD A RESIN TABLE
How To Make A River Table Using Epoxy Resin
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 table or river tables.
We Recommend These Casting Resin Products 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, its 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. With outstanding UV stability, low in odour and is ultra-clear in clarity. ArtCast Slow can be turned on a lathe, sanded back, and then polished. It has an approximate work time of 30-40mins and is a 3:1 ratio by volume. Re pour at approx 2hrs, touch dry / de-mould at approx 12hrs. It is great for small and medium castings. 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 epoxy 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 epoxy resin tables.
For further assistance in selecting a product most suitable to your application
How To Make A Resin Table
Are you a first-time epoxy resin 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 epoxy systems.
When first receiving your epoxy table resin kit, there are a few things you will need to get setup 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
Mixing Sticks or Drill Mixer
Flat Ruler (or similar)
PPE - Mask & Safety Glasses if required please read our SDS before use.
Wood Sheets for mould construction (MDF, Chipboard, etc)
Silicone and Silicone Gun for gaps
Baby Wipes or Alcohol Wipes
Heat Gun and or Butane Torch
Fragile or Standard transporter tape
Water Spray Bottle
Sandpaper 40 to 240 grit
The Ultimate Guide To Building A Resin River Table
Building a resin river table can be no easy task. Fortunately, this article will include all the necessary information you need to get started!
Before starting any resin table, 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 Silicone Mat or 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 click the link for the mixing guide on our Cast an Object page.
For this guide, the resin 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 joins and corners. Pre drill and counter sink 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.
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 de-foamer, 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.
When you have the timber in your resin table top mould, this will be a great time to secure the timber down so it does not float once the epoxy resin is added. This can be achieved by mounting a brace across the mould top face and use spacers covered in tape to wedge between the bracket and the timber. Alternatively, silicone, 5-minute epoxy, glue or even nails can be used to secure the timber to the base of the mould.
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 river table 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 resin 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 Epoxy Resin 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 to use 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 a Resin Table
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 minimizing air bubbles forming. This can be repeated in many locations if needed, once the resin 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 resin to heat up, and for any air bubbles to raise 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 resin in its curing cycle. Keeping in mind, that the more head room the river table mould has from the resin 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 meter, 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 finger nail is required prior to demoulding. Note that fans can be switched off at the 24-hour mark.
Demoulding your River Table Top
Once the cured resin has achieved the correct hardness, demoulding can commence. Depending on the type of 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, as 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 resin 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 then 10mm from where the resin has not cured this will mostly happen where the resin meets the timber or if there were any timber voids, they can be patched with our ArtCast Slow or Fast, 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 planing has been performed.
Sanding Epoxy Resin River Table
When you are ready to sand your river resin table, we recommend to start 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 apply the wood oil of your choice, please follow products 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 products manufacturers instructions.
Which epoxy for an epoxy resin table?
There are many types of resin, which is why some people find it challenging to get into resin arts and crafts. However, through the Just Resin online project helper, you can easily find the right kind of resin product for your project.
Here is what Just Resin has to offer if you're looking to use glossy resin for a wood river table:
Resin for Timber Voids
With ArtCast Resin, you can fill up both Medium and small voids and holes on your DIY river table in order to encapsulate its intricate details. The ArtCast casting resin is an ideal epoxy resin for wood and combines wood and resin in a mould. It mixes thinner and can be poured deeper than normal coating systems, making it an ideal resin for wood. Also, ArtCast casting resin penetrates wood more easily than other casting wood resin.
And we’ve got resin kits formuled 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. Our resin river table RiverPour has outstanding clarity, hardness and uv stability for river tables and large casting longevity.
Epoxy Resin ArtCast Slow is designed for art casting, encapsulation, and other creative applications requiring a low viscosity. ArtCast Slow is a clear casting, but can also be tinted with Just Resin Pigment Pastes, Powders, Glitters and Inks.
A low viscosity Epoxy Resin, ArtCast Fast is ideal for casting, encapsulating, filling voids, and other creative applications when quick curing is required. It offers outstanding hardness and clarity for small castings up to 200ml. Use it to tint ArtCast Fast with resin pigment pastes, powders, glitters and inks.
How to choose a river table resin top coat?
DiamondCote resin is 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 finishes. They both offer high-quality results that will last for years. The difference lies in the method of application. DiamondCote is best applied using a simple pour-and-leave technique, while ArtCast requires a more complex sanding and polishing process to produce its exquisite finish. Both top coating methods have advantages depending on what you’re looking to achieve with your river resin project. No matter which coating wood resin you choose, it’s important to follow the instructions provided by Just Resin so you can get the most out of your product. This includes proper surface preparation before applying the resin along with any necessary finishing processes such as sanding, buffing or brushing after curing. With these tips in mind, both DiamondCote and ArtCast can help bring your vision to life!
For more information about our resin types for wood resin projects, please refer to our Project Compatibility Chart. Here, you will see details regarding viscosity, pouring depth, and sanding capability.
Additionally, our website provides tips on how to properly prepare your surface before beginning a resin wood project. We recommend that you should use a sander or sandpaper in order to create an even surface for the resin, and then clean it with rubbing alcohol. Doing so helps ensure that the resin bonds more effectively with the wood table’s surface. After this is accomplished, you can start prepping and mixing your resin according to the instructions included in its packaging.
Shop online now at JustResin.store to complete your DIY epoxy table!
What are the benefits of using epoxy resin table top?
You can gain a variety of benefits after a resin wood table has been fully cured. Here are a few:
A resin table is durable since it prevents corrosion of the timber. As a result, your table will last longer and look vibrant with pigments for a long time.
The resin makes a wooden table more durable because it is resistant to water, making it easier to clean spills and preventing liquids from ruining the surface.
You can stain or tint the transparent layer with colours. This creates a wonderful design in the finished product. If you wish, you can also stain the timber and apply clear resin over the top for more depth.
With our quality epoxy resin table top products, you can finally create that resin side table, resin coffee table or resin river table you've always wanted. Join the Just Resin community and share your resin art tabletop with us.
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. Here are a few tips to keep your resin for wood table looking like new:
The best way to prevent scratches on your resin tabletop is to buff instead of scrub. If you often use the table to eat, food crumbs will most likely stick to the surface. Instead of scrubbing or scratching it off, lightly buff or wipe it away with a soft cloth.
While it may seem tempting to use rubbing alcohol to remove oil and dirt from the resin, we recommend avoiding this solution since it could cause a dull finish.
In spite of the fact that your resin tabletop is completely cured, steam cleaning could tamper with its quality. Use a soft cloth, soap, and lukewarm water to clean your resin to keep it looking pristine without causing discoloration.
On a resin surface, you should never place anything straight from the stove or microwave. Warm items are safe.
The resin will yellow faster if it is exposed to direct sunlight.
Your resin wood table will last a long time if you follow the above tips.
Choose Just Resin today and explore endless wood resin crafting possibilities!
Want to learn more? We have other How To like Casting Resin Projects, Create Resin Art, How 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.