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LED Epoxy Resin River Table

In this video tutorial, I show you how to make an LED Epoxy Resin River Table with reclaimed sinker cypress wood.  




I received a text from my friends at Riverside Lumber in New Orleans about some unique Sinker Cypress they received.  

Immediately, I went over there the same day because Sinker Cypress sells very quickly.  

I love working with Sinker Cypress because it is such a beautiful wood with lots of history. 

Also, I love the beauty of a sinker cypress table.

So, I purchased a piece of Sinker Cypress that was about 8 feet in length and 17 inches wide.  

The picture below is a picture of the wood after I cut it in half.

epoxy resin river table__00


The Sinker Cypress sat in my shop for 3 months and I finally decided to use it to make an LED Epoxy Resin River Table.


Wood Preparation

I normally start my woodworking projects with preparing the wood and this project is no different.  

Sinker Cypress is a beautiful wood species, but it can be a bit soft depending on the condition of the wood.

First, I cut the 8 foot piece at 50″ long to form the length of the sinker cypress table.  

I used my straight edge and circular saw to make the cut for the resin table.

The LED river table will be 48″ long, but I left an extra inch on both ends to square the edges in a later step.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table Cut Wood


Straight Sides

Next, I ripped the sinker cypress wood with my bandsaw.  

Why did I use my bandsaw and not my table saw?  Good Question.  

The Sinker Cypress did not have a straight side to ride along the fence of the table saw.

Obviously, it is not safe to run a piece of wood this heavy through a table saw without a fence or sled to keep the wood from moving.  

Since I don’t have a jointer, I couldn’t get a straight side.  

Also, I do have a jointer jig, but the piece of wood was a bit too wide for my jointer jig.

So, I had to cut it in half on my bandsaw to prepare the sinker cypress to go on the jointer jig.

I didn’t care if the cut was not exactly straight because I needed to trim off some of the wood anyway.  Good thing I didn’t care because it was definitely not straight.

Then, I took the two pieces of sinker cypress and straightened out one side using my jointer jig with dovetail clamps.  

I really love this jointer jig because it really gets the sides very straight.

Sinker Cypress table rip wood on bandsaw


table saw jointer jig for sinker cypress table


sinker cypress table


Remove Bark

First, I used a few of my general use chisels to remove the loose bark from each piece of sinker cypress. 

This cleans up the live edge for the LED resin table. 

Ultimately, I wanted to maintain the ‘live edge’ look of each piece, so I was careful during this process.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table Clean Live Edge


Flat Wood Surface

The sinker cypress was relatively flat as it was planed by my hardwood dealer.

However, I sent each piece through my planer a few times.  Ultimately, I removed 1/64″ on each pass.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table Plane wood



Next, I sanded each piece of sinker cypress with my orbital sander.  I sanded the faces, sides, and smoothed out the live edge where I removed the bark.  

Essentially, I started with 120 grit, 150 grit, and finally 220 grit.

Quick Tip:  For a very smooth finish, wipe down the wood with a damp cloth and sand again with your highest grit.  As a result, the water lifts the grain a bit and helps remove the excess.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table Sand Wood


LED Epoxy Resin River Table fine sanding


Square Ends

First, I used my miter saw to square each end of the sinker cypress. 

Ultimately, it was only necessary to remove about 1/2″ from each side to get it square.  

This worked out because I may need to square it again at a later step and I would have 1″ remaining.  

Remember, I cut the piece at 50″.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table Trim Ends


Melamine Box

The melamine box is a very important step for the LED Epoxy Resin River Table.  

Epoxy resin doesn’t adhere to melamine, which makes melamine a perfect material to contain the epoxy resin. 

In turn, I constructed the melamine box to the exact dimensions of the resin table in order to prevent the epoxy resin from seeping on the sides and ends.

The bottom of the melamine box needed 2 pieces of melamine because I didn’t have a piece wide enough. 

So, I glued the 2 pieces together using spray adhesive with activator

Essentially, this will create a strong enough adhesion to hold together.

Ultimately, the sides/ends of the melamine box would provide the necessary stability.

The melamine box bottom was 20″ wide, 49″ long.  I cut the sides at the same length as the bottom and they were 2 7/8″ high (wood is 2″ thick, melamine 3/4″ thick).

Next, I attached the sides with screws after drilling a pilot hole.


Epoxy Resin Mold

I placed the sinker cypress pieces on the bottom and measured the ends to get an exact measurement.  The ends were 21.5″ wide.

Quick Tip:  Tape measures are great, but use the board itself for a more accurate measurement.

Melamine Resin Mold for led river table


melamine mold for resin



River Table Resin Mold assembly


Seal Melamine Box

First, I used my hot glue gun to seal the melamine box on the sides and corners for the LED Epoxy Resin River Table.  

Next, I put a generous coat of Johnson Paste Wax on the bottom, sides, and top of box where the particle board was exposed.  

Johnson Paste Wax further prevents the epoxy resin from adhering to places it should not.

Seal Resin Mold with hot glue


epoxy mold release substitute


mold release wax


Then, I placed the pieces of sinker cypress into the box and sealed around the edges and corners to prevent the epoxy resin from seeping out.

Seal Epoxy Mold with Hot Glue


I put down a thin piece of silicon caulk down the seam of the melamine box bottom.

seal resin mold with caulk


This wasn’t necessary, but I decided to do it anyway.

In case you were wondering, the silicon caulk did not adhere to the seam.  Why?  Because I put the Johnson Paste Wax on the bottom – smh.

This didn’t hurt anything because the caulk wiped off easily.

Also, it is very difficult to prevent the epoxy resin from getting under the wood, but it is worth the effort to prevent it as much as possible.



Epoxy Resin First Pour

First, I used 6 blocks, 3 2x4s, and 6 f-clamps to hold the sinker cypress in place.  

This helps with minimizing the epoxy resin from seeping under the table as you can see in my video.

I’ve worked with epoxy resin on my pecky sinker cypress table project video and my river rock table project, so this isn’t my first rodeo with this material.

Keep in mind, it is so important to follow the instructions precisely regarding mixing and applying the epoxy resin.  

This stuff is not cheap and if you think you can skip an unimportant step – think again!

First, I mixed the epoxy resin at a 1:1 ratio (1 part hardener, 1 part resin) at a total of 16 ounces.  Sixteen ounces is sort of my ‘sweet spot’.

LED epoxy resin table mix ratio


This amount is easy to handle.  When the material is first mixed (not whip b/c that causes bubbles) it will turn cloudy.

How to Mix Epoxy Resin without Bubbles


After a few minutes of mixing/stirring the material it will begin to ‘break’ and become easier to stir.

Next, it will turn more clear and that’s when it is ready to pour.

How to Mix Epoxy Resin without Bubbles


Then, I slowly poured the epoxy resin and covered the entire bottom about 1/4″ thick.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table epoxy resin pour


Finally, I used my heat gun to remove the bubbles.

heat gun for resin bubbles


Quick Tip:  In order to remove as many bubbles as possible, use the heat gun every 2 to 3 minutes for about 20 minutes.


Epoxy Resin Second Pour

First, I removed the f-clamps, 2x4s, and 2×4 blocks from the LED Epoxy Resin River Table. 

Ultimately, the second pour repeated the same process as the first pour with the same amount of material (16 ounces total).

LED Epoxy Resin River Table epoxy resin pour


Fire Glass and Epoxy Resin Third Pour

I embedded crystals in the middle of the epoxy resin layers of the LED River Table. 

Once I checked the prices of crystal, I quickly shift my focus to alternative materials.  

Often times, Fire Glass is used in outdoor fireplaces and seemed like it would work fine.

First, I poured the fire glass on top of the second layer of epoxy resin and made sure the height of the fire glass was below the height of the resin table.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table fire glass


Next, I poured a layer of epoxy resin to cover the fire glass.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table fire glass resin pour


LED Epoxy Resin River Table fire glass resin pour


Finally, I used my heat gun to remove the bubbles.


Remove Melamine Box

The melamine box was very easy to remove.

How to Keep resin from sticking to mold


Honestly, it is a pain in the rear to prep the melamine box with wax, hot glue, etc., but it is very much worth the time.

So, I removed the sides, back/front, and then the bottom from the epoxy resin table.  

I had a surprise when I lifted the bottom because I didn’t anticipate that much epoxy resin to seep under.

leaking resin mold


First, I used my electric hand planer to remove 1/64 of an inch per pass.  

It took quite a few passes to remove the excess, but it worked.  Also, I rarely use my electric hand planer, but I’m certainly happy I have one.

remove resin from wood


Next, I used my Lie Nielsen low angle jack plane to flatten out the bottom of the LED Epoxy Resin River Table.  

remove resin from wood


This hand plane is one of my favorite tools in my shop.

Alternatively, the wood river low angle jack plane and I hear it is a great low angle jack plane.  You can check it out here.


Sanding & Wood Prep

Just when I think I am done sanding for a while, it is time to sand again.

First, I sanded the table and epoxy resin very lightly with 220 grit sandpaper.  It’s perfectly fine to sand on top of epoxy resin as long as you plan to apply another coat.

How to sand epoxy resin


Next, I used my stanley block plane to make sure one side was straight.

block plane for sides of table


Then, I ran the piece through my table saw on one side and the other side.  I removed about 1/4″ on each side.

straight sides table saw


Finally, I used my worx bench, straight edge, and circular saw to remove 1/2″ from each end.  This makes the table exactly 48″ wide.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table cross cut



I decided to use a 1/4″ roundover bit and my trim router to put a small roundover around the top of the LED Epoxy Resin River Table.  

It was perfect – I’m glad I didn’t use a 1/2″ roundover bit.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table roundover edges


Epoxy Resin Final Coat

On my previous 2 epoxy resin table videos, I covered the entire table with epoxy resin.  

Sinker Cypress is so unique & beautiful, I didn’t want to cover it with epoxy resin.  

Essentially, I wanted to feel the texture of the wood and see it in its natural color as much as possible.  

Epoxy resin gives it a semi-gloss look that is rather dark.  This dark tone certainly looks awesome, but I wanted something different for this table.

First, I decided to use HVAC tape before applying the final coat of epoxy resin to the table.  The HVAC tape would prevent any epoxy resin from reaching the table.

epoxy resin seal hvac tape


Next, I mixed 6 ounces of epoxy resin and applied the final coat with a chip brush.  I didn’t have a foam brush at the time, so I used what I had in my shop.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table final coat


Afterwards, I immediately removed the tape.

epoxy resin hvac tape removal


Discovered Problem

I am still not certain how I missed these bubbles that did not escape before now, but somehow I managed to miss it.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table fix resin


Thankfully, it’s an easy fix since they are near the top.

In turn, I used my drill with a round countersink bit to gently bore out the bubbles.  It worked like a charm.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table fix resin


Final Resin Coat

First of all, I hand sanded the surface of the LED river table with 1000 grit paper before I applied the final coat (hopefully, the true final coat this time). 

Resin fine sanding


Additionally, I also spent some time removing the debris from the hole I drilled.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table fix resin


Next, I repeated the process for the previous final cut.


However, I decided to test my painting ‘cut in’ skills by not using tape this time.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table fix resin


Actually, I ran out of HVAC tape so I didn’t have a choice.  :) .

As a result, it worked out well – no accidents.


Apply Finish

First, I decided to use Shellac (transparent/clear) for the finish on the LED Epoxy Resin River Table.

I bought foam brushes for this part of the project.  

LED Epoxy Resin River Table shellac finish


Shellac dries very quickly and it is a great finish to use on wood. 

LED Epoxy Resin River Table shellac finish


Also, I applied one coat and sanded with 220 grit paper.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table shellac finish


Then, I repeated this exact process for the second coat.


Final Coat & Wax

First, I mixed Acetone with the Shellac to thin the mixture a bit.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table shellac finish


Then, I applied this finish and used 1000 grit sandpaper wrapped around a sanding block to very lightly hand sand the final coat.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table shellac finish


Next, I used my buffer to apply a thin coat of wax (beeswax & linseed oil).  The buffer allowed me to control the look of the finish a bit more.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table shellac finish

Quick Tip:  DO NOT allow acetone to reach the epoxy resin.  Another coat of epoxy resin will be needed if it does.


Hairpin Legs

The hairpin legs are 28″ and they are sold in 2 colors – raw steel or black. 

Furthermore, I chose raw steel because it matches the style of table and the hardware in our house more than the black.

The quality of these hairpin legs shocked me because I did not expect them to be such solid legs.

First, I had to clean them using mineral spirits as they were full of residue.  Presumably, the residue was put on them intentionally to prevent rust during shipment.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table hairpin legs

Then, I placed them on the ends of the table and marked the holes with a double sided pencil.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table hairpin legs


Finally, I pre-drilled the holes and screwed them in place on the underside of the LED Table.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table hairpin legs


River Table LED Lights

Honestly, this LED Epoxy Resin River Table was fine without the LED lights.

I purchased them for this table so I put them on using CA glue.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table Light Strip Installation


Also, I have a better technique for embedding LED lights in resin.  Be sure to check out the new technique.

First, I made sure to install the strip of lights on the edge of where the wood meets the epoxy to hide it.  

LED Epoxy Resin River Table Light Strip Installation


Ultimately, it worked because they are not visible at all when they are not turned on.

Next, I flipped the LED river table over and it looks ‘ok’ with the lights.  Also, I should have bought the less bright LED lights.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table Light Strip Installation


I’m getting mixed reviews – some people love the lights and others don’t.

Furthermore, we will turn them on during the holiday season at our house.  ;)



In conclusion, this was a fun project and I’m really happy with the final result of the LED resin table.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table

Visit my epoxty table projects such as my glowing river table, beach table and my outdoor epoxy bar top.

Also, visit my online store to download digital plans and purchase my handmade items – including this table.

LED Epoxy Resin River Table

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Learn how to make an LED Epoxy Resin River Table with Sinker Cypress. The table has an epoxy resin river, blue fire glass, and hairpin legs.