Reclaimed Epoxy River Glow Table

In this article, I show you how to make a reclaimed epoxy river glow table.  To help you build your own, I have epoxy river glow table downloadable DIY plans available along with a video tutorial are in this article.

 

 

Tools and Materials

Materials

Casting Epoxy Resin (Used to fill inlays):  http://amzn.to/2ppVtJZ

  • NOTE:  Can be used for casting AND top coat.

Epoxy Used for Top Coat: Use the code jeremy10 at checkout to get $10.00 off an order of $50.00 or more.

  • NOTE:  Can ONLY be used as top coat.

Glow Powder for Resin

Pigment Powder for Resin

Finish Used to Seal Underside of Table: http://amzn.to/2G7TMeE 

Burn In Stick:  http://amzn.to/2u21XV4

Micro Butane Torch:  http://amzn.to/2FUEiI9

Larger Butane Torch:  http://amzn.to/2pp5k2A

Acetone (Used for Resin & Black Pipe clean up):  http://amzn.to/2u23Gtw

Measuring Containers:  http://amzn.to/2u8KD0L

Rubber Squeegee:  http://amzn.to/2poy7VM

1/8″ Trowel:  http://amzn.to/2tXbPPW

Chop Brush:  http://amzn.to/2pnXiXO

Mixing Paddle:  http://amzn.to/2u2cGyE

Stir Sticks:  http://amzn.to/2FdhsOT

Rubber Gloves:  http://amzn.to/2FexyI8

Foil Tape:  http://amzn.to/2pnSxOL

Wood Glue:  http://amzn.to/2poWXUF

CA Glue and Activator:  http://amzn.to/2G32aMv

Foam Brush used for Underside of Table:  http://amzn.to/2GHEBGM

1000 Grit Sandpaper:  http://amzn.to/2u25gLY

220 grit sandpaper:  http://amzn.to/2FRjwZd

3/8″ Dowel Rod:  http://amzn.to/2FUkZOF

Reclaimed Heart Pine Wood:  Your Local Hardwood Dealer

  • 84″ x 13.5″ x 2.5″

 

Tools

Festool Track Saw TS-75 w/ Track:  http://amzn.to/2IzAmhf

RO125 Festool Sander:  http://amzn.to/2FXHimE

Festool Sandpaper (40 grit – 320 grit):  http://amzn.to/2polcmL

Dowel Jig:  http://amzn.to/2FXFd9W

Grizzly Table Saw:  http://amzn.to/2pqQUiv

Bosch Miter Saw:  http://amzn.to/2FOBijR

Dewalt Planer:  http://amzn.to/2FSqi12

Dust Right Planer Dust Bag:  http://amzn.to/2ICPjik

Dewalt Trim Router:  http://amzn.to/2po9PLE

Mallet:  http://amzn.to/2G4L4Om

Sheetrock Square:  http://amzn.to/2GHi9xy

Bessey clamps:  http://amzn.to/2Izon30

Dewalt Trigger Clamps:  http://amzn.to/2pp78tv

Tape Measure:  http://amzn.to/2pnIoB1

Glue Scraper:  http://amzn.to/2G4TkO5

Straight Edge:  http://amzn.to/2FLiCS6

Chisel Set:  http://amzn.to/2pp2LgV

Low Angle Jack Plane w/ toothed blade (lie-nielsen)

 

 

 

Downloadable DIY Digital Plans this Reclaimed Epoxy River Glow Table

Click Here for Digital Plans

 

 

Introduction and Background

I offered to build a table for my sister in November while brainstorming project ideas during Thanksgiving.  My sister is older than me, which typically means she does more favors for me than I do for her.

We traded many Pinterest screenshots via text over a two-week period to get an idea of the style table she wanted me to build.  The final decision was an industrial style, rustic table with reclaimed Heart Pine.

As a result, I decided to incorporate a few unique elements to this reclaimed table, which compliment my sister’s personality and her faith.

Needless to say, I was happy to build this table for my sister.  Additionally, I completed the epoxy river table the same week as her birthday, which made it more special.

how to make a rustic table - for my sister

 

Step 1: Gather Materials

The first step to all of my projects is to gather the materials.  I get frustrated when I start a project and realize I don’t have the materials I need to proceed with the build.  Furthermore, I use many products such as Epoxy Resin which cannot be purchased at a local big box store. The lack of proper material planning causes delays of 2 to 3 days.

I included the materials I used and tools I used into 2 sections in this document for your reference with links to where I purchased them from.  Also, I referred to this list many times before I started my project to make sure I had the materials I needed and I encourage you to do the same.

 

Step 2:  Mill Wood

Once I obtained the materials, I started milling the wood.  I used 3 pieces of reclaimed heart pine for this project. The Heart Pine was salvaged from an old building in New Orleans and it was in great shape; however, it was not flat nor was it straight.  

Each piece of heart pine was 90” long, 13.5” wide, and 2.5” thick.  The size of the table I needed to make was 84” long, 36” wide, and 2” thick.

Straight Sides

Important Tip:  When you build a table that consists of 3 or more boards joined together, always mill the middle board(s) to the exact width.  The outer boards should be ½” wider so that you can trim down to the final length after joining.

For example, I milled the middle board to exactly 12” wide and the outer boards to 12.5” wide.

 

Step 3: Join Wood

I decided to use 3/8″ oak dowels to join each piece of wood. 

First, I lined up the 3 pieces of heart pine and marked where I would use dowels.  Each dowel is spaced 12″ apart.

Additionally, I marked each join as ‘A/B’ and ‘B/C’ to avoid confusion.  The first board is ‘A’, the second is ‘B’, and the third is ‘C’. Therefore, the first join was between ‘A’ & ‘B’ and the second was between ‘B’ & ‘C’.

 

My dowel jig came in very handy during this step; however, the dowel jig is setup to be used on 3/4″ stock.

How to Make a Rustic Table with Epoxy Resin - Drill Dowels

 

Next, I cut the dowels on my miter saw to 4 ½” each.

How to Make a Rustic Table with Epoxy Resin - Cut Dowels

 

I spread glue on each surface and in each dowel hole.  Then, I inserted the dowels and tightened the boards together with clamps.  

The dowels provide a very tight fit, so I had to use my rubber mallet to gently tap the boards into place.  As you can see from the picture below, my mallet broke during this step. 🙁

These reclaimed heart pine wood pieces were 2 ⅛” thick after I planed them.  I decided to place the dowels on the upper side and lower side of each piece of wood.  In other words, I placed the first dowel with the jig laying on top of the wood. I placed the next dowel 12″ away with the dowel jig laying on the bottom of the wood.  This provided enough spacing horizontally and vertically for a strong join.

After the glue dried for 2 hours, I removed the clamps and used my glue scraper to remove excess glue while it was still slightly moist.  This step isn’t necessary, but it saves work because the glue is more difficult when dry.

Choose Joinery Method

Depending on the application, I either use hand cut joinery, a biscuit joiner, pocket holes, or dowels.  I often get asked which joinery method is best and I always respond with the same answer – it depends. It depends on the application.  Of the aforementioned methods, dowels are strongest, biscuits are mid strength, and pocket holes are the weakest of the three.

All joinery methods should be reinforced with wood glue.  Below is the criteria I use for the 3 joinery methods:

  • Biscuit Joinery:
    • Cabinet Faces
    • Flat joins of less than ¾” (paneling, etc.)
  • Pocket Holes:
    • Cabinet Carcass
    • 90 degree angle joins
    • Shop Furniture
  • Dowels:
    • Flat Joins with ¾” or greater thickness

This criteria may not be correct to some woodworkers, but this has served me well over the years.

 

 

Step 4: Remove High Spots

Do you remember the tip I gave you in Step 2 regarding planing and leaving ⅛” in thickness?  This is the point in the project when this tip comes in handy.

There are many different ways to help with warping when clamping during the glue-up, but I always get a tiny bit no matter what precautions I take.  

First, I used my straight edge to locate high spots and mark them with a pencil.  

Then, I used my low angle jack plane with a toothed blade to remove the high spots.  

I believe every hobby woodworker needs a nice hand plane and a low angle jack plane is the most versatile hand plane a woodworker can buy.

Each manufacturer normally have options for different blades for different applications. I used a lie nielsen low angle jack plane with a toothed blade, but a woodriver jack plane works just as well and is much cheaper.  

It is crucial to get a flat surface when using epoxy resin, which is why I’m discussing this step in great detail.

 

Step 5: Remove Planer Marks

Once I removed the high spots left from the glue-up, I decided to not use my normal blade for my low angle jack plane to remove the tooth marks caused by the toothed blade.  

Instead, I used my Festool FO125 sander to make quick work of removing the teeth marks. This sander is expensive, but it’s worth EVERY PENNY in my honest opinion.