Author Topic: Fun with epoxy  (Read 231 times)

Offline Conrad

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Fun with epoxy
« on: June 29, 2019, 07:19:52 am »
Some of you may have seen this type of work before, some not. (click for zoom)

This was/is a project that my wife and I have been working on.

This is our first attempt at it. This was an old piano bench and is now a beer bottle cap coffee table in our RV. That's ~1/2" of epoxy done in one pour.






I learned some things with the first project and here's the second attempt. This was a coffee table that I made years ago and it's been given new life.

That's nearly 1,800 pennies! ~1/4" of epoxy done in two pours.





« Last Edit: June 29, 2019, 07:56:28 am by Conrad »
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Offline fartymarty

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Re: Fun with epoxy
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2019, 09:41:13 am »
Nice work C!  :thumbs:

I really like the pennies top.

1) I assume there is a significance to the 101 or is it 1O1 and the L?

2) On the second table, was sanding recommended between coats or just dust it off and pour?

Offline Conrad

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Re: Fun with epoxy
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2019, 08:10:34 am »
Thanks Marty!

Actually I never even noticed the '101' till you said something about it. There's no significance in that number, my wife just created a design. The 'L' is the first initial of our last name.

No sanding between coats, just dusting the surface is all that's needed.

After doing the beer bottle cap table in one coat I decided that a two coat pour is preferred. As the epoxy cures it heats up to over 90f and any air bubbles (on the underside of the caps in this case) expand and try to rise in the epoxy. A heat gun can be used to 'help' some of these bubbles to the surface where they pop. If these bubbles get too close to the surface without popping they can create small 'divots' in the top. This was the case for that table.

For the initial pour on the penny table I mixed enough epoxy to just cover the pennies. Any air bubbles that I missed got locked into the first coat. There weren't as many bubbles as in the case of the bottle caps but there were a few. I poured the second coat the next day and it turned our perfectly! Not a single bubble in the final coat! There's only one blemish in the final pour and it's a small hair that I somehow missed. I'm sure that it's mine.   :)

I'm planning on doing another table. We built a bar downstairs and we have a corner booth that came from a local ice cream shop that went out of business. It consists of two booth benches and a table, of course. Our bar has a Chicago Bears theme. Go Bears!

I have a deck of playing cards that commemorates the '85 Bears. The cards have pics of all those players and of course, Da Coach. I plan of embedding those cards into the top of the table.
Northern Illinois   Silverdammit '08 C-14 ABS

"Don't bother me with facts, Son. I've already made up my mind." -Foghorn Leghorn

Offline tweeter55

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Re: Fun with epoxy
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2019, 11:34:24 am »
 Is there any special treatment you’re going to have to apply to the cards. I’m thinking the epoxy might discolor them?
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Offline Conrad

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Re: Fun with epoxy
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2019, 06:14:18 am »
Is there any special treatment you’re going to have to apply to the cards. I’m thinking the epoxy might discolor them?

I hadn't thought of that. The cards are the coated type. If the epoxy were to discolor the cards at least they would all be discolored in the same way, so maybe it won't matter much.

Now you're making me wish I would have tested one of the cards while I had some of the liquid epoxy on hand. I could mix up a small batch for the test I suppose?
Northern Illinois   Silverdammit '08 C-14 ABS

"Don't bother me with facts, Son. I've already made up my mind." -Foghorn Leghorn

Offline fartymarty

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Re: Fun with epoxy
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2019, 10:33:20 am »
It's been awhile (decades), but as I recall, carbon dioxide blown across the surface of the epoxy will make the bubbles rise and break at the surface before it's cured. I can see where the bubbles would have formed under the bottle caps but not so much with the pennies unless the person mixing the epoxy got a little too enthusiastic in the mixing (something I've done many times) and actually was whipping the air into the mix. Usually with the so called bar top epoxy, your breath has enough CO2 to do the job for bubbles, but for a special or large project you may want to get a small tank of it.
Definitely experiment with some playing cards before you commit your collectable "Da Bearss"cards to the project. I think Hobby Lobby and the like sell something call artist's fixative spray for coating stuff, that might be in the mix to be sure you cards don't get ruined. Lots of YouBoob info on art work epoxy and boat building epoxy info online.

Be sure to wear gloves with uncured epoxy, the amount of exposure before a severe allergy develops is different for everyone but for some it can show up quick. I've heard that it's like a locking switch, that is once the allergy is triggered you won't even be able to smell the stuff without a negative reaction. The key is to limit exposure to the skin which may allow you to work with it for a lifetime. I'm sure others will know more about it, I only know a little about it from some long ago boat building.

If it comes out good, please show us "Da Bearss" project when it's finished.


Offline Conrad

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Re: Fun with epoxy
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2019, 08:25:13 am »
Thanks for the tips Marty. You can be sure that I researched this project to death before starting it.

I've not heard of using CO2 before and I really don't see how that would coax the bubbles out of the epoxy. The manufacturer recommends using a propane torch or a heat gun as a heat source for getting the bubbles out.

I tried to limit the amount of air that I stirred into the epoxy as I was mixing it. This epoxy has a 12 minute stir time so that wasn't as easy as it sounds. I believe that some of the air in the first penny pour was from the underside of the pennies but there wasn't much of it.     

There's tons of vids online of folks using this stuff on various projects. My wife is an artist and she has lots of fixative sprays. I'll see what's what when I get to that project.

Safety first! So far I've been able to keep from getting any of that stuff on my skin and I am using gloves.

 :chugbeer:
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"Don't bother me with facts, Son. I've already made up my mind." -Foghorn Leghorn

Offline BruceR

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Re: Fun with epoxy
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2019, 07:22:24 pm »
I'll have to get you some photos from a local to me bar.  Every table has one of the NFL team logos made out of beer bottle tops and coated in epoxy.  I always look for the Bears table :)

Offline Conrad

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Re: Fun with epoxy
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2019, 07:25:46 am »
I'll have to get you some photos from a local to me bar.  Every table has one of the NFL team logos made out of beer bottle tops and coated in epoxy.  I always look for the Bears table :)

Sweet!
Northern Illinois   Silverdammit '08 C-14 ABS

"Don't bother me with facts, Son. I've already made up my mind." -Foghorn Leghorn