In the spring, I went to scavenge at a lumber yard at their free scrap day with my oldest daughter. I had been hoping to find some boards to use for a treehouse for my three girls. Instead, I found some other boards to use for various other future projects. There were two boards that inspired me to want to try a wood and resin coffee table. I’d also been following Black Diagmond Pigments on instagram and couldn’t wait to try their powder dyes with the resin. After finishing my deck sectional, it was time to try my pigment dyed resin coffee table!
Supplies and Tools
- Scrap wood for frame
- Wood for table top
- Resin kits
- Black Diamond Pigments
- 2 – 2″ x 2″ x 8′ wood
- wood glue
- Router & router bit
- Heat gun or hair dryer
- 3/4″ drill bit
- Wood button inserts
The one board was a bit warped, so I tried a technique I’d tried before to straighten it out. To be honest, I didn’t do it all the way correctly, which is likely why it didn’t work well. If you put a wet towel before a straight board and warped board, then clamp them together for a day, it will help to straighten the warped board. I sprayed the bottom of my warped board instead of using a wet towel.
After trying to straighten the board, I sanded the front and back of the boards with a hand sander to smooth them out a bit and clean the grit off. I wasn’t set on which side I would use face up. The sanding solidifed my decision to show more of the bark. From there, it was time to build the resin reservoir with scrap wood.
Resin Coffee Table “Mold”
I did a fair bit of internet searching to find out what materials wouldn’t stick to the epoxy resin. Wax paper, packing tape, and Tyvek Tape were some of the top recommendations. I wanted to give Tyvek a try but ended up finding it difficult to locate in local hardware stores. I was about to order the Tyvek from the internet when I decided to save the money. During my search, I also found this Epoxy tape which I thought was interesting. I already had packing tape on hand, as well as wax paper, and was nervous about the wax paper covering the large area evenly.
With the packing tape dispenser in hand, I lined the bottom and sides of all the mold pieces. From there, it was just a matter of attaching the side boards to the bottom. I noticed some separation and the seams, so I covered them with tape as well.
Time for Resin Fun!
I grossly underestimated the amount of resin I would need to fill the reservoir. I started off with two smaller resin kits from Hobby Lobby and Michaels. After figuring out that wouldn’t be enough, I ordered a large kit from Amazon. I quite liked the kit, because it came with the mixing cups, stirer, and spreader. As I said at the beginning, I was excited to try the Black Diamond iridescent pigments with the resin. I opted to go with a variety set for future projects.
The instructions are pretty explicit with all the kits, so I won’t go deep into that. The best way to get it done is to use the right size cup with the measurements on the side and use a timer. I used roughly a teaspoon of silver pearl powder.
After pouring the silver pearl, I had to quickly mix the next batch to stir in the jungle green.
I swirled the green in with the silver pearl and left it to settle. Then, I popped the presenting bubbles with the heat gun and let it dry overnight.
After the layer with the powder dyes, it was time for the clear resin. I used the larger kit for the first layer and found that it was not enough. Back to Amazon I went to order another kit. The heat gun removed the air bubbles, but I had to check every 20 to 30 minutes to make sure there weren’t anymore bubbles appearing. I learned a little (or rather big) lesson with this project. The wood continues to release air as the resin hardens. To preventing having to check it repeatedly, it’s best to cover the wood surface in a thin layer first. After it’s hardened, pour the majority of the resin into the reservoir.
It took a bit for me to figure out how I wanted the legs to look. My initial plan was to use limbs or half stumps, but I didn’t fully like that idea. I ended up going with 2″x 2″ wood boards for crossing legs. Eventhough these legs were going to consist of only two cross sections, it was much harder to configure than I anticipated. I knew I wanted the height to match with the couch it was going to sit in front of, which would be 16 inches from floor to bottom of the table.
I did quite a bit of measuring and re-mearsuring to ensure the angels would be correct and then that my cross section would be routered at the right angle. It was also important for the base to be wider then where it connected to the resin coffee table top. I was trying to avoid the screws showing through the resin by trying on to screw into the wood sections. This was really the most daunting part of the whole project. The arm saw was used to cut the table legs angles. I mostly eyeball but should really be better about using those equations my kids are learning in school. It’s a lovely way to be able to reinforce with them that math is important.
Time to Break out the Router
The router is really becoming my best friend with all the recent projects. I used a half inch trimming bit to cut the groove for the cross section. When making these cuts, you should cut half of the depth into both pieces so they will be flush on the outside. I measured from the top of the router plate to the top of the bit to make sure.
With the cross sections glued in place, it was time to drill a 3/4″ hole on the outside of legs for a decorative wooden button to cover the screw that would connect the legs to the connecting beam.
I cut three connecting horizontal beams to connect the cross legs to each other for more stability. These were fixed in place with wood glue and wood screws. To ensure the legs would be securely affixed to the tabletop to support the weight of the resin and wood, I made wood rectangle mounts. Using wood glue and screws, I attached the mount to the legs by screwing from the top.
Then it was just a matter of staining the legs and coating them with clear polyurethane to match some of the shine of resin.
I didn’t get pictures of the last step, but it was to affix the leg mounts to the bottom of the table. With the tabletop lying facedown, I drilled holes into the wood and resin to ensure I wouldn’t crack the resin. Then, I used 3 to 4 screws in each mount to secure the mounts to the table top.
Wood and Resin Coffee Table Completion
I was really quite excited to be able to put this coffee table in it’s place in my enclosed porch! Every since we’d purchased the couch from Lowe’s and pillows from Amazon, I was itching to make a coffee table for the space. Also on this porch is my refinished antique hutch, which includes a shade of teal/green. That was one of the reason I chose the jungle green from the variety pack. It was the closest I could get. I hope you found the walkthrough useful and it gives you courage to try your own!
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