Over the past year, the wood and resin craft market has hit its stride. A quick search on Etsy or YouTube yields thousands of results. We’ve fielded numerous calls from artists, furniture makers, and entrepreneurs trying to find a good epoxy to use for casting river tables, wood/resin jewelry, lamps, and various other artistic endeavors.
Examples of high end goods that marry wood and epoxy with incredible results.
We were prepared to formulate a new material to meet the demands of the market, but first we wanted to gauge how our current formulations performed. We decided to test some of our high-end epoxies to get an idea of the handling properties that would be important, and also to gain insight into some of the challenges facing end-users.
One of the many tests. This was made using Ultraclear 480N-10 with a drop of TD-23 blue tint.
After months of testing, we found that our Sympoxy™ 1010-CA810 yielded the best results. It has a 1:1 ratio, great viscosity for coating, a 45 minute gel time, 24 hour cure time, and it has a beautiful, glossy finish. To really put this material to the test and to gain more first-hand experience, I decided to use the Sympoxy™ for a personal project that I had been planning for a few months: A ‘Game of Thrones’-inspired, epoxy river cribbage board.
Hapco’s Sympoxy™ 1010-CA810, Hapweld™ 38, and Ultraclear™ 480N-10 were all used to complete this one-of-a-kind piece. Keep reading below to see how Hapco products were used and some of the techniques that went into creating this cribbage board.
Hapweld™ five minute epoxy was thinned down with acetone and applied to the live edges of the wood, as well as some of the cracks, to seal it and prevent it from absorbing too much resin when the river section is cast.
After setting up for about an hour, the freshly sealed live-edge is sanded using a Scotch-Brite pad to cut the gloss and promote adhesion to the Sympoxy™ 1010-CA810.
1000 grams of Sympoxy™ 1010-CA810 was warmed to 80F and then degassed for about 3 minutes at 29.6 inHg. A single drop of TD-23 blue tint was added for every 100 grams.
The river was cast in a single pour. There were numerous bubbles on the surface that were removed using a blow torch.
The torch lowers the viscosity of the resin enough to instantly pop all of the bubbles. To avoid burning the material, it’s important to keep the torch moving when it’s close to the surface.
After the epoxy was fully cured, the board was milled flat. Sympoxy™ 1010-CA810 is a Shore 75 D and machines very well when cured. With the board flat and square, it was sanded smooth using an orbital sander and cleaned using acetone to prepare for a topcoat.
Sympoxy™ 1010-CA810 was also used as the surface coat material. The board was placed on a level surface and aluminum tape was wrapped around the edges to contain the epoxy. A total of 400 grams of material was mixed and degassed to coat the surface.
The light fixture on the ceiling is clearly visible in the mirror finish of the Sympoxy™ 1010-CA810.
The epoxy was left to cure overnight and the results were jaw dropping. The surface finish was smooth and glass-like and the epoxy brought out the grain of the wood in spectacular fashion.
The aluminum tape prevented the epoxy from leaking over the edge, however it created a sharp meniscus around the border. The edges of the board were all rounded using a 1/4″ round over bit and then the sides were coated with an oil-based polyurethane. With the board finished, the final step was to create the pegs.
Pieces of burl wood were hand turned on a milling machine and the tops were embellished with some epoxy and paint to look like fire and ice. Clear tape was wrapped around the tops which will hold the Ultraclear™ 480N-10 while it’s curing.
Hapco’s white, blue, red, and yellow tints were used to add effects inside the tops of the pegs. The pegs were cured overnight in an X-11 Chamber™ at 110F and 80PSI and given an extra day to cure at room temperature before faceting, sanding, and clear coating them.
This project was made possible through Hapco’s high-quality materials, equipment, and expertise. I would like to give a special shout-out to my colleagues, Rick Payson and Chris Guy, who were instrumental in the completion of this piece. This board is not for sale; however, if you’d like more information regarding the materials that were used in its creation, please contact us.
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Part 2: Casting the Unicorn In part 1 of this how-to guide, we showed you how we created the silicone mold using Hapsil™ 360. In part 2, we will go through the steps and materials needed to cast a water clear part out of Ultraclear™ 480N-40, using Hapco’s X-80 Molding Chamber and X-Vac™ Chamber. Ultraclear™ […]