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How To Make An Epoxy Resin River Flowing Table. [Step By Step]


I searched around and found one of the top videos showing to the steps to complete an Epoxy Resin River Flow table from Wood Magazine.

How To Make An Epoxy Resin River Flowing Table?

  • Build a form to house your epoxy resin river flow table.
  • Remove the bark then sand those areas while removing all sand dust afterwards.
  • Place your slabs of wood in the form and seal with tape.
  • Seal the porous edges of your table with epoxy and allow to dry.
  • Measure the amount of epoxy needed for the table.
  • Mix in the tint of color into your epoxy.
  • Make sure your surface is level before pouring the epoxy.
  • Pour the epoxy.
  • Remove any bubbles by applying heat with a torch then wait and repeat process as necessary.
  • Let epoxy dry for a minimum of 72 hours.
  • Remove the form from the epoxy table.
  • Flatten or sand down any excess epoxy on the table.
  • Add table legs to the bottom.

If you want to learn more about how you can build your own epoxy resin river flow table watch the video below with instructions as well as learn more about common questions about epoxy.

Hey guys, it’s Kevin! I’m in the wood shop today. Today we’re kind of working on a unique project. Unique to us anyway. This is not new but it’s something that’s new to us. We’re doing actually a little epoxy table today. Where we are using wood and epoxy. But what we started here Is, I’ve got a couple slabs that I’m going to be using that I have flattened.

And I’ve got them pretty much cut to rough size. I’ve left them a little bit long, and a little bit wide so, I can trim this up after we get all the epoxy poured. But you can kind of get an idea how this is going to look.  I’m going to fill this area with epoxy.

How To Set Up Your Epoxy Resin River Flowing Table Form.

I basically built like a dam because I’m going to dam up the ends here and I also have put this tape which is just basically a house wrap taped it’s very slick I’ve seen others uses tape so, I trust it. I’m guessing by just the feel this you might be able to get away with packing tape, but I would try that on a smaller pour before you invest in a lot of epoxy. It’s a simple form made of half-inch plywood or MDF.

I’ve nailed this thing together so, it’s pretty sturdy but it’s also not so sturdy I can’t knock it apart after the epoxy is cured. So, the first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to set my pails my boards in this form, you know it’s pretty snug. And I’m actually, going to clamp these down you’ll see why here in a second.

I’m going to flip this over and I’m just going to add a few screws just to kind of hold that in place. Okay so, now we have our woods secured to our form. Everything’s taped up and why I screwed those down is I’m trying to eliminate those boards moving around once the epoxy gets in there. The epoxy might creep underneath those boards but that’s fine, we’re going to clean up both sides of this after the fact anyway. But that just tries to keep some of that from flowing out underneath.

How Much Epoxy Do You Need?

The other thing is you’re going to have to consider is how much epoxy or at least get an idea of how much epoxy you’re going to need. And what I’m doing is basically, looking at kind of some of these areas and drawing a box over it so I can get an estimate.

Overestimating the amount of epoxy I need. But I just kind of break this into the rectangles as I move down and that gives me a pretty good idea of how much epoxy I’m going to need. I would rather have more epoxy than I need then less epoxy that I need. You don’t want to be in the middle of a pour and have to go back and mix up more epoxy.

Okay so, having a little extra is probably just fine. I’m right underneath three litres for this and so, I’m going to probably mix up a full three litres of epoxy. It also makes the math a little more simple too because what I’m using is this eco epoxy. It’s a two-to-one ratio.

So, I’m going to use a 1 litre of my hardener Part B and two parts of the Part A. So, I’ll have 2 litres and 1 litre and we’ll mix this up. Now I’m also using some tints. So, I’m going to use this blue tint and to give it a little extra shimmer I’m going to use that pearl. I’m going to mix it in a little bit of these until I kind of get to a ratio that looks good.

From what I understand a lot goes a long way. And if you end up not using colorant, bubbles are going to be very much more apparent. Please read the instructions on the epoxies that you get. They do vary. But this particular epoxy suggests mixing for at least two minutes. I would mix even a little bit longer if you’re doing a big batch like this just to make sure that the hardener and the resin have incorporated with each other. Otherwise you could be looking at issues of some of it never ever setting up or portions of it never setting up and staying soft.

So, what I’m doing right now before I even add my colorant, is I’m really getting a good mix on here. The other thing they suggest too is that after the epoxy is mixed, you’ll notice that there are air bubbles in here and what will happen is those air bubbles will continually rise to the surface. And you want them to. You want them to come up and pop. What we’ll do is we’ll actually add a little heat to this so, we can try to get some of those bubbles to rise out of the epoxy. So, I’m going to start with, I’m guessing about a half a teaspoon of that blue and we’re going to see how far that goes. I’m going to add a touch more, a touch more blue. What I’ve done is I’ve transferred about a litre into a smaller container. And what I’m doing here is I wanted to have it a separate mixing pot for that.

What I could have done is just basically done this before I’d added the color. I’m just trying something new this time. I’m going to add this pearl to this blue. I just don’t want to pour them all in at one time. If I mix them all together, it just becomes one muted color. I want to get some color variations so that’s why I’m doing that.

The other thing I didn’t mention, and I will mention this especially if you get very porous, a lot of inclusions, a lot of holes like you’re trying to fill knot holes. If you get a lot of that on the edge of your natural slab a lot of times what happens is that epoxy will then seep into those holes and it’ll at some point, start creating air bubbles later down the road. Possibly after you’ve already gone to sleep, and those things will happen in the middle of the night.

So, if you do get up a piece of natural edge with a lot of open holes, a lot of inclusions, what I do to try to mitigate that is I sometimes will coat those edges with just a thin layer of epoxy. I’m basically kind of sealing that edge okay. And that’s something you have to do the night before obviously, so it has time to dry.

Make Sure Your Surface is Level.        

Guys, one of the things I neglected to mention is that, if you’ll kind of notice how my epoxy is flowing from one end to the other, is that you need to make sure your epoxy table is pretty close to being level.  As you can see, mine is not quite level. So, what I’m going to do is I’m just going to shim up this in a little bit and see if I can get this to even out and flow back the other way.

One of the things you need to plan for too, is that this epoxy will undoubtedly creep underneath these slabs. It’ll go below this. So, you have to accommodate for that. Plan accordingly for the final thickness of your top. I have no doubt that I’m going to have to come back in here and probably take off you know, a sixteenth or an eighth inch maybe even to flatten this out again. So, just plan accordingly for that.

As you can see, I’ve kind of filled it up. I don’t want it running over the edges

too terribly. I’m just kind of using this other epoxy that I had. Kind of put the pearl essence in and I’m kind of pouring that in there to kind of give it just a little bit of a color variation. And then what I’m doing is, I’m kind of coming back through with my dowel and obviously you can’t go too far with this.

I’m just trying to create some swirls and some movement with that pearl inside that blue. Your kind of going to go until you get to a point where it’s okay. It looks pretty cool and so, I’m going to stop now.

Remove The Air Bubbles That Develop In The Epoxy.

So, after we’ve got our epoxy poured, one of the things that you want to start to notice is air bubbles okay. You’re still going to get air bubbles even if you’re trying to seal those edges. It’s just the natural thing.

We’ve stirred this product so, there is going to be air bubbles. A quick way of getting rid of these, almost all of them, and staying on top of it is you just use a little torch okay. I’ve just got a little burns of matic here. You can use a bigger torch if you do plumbing at home, one of these would work too. I’m just kind of lightly waving this over the bubbles and you just see them kind of just kind of disappear. Now once you get all the ones off the top, well the ones close to the top, it doesn’t mean you’re done. You might come back in an hour and see that some more have appeared.

Let The Epoxy Dry At Least 72 Hours.

So, we’re back on the epoxy fill table and so, the next is we let this sit for… actually let this sit for about a week. With extra thick pours, I just give a little extra time, I had the time to do that. The packaging with the epoxy says about 72 hours and then after about 72 hours it was pretty hard, but I figured, you know what, let’s wait a week and then we know it’s cured.

Remove The Form From The Epoxy Table.

So, at this point it’s the moment of truth. you can kind of see my epoxy has settled a bit underneath the slabs more than likely. So, we’re going to see how fun this is to tear this off. I have removed the screws that we screwed into the backside of this. So, next up basically, I’m just going to kind of gently, or not so gently, try to remove the form. Grabbing my cat paws, you know, because they’re a lot thinner. Okay so, there you go.

You guys can kind of see that obviously, we had some epoxy leaked out on the bottom side. You know, honestly another way to prevent that is to add a bead of silicone along the bottom edge of these boards. That would keep that epoxy from going too far. So, at this point I’m going to get this into my sled and we’re going to do a little flattening. Remove some material and get this surface flush.

Smooth Out Your Table To Remove Any Excess Epoxy

Now I’ve got my slabs secured inside my sled here that basically, this is how I flatten slabs. It’s pretty simple. You got two rails and a piece of plywood down below. The key thing with this is that these stay parallel with one another as far as a level across the top of these and then I just have a carriage that my router rides in and this rides along those rails.

I’ve set up some stops on either end of my sled here, so I won’t route into the side of my carriage and I’m just going to basically take very small bites at this. I’ve got about an eighth dimension or so to remove. I’m not going to try to take that all off at one time. So, I’m just going to have to drop down maybe about 1/16 an inch and I’ll work my way back and forth down the slab and then repeat that process.

Kevin Nelson

I will always have a special place in my heart for woodworking. I have such fond memories working on projects with my parents on the weekends in the garage growing up. We built tables, shelves, a backyard shed, 10' base for a water slide into the pool, 2 story fort playhouse with a fire pole, and so much more. This woodworking blog allows me to write helpful articles so others can enjoy woodworking as much as we have.

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