Why is epoxy the most popular resin
Epoxy resin wood - All projects and the best epoxy resin in comparison
September 23, 2019Category (s): Most Popular Posts, DIY Projects, Guides
Epoxy resin offers a multitude of possibilities that cannot be compared with any other material. In connection with wood, there are many design options: wooden surfaces that are sealed with epoxy resin, molding in combination with wood, entire tables or tabletops and of course repairs to wooden surfaces. We will show you the best possible applications and give you instructions for implementation.
Table of Contents
Brief introduction to the subject of epoxy resin
Epoxy coatings are essentially thermosetting polymers that consist of two parts - one resin and one Harder. When these two components are mixed together in the right proportions, a chemical reaction occurs and the result is a very hard surface with high resistance to water, scratches, solvents and chemicals.
The secret for a high-quality surface is a mixture of good surface preparation, intensive mixing of the two components according to the manufacturer's instructions and an optimal working environment.
After the epoxy resin and hardener have been mixed, an exothermic chemical reaction begins. In this process, the mixture goes through a transformation and hardens from liquid to gel-like and then solid form. The hardening process takes some time. It depends on a number of factors including the ambient temperature, the type of hardener, the amount of heat generated, and the temperature of the substrate. The most important of these factors is warmth. The hotter the epoxy, the faster the curing process. An exothermic effect that is too high, however, has negative consequences: the high heat melts surrounding materials and the hardening process can vary.
Which epoxy resin is suitable for working with wood?
Wood is a material that reacts to humidity. That means it is shrinking and growing on a small scale. This is one of the difficulties in working resin and wood together. A general answer is therefore not possible, it is important that you know which application is to be carried out:
- Low viscosity resin for coatings on wooden surfaces
- Viscous resin for casting molds or filling holes / depressions in wood
- Use indoors or outdoors when exposed to the sun
UV protection / yellowing resistance
Epoxy resin is available in a crystal clear version. However, the material tends to yellow when exposed to UV radiation. Therefore, for outdoor use, it is imperative to buy a UV-resistant resin for these projects. Depending on the product, there are also additives that can be mixed in for better light resistance.
In contrast to polyester resin, epoxy resin has less tendency to shrink during curing, but there are also major differences here. If the liquid shrinks as it hardens, areas that are supposed to be covered are suddenly only partially covered and another layer has to be applied. On the one hand, this costs time, but on the other hand it also costs money, since more material is required. It is therefore worthwhile to rely on a high-quality product that has a small amount of shrinkage right from the start.
Maximum layer thickness per casting process
When casting from an epoxy resin table or casting molds, it is extremely important that you do your research beforehand which products can be poured up to what quantity and layer thickness. Normal, commercially available resin can usually be poured up to a maximum layer thickness of 2 cm and only up to a quantity of approx. 10 kg. If you try to pour a larger amount, the chemical reaction creates a lot of heat, which immediately hardens the resin and leaves unsightly areas.
Surface hardness and temperature resistance
After curing there is a big difference in the hardness of the surface. Some products are rather soft and small scratches can be made with your fingernail. Other products, on the other hand, are almost scratch-resistant and temperature-resistant up to higher temperatures. For everyday objects with high mechanical stress such as cutting boards, table tops and other items, it is worth buying a high-quality resin that is also durable.
Tip:Make sure that you adhere to the specified mixing ratio so that the resin hardens optimally.
Recommendation for casting resin for wood
|recommendation||Price / performance winner|
|model||Resinpal 1717-N3||Dipoxy 700PRO||Dipon Epoxyplast 3D EP30-B50|
|Quantity including hardener||7.25kg||10.56kg||10kg|
|Maximum pouring height||10 centimeters||10 centimeters||5cm|
|viscosity||low viscosity||low viscosity||low viscosity|
|Resistant to light|
|Mixing ratio resin / hardener||100:45||-||100:30|
146,99 €incl. 19% statutory VAT.
129,95 €incl. 19% statutory VAT.
127,99 €incl. 19% statutory VAT.
|to buy||to buy||to buy|
Required material for the presented projects
Make the mold yourself
Mix and pour epoxy resin
Grind and polish the surface
Project 1: Seal wooden surfaces
Epoxy resin is very suitable for sealing wood and making it insensitive to water and mechanical loads. Possible applications for this are:
Sealing wood - Instructions for sealing wood with epoxy resin
The working environment plays a crucial role in the quality of the epoxy coating. It is advisable to choose a dust-free, dry environment for better results. The temperature of the wood, workplace and epoxy resin should be similar so that there are no undesirable reactions.
Tip: So-called laminating resins, which are medium to high viscosity and produce a hard surface after hardening, are suitable for sealing the wood.
- To achieve good adhesion, there are a number of factors that you should consider. The first requirement is that the surface must be clean and dry. It should have a certain roughness so that the resin adheres to the surface of the substrate. Existing oil residues, all types of grease, wax and other impurities should be removed before application.
- The surface must also be completely dry. To ensure this, you can use a heat gun to gently heat and dry the surface. As soon as the surface is dry and clean, you can sand the surface by hand with a sandpaper or with an eccentric sander. If you use oily types of wood such as olive wood or teak, you can also degrease the surface with a little acetone to improve adhesion.
- Then remove the dust with a brush or vacuum cleaner. Wipe the surface with a solvent-dampened, lint-free cotton cloth. Do not touch the surface after cleaning, this may re-contaminate the surface with body fat and prevent epoxy resin from adhering well.
- To ensure that the resin does not run over the edge of the surface, you can attach a lock around the surface. Here, high-quality adhesive tape is best, which is relatively dimensionally stable and can withstand the pressure of the liquid. Before casting, check that the surface is level in all directionsso that an even layer is achieved.
- Calculate the required amount of epoxy resin in advance. We have a simple one for that Epoxy resin calculator programmed for you to do complicated calculations for you. You tend to round up a bit, as there is nothing annoying than having mixed too little liquid. This will put you under additional stress during a work that is already time-critical until it has cured.
- Mix the epoxy resin and hardener thoroughly without mixing in too many air bubbles. Now is the time to color the epoxy. You can add a variety of materials to add color to your epoxy. Each of these materials has its own advantages and limitations that you should consider before choosing. You can find all the information about this in our article Epoxy resin paint.
- Start pouring the mixture in the center of the surface in a zigzag or spiral pattern to ensure even distribution of the epoxy. You may have to repeat the pouring process until the epoxy starts to merge. It should be leveled a few minutes after watering.
- The mixture stays in liquid form for some time, depending on the product. During this so-called "open time" you can distribute and level the liquid. You can rework the material to get the thickness you want before the epoxy thickens and beginsTo take gel form. As soon as the mixture moves in the direction of the gel phase, it becomes rubbery and the epoxy resin should no longer be worked on.
- As soon as the mixture is spread over the surface and begins leveling, bubbles will start to form in the resin mixture. It is imperative to remove these air bubbles by heating the mixture with a bunsen burner or heat gun. Be careful not to stay too long in one place so that the mixture does not get too hot. Air bubbles rise to the surface and burst as soon as heat reaches the affected area.
- If the epoxy is already solid but not fully cured, it is possible to apply a second coatwithout having to sand the surface again beforehand. You can do this up to 48 hours after coating. If another coating is applied at this stage, it will chemically bond with the first and adhesion is ensured.
Tip:Epoxy resin reacts very positively to heat. To ensure that the liquid is well distributed, the resin can be heated in a warm water bath before the actual pouring, and the room can also be heated. Temperatures that are too cold have a negative effect on the flow properties.
Apply epoxy to stained wood
Epoxy resins can be applied to stained wooden surfaces. The best way to make sure the resin is compatible with the colored surface is to do a preliminary test.
It is important that the stain is completely dry before the surface is processed further. Basically all color stains are compatible with epoxy resins, but a test beforehand cannot do any harm in order not to ruin the piece. It is worth using stain that is as UV-stable as possible, because of the epoxy coating no further pickling possible is. The Remove epoxy resinis backbreaking work and takes a long time.
Project 2: Fill wood with epoxy resin and touch up
When it comes to woodworking, heavily grained or gnarled pieces of wood with knots and cracks are particularly interesting and give your project the character it needs. In those cases where a surface needs to be flat and functional (like a table) but still look good, you can fill cracks or holes with epoxy. This guide will show you how easy it is to make it happen.
- Remove any wood dust or pieces of bark that are not full.
- Here, too, preparation is essential. Every crack and hole should be masked all around with a high-quality adhesive tape. Otherwise the free-flowing resin runs everywhere, just not because you actually want it. It is also important to mask off beforehand, as once the resin mixture has been mixed there is no time left for careful preparations. Do not forget to mask the back, because cracks often go right through the whole wood and thus prevent resin from escaping on the back and having to be laboriously removed from the substrate.
- Now you can already mix the epoxy resin well. It often looks very nice when the holes are filled with a colored resin. Black pigments, for example, are suitable for wooden table tops. The color must also be mixed very carefully in order to obtain an even color effect.
- After you have filled the desired areas to the surface, Check again after five minutes that the resin mixture has not sunk again. This happens quite often and it would be very annoying to have to mix extra resin again later. The amount of shrinkage also plays a role here. The less the epoxy shrinks, the less it will sink in as it cures.
- Timing is very important here too. If the curing time is 30 minutes, you have a maximum of 20 minutes for the actual processing before the curing process starts. The advantage of filling cracks in the wood is that not all of the liquid can be mixed away at the beginning, but several smaller amounts can be mixed.
- It is better to fill the cracks and holes with too much resin than too little. Excess resin stays where it is due to careful masking. Any hardened residues can easily be removed with an eccentric sander. Filling wood with epoxy resin is no witchcraft if you follow these steps.
Project 3: Pour epoxy resin with wood
You can cast beautiful pieces of wood or pieces of wood in epoxy and, for example, make wooden scantlings for turning, knife handles or any other woodwork. It can also be used to create pieces of jewelry or simply a decorative work of art.
To be able to cast molds, you either need:
- Silicone molds, which are available in all conceivable shapes and sizes to buy. This is the simplest variant, because basically the wood is simply placed in the silicone mold and then poured out.
- Self-made silicone molds or angular casting molds made of synthetic resin-coated plates, which are screwed together and sealed with silicone. Here you need a lot more experience. The first attempts may not be quite as successful.
Tip:Make sure you pay attention to the thickness of the layer that you can cast with your resin. If necessary, fill the mold with several layers of resin after the previous layer has hardened but not yet fully hardened.
Sanding work after hardening
Unfortunately, the annoying sanding work cannot be completely avoided in any of the wood applications presented here. However, the cleaner you have worked, the smaller the effort.
The right time for epoxy resin sanding is between 48 and 72 hours, depending on the product used. When the resin is completely cured, grinding becomes more laborious due to the high surface hardness, but it is also possible. The process looks like this:
- Sand from coarse grit (80 grit) to fine grit (2000 grit) and remove the previous sanding marks of the coarser grit.
- For small castings you can grind by hand, for larger areas it is advisable to use an eccentric grinder.
- Wet sanding has proven itself, as a slightly finer sanding pattern is achieved here and the sanding dust is bound by the water used.
Tip:Sanding dust, regardless of wood or epoxy, should not get into the lungs. It is therefore essential to wear a respirator when sanding.
You can find the extensive instructions in our article Sanding epoxy resin.
Finish: polishing, oiling or painting your work of art
The hardened resin surface is robust even without further treatment. However, you can still get a lot of shine out of the various sanding and, above all, polishing. The wood is also untreated and needs treatment in order not to be exposed to liquids without protection.
- A polishing paste and a cloth are sufficient for the surface polishing of smaller pieces. With circular movements, the piece can be made to shine in a relatively short time.
- It is recommended to use a polishing machine for larger areas. It completes the polishing task in the shortest possible time and the degree of gloss is a lot higher than with simple polishing with a hand and a cloth.
- The wooden surface can also be polished at the same time.
The extensive instructions for polishing can be found in our article Polishing epoxy resin.
You get the perfect finish with a high-quality polyurethane paint from a professional. The simplest alternative is to use hard wax oil, which is applied to both the wood and the resin surface. After drying (approx. Two to three days) further layers can be applied until the oil no longer absorbs. Then the surface can also be polished again in order to obtain a high-quality surface.
Last but not least, carnauba wax can be applied to optimally protect both the epoxy resin and the wood. Carnauba wax is the hardest natural wax and can be applied evenly with a lambskin pad and a drill or polishing machine.
We hope that we have given you a good insight into the possibilities of epoxy resin and wood. With this information you should now be in a position to implement your individual project in the best possible way, informed and prepared. I wish you success!
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