DIY Resin River Coffee Table

DIY Resin River Coffee Table

While resin river tables have been made time and time again, they’re usually made with industrial tools in big shops. Challenge yourself to make a DIY River Resin Coffee Table using handheld power tools and accessories that can be found in your local home improvement store.

Steps

  1. Measure and cut your slabs to size. Cut the live edge off of two of your slabs to leave one clean edge. You can do this using a circular saw and a straight edge. Make sure to cut the slabs a little longer and a little wider than the final dimensions to allow for room to trim them later.
    Wood planks
  2. Next, build the form for the pour. Use a circular saw and straight edge to cut your melamine board into four side pieces and the base of the form.
    Circular saw
  3. Once the form is cut, seal it using Tyveck tape. This will help prevent the resin from sticking to the melamine.
    Taped wood
  4. Attach the side pieces to the bottom of the mold using screws. Pre-drill to prevent the melamine from cracking.
    Drill
  5. Use silicone caulk to fill the gaps along the perimeter of the form. If you don’t have a caulking gun, this can be done using a squeeze bottle.
    Caulk
  6. Once done caulking, let the form sit aside and dry. While drying, prep slabs for the pour by sanding away any loose bark or debris from the slabs.
    Sanding
  7. To help prevent the resin from leaking too far under the slabs, use the same silicone caulking to add a bead of caulk around the low spots in the wood. (If you have a planer, this step can be avoided by pre-flattening the slab before the pour.)
  8. Place the slabs inside of the form to prep for the pour. Make sure to clamp them down to prevent them from floating once the resin is added.
    Clamps
  9. Use a vacuum to clean the mold of any debris.
    Vacuum
  10. Check for any cracks or openings that would cause the resin to leak, and use the silicone caulking to seal them.
    Frame
  11. To prep for the pour, use a table top resin on a foam brush to seal the bark and help prevent bubbles from forming in the pour during the cure.
    Foam brush
  12. Use the Bernzomatic ST2200 Detail Torch and hover it over the surface of the resin to pop any small bubbles that might have formed.
    ST2200
  13. After letting that sit for a few hours, it’s time for the big pour. Calculate how much volume is needed by measuring four different widths of the river, averaging those together, and then multiplying it by the depth and length of the pour (since volume= length x width x height). Then mix up as much resin as needed in a big container according the instructions on the label. You can add black pigment to make the river appear jet black. You can choose whatever pigment you’d like.
    Resin
  14. Make sure my slabs are level and then pour the deep pour epoxy into the river opening and any cracks that need to be filled. Make sure to follow instructions on your resin container for how deep you can pour at once.
    Level
  15. After pouring the resin, used the Bernzomatic BZ4500 Heat Shrink Torch to remove as many bubbles from the resin as possible.
    Removing bubbles
    This is important because you don’t want the resin to cure with bubbles in it. Keep an eye on the pour and occasionally use the Bernzomatic ST2200 Detail Torch to remove random bubbles as it cures.
    Removing bubbles
  16. Because my resin shrinks a bit, you may have to come back to the project a day later and repeat steps 13 – 15 until happy with the depth of the pour.
    Butane torch
  17. After letting the resin cure according to the label on the product I used, remove the mold from the table slabs.
    Removing resin
  18. If you find a leak on the bottom of the slab, you can use a powered hand planer to remove the bulk of the resin.
    Planer
  19. Use a sander to smooth out the rest of the table. Start with 120 grit sandpaper and work your way to 400 grit before finishing the table.
    Sander
  20. Seal the entire table with a furniture finish.
    Sealant
  21. Last step is to add the legs.
    Drill press

What You'll Need


ST2200T
ST2200T

Detail Torch for Hobby and Household Use

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BZ4500HS
BZ4500HS

Heat Shrink Torch for Large Surface Areas

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BF55
BF55

5.5 oz. Butane Cylinder

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TX9
TX9

14.1 oz. Propane Hand Torch Cylinder

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Tools

  • Circular Saw
  • Drill
  • Sander & Sandpaper
  • Power Planer (Optional)
  • Caulking Gun
  • Foam Brush
  • Tape Measurer
  • Wood Clamps
  • Respirator
  • Gloves
  • Mixing Bucket & Materials for Resin

Materials

  • (2) Live Edge Slabs
  • Melamine Board(s)
  • Silicone Caulking
  • Screws
  • Tyveck Tape
  • Deep Pour Epoxy
  • Table Top Epoxy
  • Epoxy Pigment
  • Coffee Table Bases/Legs
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