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Thread: Been a long time! River table advice??

  1. #1
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    Been a long time! River table advice??

    Guys, I haven't haunted this forum for literally years. Resident Jim Becker will vouch for both my filled to the brim schedule in retirement and also that I have stayed active in my woodworking. I return to Sawmill because I am fairly certain that I will find those that have forged the path ahead of me in regards to making river tables. I have a really family oriented project coming up as a river dining table and it will be my first go. I have gone over all aspects of the project, from building a slab flattening jig to building the epoxy stage containment jig to apply ing the final stages and the flood coat. None of it gives me pause and I am quite confidant of a successful project. But I thought that I might reach out to you guys to see if I couldn't pick up tips that might allow me to sidestep any little potential stumble? Anything guys? I will be on my desktop tomorrow and can fully describe where I am right now with the project and what the back story is. Thanks guys...any little tips would be appreciated!
    There's one in every crowd......and it's usually me!

  2. #2
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    Tip - the trend is over. ;-)

  3. #3
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    I'm sure you already know but make sure to use a deep pour epoxy for you main pour. I haven't done much for flood coats. I don't particularly like the high gloss finish but if you do a flood coat be sure to not use the same deep pour type epoxy for that.

  4. #4
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    Don't make your first resin job a huge table with expensive slabs. Start with cutting boards. Resin is super expensive!

  5. #5
    The trend being over would be bad …if you wanted to sell the materials. But the market might be just right for buying materials. And
    Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn might be looking to pick up some endorsement work.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Voorhees View Post
    Thanks guys...any little tips would be appreciated!
    Don't do it! Put the epoxy down and slowly back away.

  7. #7
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    I suggest you haunt the Black Tail Studio YouTube Channel. This guy is the Guru of epoxy tables and freely shares his knowledge. There is a reason he went from zero to 1.32 million subscribers in just a few years. https://www.youtube.com/c/BlacktailStudio
    NOW you tell me...

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  9. #9
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    Fred, I'll echo that it's really important to do some smaller scale projects for this kind of thing because of the nature of the material including cost and the technique required to get a clean, bubble-free pour. You might also check out any available videos from Total Boat who is a favorite supplier for resin products including those that can be used for "deep pour" projects. Should you choose to go the deep pour route, be aware that the process is measured in days and for a healthy portion of at least the first day, you will be constantly attending to the project. IE no sleep. So practice is really, really, really important.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
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    Hi Fred, welcome back! Sorry, can't offer any good advise on the river table.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Fred, I'll echo that it's really important to do some smaller scale projects for this kind of thing because of the nature of the material including cost and the technique required to get a clean, bubble-free pour. You might also check out any available videos from Total Boat who is a favorite supplier for resin products including those that can be used for "deep pour" projects. Should you choose to go the deep pour route, be aware that the process is measured in days and for a healthy portion of at least the first day, you will be constantly attending to the project. IE no sleep. So practice is really, really, really important.
    Jim, I don't see any need for extended days that would need a loss of sleep. Any of the pre-pour work on the slabs can obviously be accomplished in increments or stages. The sealing coats that would go a long way towards eliminating any bubble possibilities can easily be accomplished in one day of maybe a few hours. The deep pour will be broken up in stages anyway since I will have rock in the bottom of the river. For that to happen, I will need to pour the first quarter inch only so that can cure enough to support the stone above the very bottom of the table which I will clean up and level one final time with the slab flattening jig after all of the epoxy cures. So that is one pour. I doubt it, but that might leave just one more pour session to fill up the river (dependant on what kind of depth is left). But the incremental pours can be accomplished one right after another up to the maximum allowed depth. Afterward, any of the clean up after it is out of the mould, can again be accomplished at my liesure and over time, but definitely not anything that would result in my having to work through the night. Here is the video from Stone Coat Countertops detailing the process. I am buying my epoxy from this company. I don't see anything within this entire process that couldn't be broken down into comfortable work days hour-wise. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AmIfEUlKB4
    There's one in every crowd......and it's usually me!

  12. #12
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    Fred, it really depends upon the product you use and how deep the pours are. Some products have cure times as long or longer than 72 hours and a big chunk of time up front to manage bubbles with a torch repeatedly. But if you use a product that goes in steps with shorter cure times in exchange for more pours, you can certainly have an easier time with it. Again, it really comes down to what product you use. I don't recall Stone Coat coming up previously, but I could have missed it. The majority seem to use West Systems, System 3 and Total Boat, with the latter being popular and growing. Anecdotally, of course!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
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    So i'm guessing that the bubbles come out of the wood, right? Can't you just seal the wood first?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    So i'm guessing that the bubbles come out of the wood, right? Can't you just seal the wood first?
    That's actually a requirement for best results...sealing the wood edges first, generally with a thin clear resin mixture. But aside from bubbles from the material, the very act of mixing the resin is what causes a lot of bubbles and they have to be "encouraged" to leave by methods like torching the surface repeatedly over a period of time until the resin sets up to the point that it's, um...pointless...to continue. Some folks who do a lot of resin work use a vacuum chamber on their mixtures to get a lot of the suspended air in the material out before a pour.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  15. #15
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    Maybe you could say that the bubbles were to add an air of verisimilitude. I have never seen an actual river without bubbles, so why shouldn't they be in a table that is supposed to depict a river?

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