Casting a tree trunk shelf with epoxy resin

Verschil tussen hoogglans en zijdeglans epoxy vloer

Make yourself a nice shelf by pouring a tree trunk board with epoxy! For Jevi's bedroom, we poured a nice piece of wood with epoxy and he is very happy with it. In this article, you're going to read step by step how to do this yourself. Plus, this way you can experiment with wood casting on the cheap should you want to make your own epoxy table later!

 

Tools and supplies:

Other supplies:

  • Melamine board or other material to make the mould with
  • Hanging brackets for the shelf

Step 1: Preparing a nice piece of tree trunk wood

Verschil tussen hoogglans en zijdeglans epoxy vloer

First, we start by looking for a nice piece of wood. This could be anything, of course. There are companies that specialise in tree trunk planks and this is where we got a nice leftover piece. We sawed straight edges on the plank and made it as flat as possible. Then we sanded it with 80-grit sandpaper.

To make the plank extra cool, we carved the name Jevi into it and filled the letters with Glow in the Dark Epoxy casting resin.

Step 2: Priming the wood

Before we start making the mould, the wood must first be sealed. By brushing/rolling the board several times with epoxy casting resin, you make it airtight and prevent air bubbles from entering the wood during casting from the mould.

Prepare a small amount (e.g. 160 grams) of epoxy casting resin in the correct mixing ratio. Always mix the epoxy casting resin carefully. Lay the wood on a piece of plastic and brush the top side with the epoxy. You can also use the velour roller for the flat pieces. Vent the epoxy with the gas burner.

Step 3: Making the mould

We are now going to make the mould of melamine board. It could also be done with concrete plywood. As long as the wood is nice and smooth so epoxy hardly adheres to it. First make the bottom. Lay the plank on the plate and mark it off. Now you can decide how thick you want the epoxy around it. For our plank this is only a few millimetres but you can make it as thick as you like. Also take into account the thickness you need for the plate that will be placed perpendicular to it.

Saw out the plate as neatly as possible. Then saw the vertical parts. Don't saw the vertical plates too low, during casting you can decide how high you want the layer of epoxy to be around the board. The length of the vertical boards doesn't make a huge difference.

Now cover all the wood with transparent packing tape. This will prevent the epoxy from sticking to the mould. After it is fully taped, screw the vertical boards to the bottom one by one to make a container. All you need to do now is seal all the seams with a silicone sealant. Epoxy does not adhere to silicone.

Step 4: Casting the base

Now that the mould is ready, you can start casting. First pour a thin layer which will serve as a base. Make about 800 (or more) grams of epoxy and mix it well. Pour it into the mould and vent it with the gas burner. Then let it cure for about 10 to 24 hours.

Step 5: Pouring the adhesive layer

We are now going to pour the plank in the right place. We will not pour the plank under the epoxy yet because it has to be fixed first. Therefore, again make about 800 grams of epoxy casting resin and mix it well. Pour half of it into the mould and immediately vent the epoxy with the gas burner.

Then carefully place the plank in the mould and position it. Then pour the remaining 400 grams of epoxy along the edges. Let it cure for about 10 to 24 hours.

Step 6: Pouring the tree trunk shelf

After the "glue layer" has cured, we can continue pouring the shelf. Make about 1.6 kg of epoxy casting resin each time until your mould is sufficiently filled. Pour the epoxy along the edges first until the epoxy rises above the plank. It's best to make sure the epoxy is about the same height above it at the top as below. Vent each time after pouring the epoxy.

Step 7: Removal from the mould and finishing

Let it harden for at least four days. Then you can remove it from the mould. Loosen the screws and try to loosen the wood from the tree trunk plank. Try using a wedge to apply force between the plank and the mould.

Once the plank is completely out of the mould, finish the edges. These will still be fairly sharp. You can mill edges nicely with a router or round them off with a sander and 80-grit paper.

To get nice round edges and fix any imperfections on the surface, you can possibly pour another layer of epoxy casting resin over the top. Place the board on 2 cups so that it is loose from the surface. Make about 800 grams of epoxy casting resin and pour it over the board. Vent well with the gas burner. Tape the underside with packing tape beforehand to avoid having to sand away drips after curing.

Step 8: Sanding and polishing

Tools and supplies:

Verschil tussen hoogglans en zijdeglans epoxy vloer

To give the board a really perfect finish, it is best to polish it. Rupes UHS polishing paste works best on epoxy. Sand the entire board from 320 to 2000. Clean the board each time after changing the sandpaper. Sand long enough and don't skip grits because otherwise you won't get the sanding scratches out.

Once you have sanded everything down to 2000 grit, you can start polishing. Spray a little polishing paste on the pad and start polishing. Do not polish at too high a speed or the paste will become too hot. Regularly spray water on your workpiece to cool it down.

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