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Home » Curly Silver Maple and Epoxy Resin River Live Edge Coffee Table

Curly Silver Maple and Epoxy Resin River Live Edge Coffee Table

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I found a small slab of a curly silver maple at Harvest Lumber Co. and decided to get it and figure out what to do with it. It was only 5/8″ thick so I had to be careful, but it was already planed and wide-belt-sanded which was great. It has live edges and beautiful figuring! I figured it’d be good for a coffee table.

Tools Used

Process

I cut the slab lengthwise through the center, cleaned up the live edges, and built a frame for the resin pour. I applied clear packing tape to the wood frame to prevent the resin from sticking to the frame. I put the cut slab in the frame and poured one thin layer of fast-cure epoxy to anchor the wood in the frame and prevent it from floating during the main pour, and I also sealed the live edges with the epoxy. This initial thin layer also shows any leaks in the frame without causing you to lose a lot of resin. Luckily I didn’t have any leaks, so after it cured, I did the main pour with slow-cure epoxy.

After the epoxy was all cured, I took it out of the frame. This one was difficult because the slab was slightly cupped, so the wood was higher than the resin in the middle on both sides. This is probably the worst part of river tables: making them flat (without industrial-sized equipment). As I mentioned, I had to be careful not too take off too much material since it was only 5/8″, which is already pretty thin for a tabletop. I used my electric planer to take off small layers of material (alternating between 1/32″ and 1/64″), then smoothed it out with the belt sander, and then further smoothed it with the orbital sander. Then I trimmed the short edges with the circular saw, sanded the resin with several levels of MicroMesh, and then finished it with a layer of Odie’s Oil.

I think it came out pretty well — the epoxy isn’t super well-polished though. This is because sanding and polishing epoxy and getting out all of the scratch marks from the previous abrasive level is a pain in the ass and I was impatient. If the visible scratches in the resin start to bother me, I’ll just sand off the layer of Odie’s Oil and coat the whole thing in a layer of coating epoxy, which will fill in any scratches. For now, I’m good with it!

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