Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Cabin Upgrades (Part iv)

 Cabin Table Upgrade - Practice

The weather in South Florida has finally cooled off, it is 69ºF in my Garage today - cool enough to start practicing the table finish process.

I mixed up 5oz of resin and gave it a good stir, not sure if I mixed it enough, I was worried about how quickly it would kick off.

As this is just a test piece where I hoped to learn how to apply the resins and to achieve the general look of the finish as well as the rudimentary things such as using the butane burner to eliminate bubbles and the Electric heat gun to manipulate the applied resin.

To mix the individual colors I decanted 1oz into the individual mixing cups, one for each color: White, 3 blues and one clear.

I mixed the black and copper pigments in order to obtain a sandy color, it worked out pretty good.

Each of the mixing cups got about 1/4 teaspoon of pigment except for the sandy mixture. I waited until completing the base coat of clear resin before mixing the black and copper into the remaining resin in that cup. Used just 1/8th teaspoon of both the balk and copper into the remainder of the clear resin after applying the initial cover coat.

Here's the 1st test piece, not bad for a first attempt.

  • Need to mix the resin for longer to ensure the cure is complete. After 1 and 1/2 hours, the resin was still not 'solid', firm enough that I could not pull the mixing spatulas out of the cups, but maybe it will take much longer to fully cure. I'll wait 24 hours.
  • Using my gloved fingers to eradicate the solid colors works, but need to make sure that it's not confined to a very small area as it shows in the finished product. 
  •  The test piece was just an offcut of a ply wood, no sanding or rounding of the edges. However, the resin did not flow over the sides as expected, I'll round the edges of the next test piece.
  • The 'cells' formed quite nicely and the 'waves' were pretty effective for a 1st try. 
Here's a view of the 1st test piece after 26 hours of cure time.

I tried to shave off the 'drips' from the underside with a freshly sharpened chisel. They would not come off!!! 

Note for 2nd test:- Scrape drips from the bottom as the resin is applied and before it cures.

For the 2nd test piece, I'll round over the top edges and apply a couple of coats of primer similar to that applied to the actual tabletop.

Lessons learned:- Baby powder is great to ease  putting on the vinyl gloves. Dust was not much of an issue but it's worth it to build a dust covered bench. The coloring pigments go a long way! I barely used 1/4 of a teaspoon and the resulting resin mix had a vibrant coloring. Making the sandy color using the copper and tiny amount of the black pigments worked our really well.  If I want the underside of the table sealed, it should be done prior to the top application of resin.

Ok, time to make the second test piece.

See you on the water, getting closer to having a new cabin table.

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