Friday, February 14, 2014

live edge trestle table part 9

I set up the stretcher, legs, and top in the garage in an effort to minimized the amount of potential dust that could settle in between epoxy pours.

Look at all those cracks and crevices that need epoxy poured. This task took me at least two weeks time to complete. Had I known how big of a job this was, I may not have chosen a piece with so many cracks and honeycombs to fill. Epoxy filling wood is not for the feint of heart.

I did this in June-July, and with the San Diego summer in full effect the epoxy cured at a pretty fast and anxiety inducing rate. I later poured some epoxy in December and was amazed at how causal the experience was, temperature has quite a bit to say about how difficult the epoxy task is.

Some of these cracks took more than 10 pours to fill!!

This is the underbelly of the knots, where we used glue and sawdust to seal the back so epoxy would be contained in the cracks.

West System was my choice of epoxy, with the 207 hardener. The pumps make mixing the right ratios real easy.

Every single time I've glued wood with my dad he's quoted one of his previous wood working instructors "All hell breaks looks when the glue hits the wood". My dad loves to repeat himself, and I'm sure I've repeated that quote once or twice on this blog.

If hell breaks loose when glue hits wood, then the universe comes to a dramatic and tragic end when the epoxy hits the wood. Gluing wood was a cake walk in comparison to pouring clear pools of bubble free epoxy in Southern California summer.

Here's that knot with a healthy pool of fresh epoxy.

Sure it looks just like thick clear liquid, but the moment you mix this stuff it starts to thicken. While it's thickening it's generating heat as the curing process is a chemical reaction. Needless to say I was sweating bullets in the garage hunched over this tabletop for more hours/days than I care to recount.

This is the backside of the stretcher knot, prepping for epoxy pouring.

Take a look at how the epoxy filled knot came out. Notice a few bubbles that we didn't manage to pop in time? I had to go back with small drops of epoxy to fill those buggers.

I put some epoxy on the legs, but more for strength than for a clean and solid surface. Nobody notices blemishes in a leg, the most important is the table's top.

We used a torch to pop the epoxy bubbles, with a bit of heat the bubbles will magically disappear. It's more of an art than a science, and here you can see an artist with his brush.

link to part 10


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