Repair and construction works in residential premises have long lost the status of trivial restoration of floor surfaces, walls or ceilings. Modern renovation is a wide range of works related to the creation of a certain interior.
Much attention is paid to the design of the premises. So a separate line of activity appeared and is successfully developing – the creation of an interior. The development of various projects is carried out by professionals mainly with an art education. But some prefer to implement their ideas independently.
The interior of the living space serves as a kind of mirror of the tastes and character of the owner. That is why a non-standard approach to design is so popular. The selection of furniture or its decoration is one of the main works of the designer. In this regard, many solutions are represented by the manufacture of furniture made of epoxy resin.
Epoxy resin furniture is increasingly becoming an object of attention for beginners and professional designers. The most common option is a table. It is possible to fill with resin the countertops of a kitchen table, a work table or a coffee table, as well as various decorative tables bearing an exclusively artistic character.
Tables made of epoxy resin have a lot of advantages, thanks to which they have become so popular.
- Transparent resin allows you to make various decorative elements inside the countertop. Thus, many directions for furniture design are formed.
- The technology of resin pouring does not require the use of special tools and equipment, so the production of tables can be adjusted even at home.
In your own house with utility rooms or a workshop where you can use at least manual woodworking equipment and place a small chemical laboratory, you can produce tables. It’s better not to take it up in the apartment.
- Solidified epoxy does not emit toxins, therefore it is considered safe for human health. You can even make dining tables out of it.
- The material is sufficiently resistant to external mechanical influences and the action of ultraviolet radiation. Such furniture is quite durable.
- High-quality manufactured products look very attractive. The master can touch up the resin, make it more matte or transparent, and the possibility of decoration and decoration allows you to create masterpiece creations that fit into any interior.
A table made of wood slab with epoxy resin is one of the options for manufacturing and decorating furniture in this category. With all the variety of design solutions, products can be divided into two groups.
- The first group is represented by variants in which the resin is poured onto a rigid base.
- The second option is characterized by the absence of such a basis, and the entire integrity of the structure is ensured by the strength of the frozen resin.
Slabs can act as a base, as well as in the role of a regular decor. In order to present in more detail the beauty of the countertops, you should pay attention to the slabs themselves. The final result depends on the variant of their manufacture.
What is a wooden slab
The manufacturability of wood processing methods allows you to obtain a variety of building materials. The materials combine quality and aesthetics. But the modern trend puts the popularity of those materials that have preserved the qualities of natural wood to the maximum.
Slabs are called wide cuts made along the trunk of a tree. Solid saws are used in the manufacture of furniture. In this case, such breeds as elm, oak or poplar are used. Other options can be considered, but the strength of the wood and its pattern should be taken into account. The longitudinal section exposes the fiber section, emphasizing the natural beauty and grandeur of the wood.
Not only color transitions are appreciated, but also natural defects, knots, wormholes. Usually, when preparing a slab, its edges (side surfaces) are not processed. The resulting plate has an irregular geometry. Its shape may resemble the contour of a tree trunk.
Instead of the word “Slab”, you can use “Board”, “Cut”, “Slice”, “Array”. For cuts, the lower parts of the trunk are mainly used because of the greater thickness of the plates. Slabs are also often referred to as cross-sections of the trunk, which, after the necessary processing, are often used to make countertops or seats for chairs.
And yet the term “slab” is more often used for the name of longitudinal boards, and “cut” — for cross-sections of logs.
The lower parts of the trunk are used in this case to obtain the widest slabs and cuts of the largest diameter. In addition, there may be natural irregularities in the texture of slabs closer to the root, which are especially appreciated by customers.
Tables made of slab and epoxy resin are characteristic of the “Live edge” direction. The main idea of this design direction is based on minimal interference or almost complete absence of wood finishing, thereby emphasizing the authenticity and originality of the material.
“Live edge” refers to the kind of long sides of the countertop (along the fibers) that repeat the natural outer contours of the trunk. The main surface of the table, on which dishes or other objects are placed, can be finished up to polishing.
You will not be able to make a slab yourself, special equipment is needed for cutting. Usually the production is set up right in the forest. Tree trunks are used as initial raw materials.
Beautiful pattern and peculiar texture of birch, aspen, oak. Sometimes elm, pine, larch or poplar are used. Modern mini sawmills allow you to make longitudinal cuts.
One of the mandatory stages of slab preparation is the drying of the slab. Under suitable weather conditions, the saw is dried naturally. Otherwise, it is necessary to use infrared radiation and forced ventilation. The duration of drying can be different. The time directly depends on the type of wood, the geometry of the plate, the initial humidity and drying conditions. Temperature changes, as well as a sharp change in humidity leads to the formation of cracks in the array.
If there is a desire to fight such a phenomenon, then the slabs are pre-coated with special compounds. But some designers specifically choose layers in which there are defects.
Drying technology is a whole industry in woodworking. For example, natural drying of a slab can be carried out for years. It is impossible to do without the use of special equipment that allows drying according to separate programs for different types of wood, its thickness and even taking into account the time of year.
Wood has an original pattern, so tables made of slab and epoxy resin are not decorated with any other elements. Of the basic materials, the saw itself and the right amount of resin will be required.
- If the slab has an irregular geometry, then it cannot act as a base for the countertop. In the end, you will get a slab of epoxy, inside which a wooden array is placed.
- If the slab is processed along its ends, and its shape allows using the slab as a base, then a layer of resin is poured over the saw.
Each master designer chooses for himself the most suitable way of making a countertop, as the most significant part of any table.
Before filling, you must carefully prepare the array. All the smallest particles of dust, sawdust and bark residues can penetrate into the liquid resin, forming suspensions. Even a visual inspection is not enough, since the resin washes out the debris from the holes or wormholes only after pouring.
First, the slab is brushed or blown with a jet of air. Then its outer surface is treated with furniture varnish. Due to its transparency, the tree does not lose its natural color. The frozen layer prevents particles from entering the resin thickness. In order to save money, it is allowed to process the epoxy compound, previously induced in a small amount.
There are special epoxy primer resins on the market and are used by craftsmen. Their curing time is only 3-6 hours, which saves a lot of time during the preliminary preparation of the slab or saw. This is especially true of wood with a high absorbency, for example, poplar.
There are a lot of different resins on the building materials market. It is necessary to understand that those compositions that are used in the manufacture of furniture differ significantly from the resins used for gluing parts or surface treatment.
Manufacturers are ready to provide a wide list of formulations, so it is the epoxy for furniture that should be asked in stores.
It is important to choose a resin with the desired characteristics (minimum and maximum layer, lifetime, time of complete solidification). Preparation of the composition must be carried out before direct pouring. Instructions for mixing the components must be attached to the kit.
In order for the liquid resin to take the desired shape, it is necessary to make a formwork. It is assembled from plastic, metal, glass or wood. It all depends on the capabilities of the master. It should be remembered that more even formwork surfaces will simplify the procedure for further polishing the countertop.
It is necessary to provide one more nuance. When assembling the mold, cracks will form at the border of the joints of the sides, through which resin can flow. These cracks are sealed with a sealant. The inner surface of the mold is covered with a separating agent, which makes it easy to remove the finished plate.
The pouring process itself does not differ in the presence of certain specifics, the method depends on the density of the composition, the maximum allowable layer thickness, and the complexity of the slab geometry. It is advisable for novice masters to use more liquid mixtures. The resin will penetrate and fill different cavities. If this does not happen, then the air accumulated in the cavities will penetrate into the resin in the form of bubbles.
In the production of tables, when it is usually necessary to pour significant volumes of resin, the use of more liquid resins is simply necessary.
There are two ways of filling: in one layer or in several layers. In various manuals, beginners are advised to select a resin for pouring in one layer. Layer-by-layer filling is not considered more difficult. On the contrary, decorative elements can be added to each layer, creating 3D paintings. The disadvantage is that it is necessary to wait a certain time for each layer to solidify.
The resulting countertop made of epoxy will most likely not have the visual effect that the master expects. The edges may be uneven, and the surface itself may be matte.
It is necessary to carry out grinding and subsequent polishing of the frozen resin. Grinding begins with coarse-grained abrasives, and ends with a special paste. It smoothly turns into polishing. After that, the epoxy will become transparent.
At first glance, it may seem that there are not so many variations for the design. In fact, an array table with epoxy resin can be decorated in a variety of ways.
There is no need to talk about different styles, but there can be as many design options as you like. Let’s list the main ideas of the decor, which can be obtained with the help of a slab.
- Solid plate. The design of the countertop consists of only two elements – a plate that is the most suitable in size to the base, and epoxy resin, which is poured, forming the top layer and the surface itself. If the slab does not have processed edges and is not a base, then the epoxy, falling into the space between the cut and the side of the mold, will form a kind of border. To make the pattern clearly visible through the thickness of the resin, the saw is treated with a stain. Resin is rarely tinted, besides, a light color is chosen. Yellow, light green or turquoise color is great. This type of table is considered the easiest to manufacture.
- Table top made of several elements. It is not always profitable to select a slab that is suitable in size, and it is not always advisable. If there are shapeless cuts of various sizes, then they can be laid out on the base so that there is space between the layers of the array. The effect of a mosaic or puzzle evokes various associations: from paintings with a mountain landscape to abstract ornate patterns. Since there is no basis in such countertops, the resin is tinted so that the pattern of the slab is visible, but the thickness of the epoxy is not visible through. A variety of this type of countertops are compositions of parallel laid uncut boards. The space between them is also filled with resin. The shape of the countertop can be any. If the resin used is transparent, then the table stands are made of a metal corner or profile. It is necessary to make sure that the rest of the structure is minimized.
- Table-river. Such tables could be considered in the previous section, since the river is imitated by two slabs (one large piece is sawn in half and unfolds with the uneven side inward) laid at a certain distance from each other. However, in all galleries, countertops with “reservoirs” are allocated to a separate category. With the help of tinted resin and slabs suitable in shape, standing reservoirs and rivers are imitated. There are several alternative solutions in the design here. When luminophore is added to the dye, the river will begin to emit a glow. The banks of such a river can be decorated with real sand or shell rock. There are more complex solutions that require careful selection of material. We are talking about layer-by-layer filling. The main thing is to choose the right tree arrays. Each subsequent top layer should have its borders slightly smaller than the previous one. As a result, you will get a picture resembling the depths of the sea, where the slab plays the role of rocky rocks.
Buying a table
Prices for epoxy resin furniture are quite high. Although the production cost of slab tables is not so high, it is necessary to understand that almost every work is author’s and very labor-intensive. Here the spread of prices depends on the “appetite” of the master. That is why many people try to make furniture on their own.
The average price for a kitchen table is $ 500, but there are instances whose cost exceeds $ 1,500. The high price is also due to the fact that the slab itself is an expensive material. It is impossible to make it yourself, so you have to order it in special workshops.
There are no problems with the offer today. A suitable table design can be found on the Internet.
Furniture factories provide an opportunity for their customers to get acquainted with photos of models available on the website. Individual orders are also accepted. Since the production of epoxy countertops has been developing massively relatively recently, it is difficult to say about the strength and reliability of furniture in the context of large periods of time. But at the moment, the reviews of the real owners are very positive.
The production of solid wood furniture has been going on for hundreds of years, and the use of epoxy resin by mankind has been going on for several decades. So there are some statistics available. The standard for wooden furniture provides for its use for 50 years. Cured epoxy resin is a much more inert material than wood, and, accordingly, its shelf life is also very long.