River table & bar tops with large resin filled voids have become very popular. Unfortunately, this type of project can be a little intimidating for those who have limited woodworking, casting and epoxy coating knowledge or skills. The following information is offered as a guide only to help eliminate some of those concerns, simplify and speed up the process. We recommend using a combination of EasyCast Clear Casting Epoxy for filling cracks or voids, along with EnviroTex Lite High Gloss Finish as the final topcoat. Read all instructions before proceeding and consider a test sample first to familiarize yourself with the process. If you have any questions, consider contacting us before starting.
1. IMPORTANT: Check the moisture content of each wood slab. To avoid warping and other moisture-related issues, the moisture content of wood slabs should be 15% or less. If possible, use a moisture meter to check, or from the back of each slab drill small holes into the center of each wood piece. Use a 1⁄4” or similar size bit and immediately after drilling inspect the wood shavings for moisture. It would be advisable to check several areas of each slab. If wood shavings are just slightly moist, you should be ok to proceed. If shavings are wet, it would be advisable to allow the slabs to continue to dry in a warm, but not hot environment and away from direct sunlight. Depending on the thickness and type of wood, slabs can take two or more years to completely dry.
2. PREPARATION: Once the slabs are sufficiently dry, plane, level and sand the slab pieces as necessary. Remove all loose bark or glue in place. If using an adhesive to attach the bark, allow it to completely dry or cure before proceeding.
4. PREPARING VOID AREAS:
A. Heavy polypropylene tape such as Tuck tape can be used to seal off cracks or small voids. Cured epoxy will not stick to it. Apply to the back of slabs, press firmly to remove trapped air pockets between tape and wood surface.
B. CONTAINMENT BOX: Large tops with voids may require additional steps such as a containment box made from products such as white melamine particleboard or similar material. Depending on the type of material used, a mold release, paste wax such as Trewax or heavy polypropylene tape such as Tuck tape must be applied to the melamine particleboard to prevent the resin from adhering to it. We recommend you test the mold release, paste wax or tape prior to filling voids with resin. In addition, we recommend you clamp slab pieces in place preventing them from shifting while filling areas in a containment box.
C. CONTAINMENT PANEL: Per the illustration on the following page, use melamine particleboard or similar material to contain resin. Depending on the type of material used, a mold release, paste wax such as Trewax or heavy polypropylene tape such as Tuck tape must be applied to the melamine surface to prevent the resin from adhering to it. We recommend you test the mold release, paste wax or tape prior to filling the void with resin. Once this is done, flip the slabs over face side down on level work surface and arrange. Apply a bead of silicone sealant along inside edges as shown in the illustration on page 2. Press the particleboard down tight against the silicone sealant and secure with screws every 4 to 6 inches. Once the slab pieces are secured, flip the melamine particleboard/slab unit over, face side up. Tape or seal exposed ends, joints and seams to prevent leakage.
5. MEASURING VOIDS: These irregularly shaped areas can be difficult to measure accurately. One method is to fill small voids with dried rice, then measure the rice used in a measuring container. Another method is to measure the length, width, and depth of the void (approximate area). Example - 72” length x 8” width x 1.5” depth = 864 sq inches. Divide this number by 231 to convert the area to gallons. For example 864 sq inches / 231= 3.74 gallons. Feel free to use our online calculator for this at https://www.eti-usa.com/calculator.html.
6. Protect work surface and area with a plastic drop sheet.
7. Place slab/panel on a level work surface, elevate if necessary and level. Depending on your project piece, you may require clamps to hold pieces securely
while filling voids with resin.
8. Clean the wood surface with a lint-free cotton cloth moistened lightly with isopropyl alcohol. This will help to remove all fine dust and containments.
FILLING VOIDS WITH EASY CAST:
EasyCast® performs best at 75° F / 24° C. Resin/hardener bottles should feel slightly warm to the touch, if they feel cool, they must be warmed by placing them in warm tap water (not hot) for 5 to 10 minutes prior to using. If bottles become overheated, allow them to cool before using. Never mix hot resin and hardener together! Mixing when cold will often result in cloudy casts contain- ing microscopic bubbles.
IMPORTANT: When using EasyCast, fill voids in multiple layers with a maximum depth of 3/8” per layer. Allow each layer to cure for 8 hours (do not pour deeper as the resin/hardener mixture may overheat and discolor). If using EnviroTex Lite to fill voids, keep layers to 3/16” or less and lightly degas 30 to 40 minutes after pouring, but only if necessary, avoid overheating the resin/hardener mixture, which may discolor.
1. MEASURE: Carefully measure equal amounts of resin and hardener into a smooth-sided, flat bottom, wax-free measuring container. Do not vary the 1 to 1 ratio for any reason! Failure to measure equal amounts of resin and hardener will result in soft or sticky castings. Do not simply pour the contents of both bottles, which due to viscosity differences may not result in a 1 to 1 ratio, always measure! Due to rapid heat build-up with large mixes, do not mix more than one gallon at a time.
2. DOUBLE MIXING (REQUIRED): For EasyCast® to chemically blend, it must be mixed together in two stages. Warning: Never use an electric drill with a mixing attachment to mix this product. This type of mixing almost always results in an incomplete and cloudy mix. With the resin and hardener measured together in one container, use a flat stir stick or paint paddle and mix contents for two full minutes. During mixing, use the stir stick/paint paddle to scrape the sides and bottom of your mixing container. Occasionally scrape the mixture from the stir stick/paint paddle back into the solution. After two full minutes of mixing, pour the contents from the first container into a second container, then using a new stir stick/paint paddle, mix the contents of the second container another minute, again scraping sides of the container and stir stick. Important, only pour from the second container, never from the first. Optional:AddCastin’CraftTransparentDye/Pigmentsorsmallamountofartistacrylicoroilbasedpainttocolormix,add only enough to achieve the desired color. Note, too much colorant can result in a slightly softer cure. Once blended, immediately pour into voids, do not hesitate!
3. BUBBLES: EasyCast® has been formulated to self-degas within a few minutes of pouring under most casting conditions. A propane torch or heat gun may be used to remove stubborn bubbles, but only if necessary. Don’t be tempted to remove bubbles just for the sake of it. For best results and clarity allow EasyCast to self-degas. Excessive degassing can overheat the resin/hardener mixture, which may result in discoloration. In extreme cases, overheating will cause the resin/
hardener mixture to gas up internally resulting in a cloudy, hazy effect.
4. Allow the last layer of EasyCast to cure for 72 hours at 70 F / 21 C.
5. REMOVING MELAMINE PARTICLEBOARD: Flip the top over, remove screws, then
insert a putty knife between particleboard and top. Carefully pry pieces apart.
6. SANDING: Where necessary, sand wood and cured resin with 120 grit sandpaper to start with, followed by fine grit paper as required. After sanding, clean surface with a lint-free cloth lightly moistened with isopropyl alcohol. Note, sanding marks will normally disappear once coated with EnviroTex Lite.
7. FINAL COAT: Use EnviroTex Lite as your final surface coating and pay close attention to the package instructions. Seal all exposed wood surfaces per the EnviroTex Lite instruction sheet. EnviroTex Lite is a waterproof, chemical and heat resistant epoxy coating that will chemically bond to EasyCast, resulting in a clear seamless and durable finish. One or more layers may be applied to create a deep, clear glass-like finish. To
prevent EnviroTex Lite drips along the outside bottom edge, you can apply vinyl or polypropylene tape 1/8” in from the edge. Approximately one hour after the coating has been applied, carefully remove the tape with drip accumulation. If necessary, wipe this edge with a lint-free cloth moistened lightly with isopropyl alcohol. This will help to remove any residue or resin strands from removing the tape. We recommend you wear rubber gloves, as this process can be a little messy.
8. REMOVING DRIPS: While liquid, scrape drips from bottom edge or sand drips once fully cured (72 hours). If sanding, be careful to sand towards your project, not away from. Sanding outward may cause the coating to chip along the edge. With a soft lint-free cotton cloth, moisten lightly with water, remove all sanding dust from the surface.
9. ADDITIONAL PROTECTION: For added protection, you may want to consider an application of paste wax on the cured surface, such as Trewax. This added step will help prevent fingerprints and smudges, as well as stop items from sticking to the new surface. Apply and buff per package instructions.