Are you thinking about using epoxy resin on wood? The resin is a natural or synthetic viscous liquid substance, often used in various industrial processes. The two-part epoxy resin consists of two liquid materials that, once they are mixed start a hardening process. It is a very useful substance when you want to shape, glue or put a glassing over an item. Here, we will explain everything you need to know when using these materials.
Firstly, before using any resin product, you should carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions with the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). If the MSDS is not included with your resin, you can find often find it on the manufacturer’s website or at: www.msdssearch.com.
The majority of all resins are nontoxic and made from organic materials. If the resin is in liquid form, it can irritate your eye and skin, however, after it hardens it is not an irritator anymore. When operating with epoxy resins, the following precautions are adviced:
- Do your work in a well-ventilated area.
- Get yourself a respirator with the right filters, if you work with resin regularly.
- Always wear safety glasses and gloves
- Wet-sand your resin to minimize resin dust
- Dispose of your resin in line with the manufacturer recommendation
The Basic terms:
Resin: The first part of your two-part formula.
Hardener: The second part of your two-part formula.
Mixing ratio: The exact proportion of the first and the second part as described by the manufacturer.
Cure time: The time required for the mixed formula to harden.
Pot life: The time after the mixed formula begins to thicken.
High viscosity: A liquid that is thick and doesn’t flow much.
Low viscosity: A liquid state that is thin and flows easily.
Epoxy resin adhesive: A component that is primarily used as glue. Mostly available at hardware stores.
- Fast cure time
- Short pot life
- High viscosity
- Chemical Odor
Epoxy resin: A component mostly used for coating and casting. It is mostly available at jewelry suppliers, craft stores and surf shops.
- Longer cure time
- Longer pot life
- Lower viscosity
- Less Odor
How to Use Epoxy Resin and How To Work With It?
Epoxy resins usually consist of two parts: the resin and the hardener. Those two parts are then combined in the exact ratio provided by the manufacturer’s manual. Wrong measuring and mixing mean that the resin will not harden in the right way. If you have a small batch, you can use plastic medicine cups to measure the resin and hardener. If you are using larger quantities of resin, it is better to use a digital scale.
Mix the resin and hardener using a toothpick or a wooden stick. You should stir gently to keep the air out of your mixture. If you notice air bubbles, you can pop them with a pin. Another method is to exhale or use a fan or a hair dryer to blow warm air over the resin surface to pop those air bubbles.
Adding color to the resin
When trying out different color additives, it is better to mix them with epoxy adhesives first as they cure quicker and are cheaper than epoxy resin, meant for casting. We were successful with the following additives:
- Acrylic paint
- Mica Powders
- Alcohol-based inks
- Gold and silver foil
Take note that additives can change the required two-part ratio. It is therefore advisable to check the manufacturer’s instructions before adding any colorants.
How To Use Epoxy Resin on Wood Step-by-step
- Mix the epoxy resin. Make sure you wear some kind of gloves (latex is appropriate) then combine the resin and hardener in the ratio described by the manufacturer’s If you added any colorants, make sure that you adjust your ratio in line with the manual.
To mix the ingredients, use a toothpick or a wooden stick and move it in a figure 8 motion.
- Add a colorant. You can also use a colorant offered by your resin manufacturer. Apply it with a toothpick and mix the compound well. It is a good idea to add just a small amount of coloring at a time until you get your desired color.
- Put the resin on your item. Be careful, how you approach that step as you should try to avoid putting resin in the openings of the tube components. Pour the resin gently to avoid creating air bubbles. Until the resin thickens a bit, you might have to keep an eye on it, so it stays in your preferred shape.
- Remove the air bubbles. You can achieve that using a pin or another small sharp object.
- Cover and cure the resin. Put your assembly into a safe place and wait until the resin air-cures in-line with the manufacturer’s manual. You can also leave some resin in your cup, so you can check the thickening process without having to touch your assembly.
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