You can find random pieces of tree branches and turn them into something as cool as these resin coasters. These came out great and it was a fun experience. You can take this concept and add to it, to make them more unique. In the video, I experiment with two different approaches, I took what I thought was best from each and put it into words. I hope you find this post helpful and I’d love to hear any feedback you may have.
Epoxy resin Used
- (1) 91% isopropyl Alcohol https://amzn.to/2vvAf0X Great for epoxy clean up
- (1) Spray bottle https://amzn.to/2OksAJY
- Mixing sticks https://amzn.to/2Mc1AyY
- mixing cup https://amzn.to/2OoiI1X
- (1) disposable Gloves https://amzn.to/2nkPMfI
- (1) Clean up rags https://amzn.to/2no8Ppm
- Silicone: https://amzn.to/2T7hPxJ
- (1) 5in PVC
- 2.5in tree branch
- 1in tree branch
I used two random pieces of a tree branch. Since I got them from an empty lot I cut them down to size then place them in the oven at 400deg for 30 minutes. Next, I set up the bandsaw to cut these approximately a 1/4in thick.
There are many ways to go about this one. The overall shape boils down to what is most appealing to you. I used a 5in PVC pipe, this seems like a reasonable size. I set up a stop at my miter saw to make repeatable cuts. I didn’t have a specific height but these were 3/4 inch thick.
Next, you’ll want to use a piece of Melamine or white hardboard as your work surface. Then, place the PVC pipes on it. Space it out so you can properly wrap the perimeter with silicone. Give it enough time to dry, then wipe paste wax inside.
I used casting resin from countertop epoxy. This is a 2:1 mix, 2-part resin, and 1 part hardener. The mixing instruction is on the bottles and straightforward. I mixed 6 ounces of resin. Then, pour that evenly into the mold. This was pour approx. 1/8th inch thick. Let this sit till hardened. Note: use alcohol to remove the bubbles.
If you watched the video you’ll see my experiment. The problem I ran into in this stage was the piece of wood floated to the top during the second pour. I haven’t tried this but “CA Glue” may be a great solution to hold the wood in place while the second pour is being made. As you know epoxy resin is also a great adhesive, I would recommend mixing a small amount “ a tablespoon” to adhere the wood to the first layer.
Assuming the previous step has been addressed. Mix up a new container of resin 6 to 8 ounces should be fine. Now, pour the resin on top. Make sure you’re working on a leveled surface and be sure to remove any bubbles for best results. The overall thickness of the coasters were around 3/8 in.
Remove the coasters from the molds. I must state that you should be careful, the resin is very sharp and could easily cut. I wanted to maintain the glass like clarity on the top. I used masking tape to cover the top as I sanded the side and bottom. I liked the frosted look on the outside. To get the final finish I used 120 grit, 220 grit and finally 320 grit sandpaper.
Here is the finish version. I’d love to hear what you think about this one. I think these are a great project to do with kids and could be the perfect handmade gift for the holidays.