Epoxy resins are used on wood to protect it and give it a great finish. Let’s take a look at some of the best epoxy resins you could use for your woodturning project.
Some really good Brands of Epoxy Resin for Woodturning
The best epoxy resins for woodturning must combine a high heat resistance with a hardening component suited to protect the wood. Some of the best brands include Pro Marine, MAS LV, and Stone Coat. Each has a unique combination of hardness and beauty which makes a fine finished piece.
Table of Contents
What is Epoxy Resin?
Epoxy resin is a blend of resin and a hardening agent which when blended together creates a coating that is both strong and durable. It is not always blended with the same substances, which can affect its hardness and its drying time.
People use epoxy resin for a variety of reasons, from coating wood and glass to supporting construction. It acts as an excellent protective seal as well as a binding agent in structures and even in stone projects.
It is one of the best ways to prevent decay and wear from deteriorating a project, and it is heat, water, and shrinkage resistant. This makes it a highly prized product for many diverse projects.
Is Epoxy Resin good for wood?
Epoxy resin has an excellent capacity to extend the life of wood and to keep your creations from becoming damaged by a variety of environmental factors. Epoxy resin is resistant to heat, water, and chemicals which makes it great for cabinets, countertops, and furniture.
It is a binding agent as well, so it acts to seal away the cracks and pockets in the wood which may lead to rot. For outdoor furniture, it is one of the best ways to preserve your wooden furniture and decks from erosion and weather deterioration.
What are the Applications of Epoxy Resin in Wood Turning?
Epoxy resin for woodturning requires a good deal of attention and precision to avoid mishaps. Epoxy resin is a reactive substance and has different reactions to heat, cold, and pressure prior to being solidified.
While turning you must be careful not to apply too much pressure or heat or else you might cause the sealant to chip or melt. At room temperature, it is relatively stable, and you must add a hardening agent to keep it solidified.
Some varieties of hardeners that are added commonly are Novolac and Bisphenol A and F. These create different types of epoxy resins, the most popular for wood are Mercaptans and amines epoxy resin.
Amines are the most popular because it reacts well to a variety of environmental conditions and hardens well. Mercaptans is ideal as well because it seals the woods very well and prevents water damage.
What kind of Epoxy do you use for Wood Turning?
The best type of epoxy resin for woodturning is low viscosity or medium viscosity. This means that the thickness is not too intense and creates a nice even layer of coating over the surface of the wood without making it very sticky or tacky.
Another benefit is these resins do not blush. When a resin blushes it basically means it gets a film on the top which when drying stays and leaves an unpleasant appearance. It can also affect the hardness of the coating and may peel or crack more easily.
If you are using epoxy resin to fill gaps or to repair the damage, then you should definitely use a thicker blend. Allow sufficient time for it to dry before adding an outer coating.
Is Epoxy Resin Expensive?
To determine whether the epoxy resin is expensive you need to take into consideration how much surface you are looking to cover and how thick you plan to lay it. Per gallon epoxy and the hardener are about $60.00-$80.00 each and will cover about 230 cubit sq. inches at ¼ inch of thickness.
This equals about 6.5 sq. ft. of coverage at ¼ inch thick. This means that if you’re looking to coat a floor it can add up relatively quickly. Although, for a project such as a tabletop it may only need about 4-6 gallons depending on the thickness you want.
The amount you use depends wildly on the project, especially when you consider an outdoor versus indoor project. An excellent way to calculate your needs is by measuring your project and deciding how much you will need. You can find a useful calculator which will be helpful in determining how much you need here.
Best clear Epoxy Resin for Wood Turning
Clear resin is a resin that does not carry any tints or leave residues when dried. These are three of the best varieties for your woodturning:
|MAS LV Epoxy Resin||$39.51 per Qt.||Link|
|Premium Quality Clear Epoxy Resin||$59.00 per gallon||Link|
|ProMarine Table Top Epoxy||$109.97||Link|
Best colored Epoxy Resin for Wood Turning
There are a variety of dyes and pigments one might add to their resin in order to create some lovely colors. House paints, metallic powdered pigments, and mica powders are added to the resin prior to the addition of hardening agents.
|Colored Epoxies: Metallic Pigments||$7.90 each.||Link|
|Extreme Resin: Mica||$8.90 each||Link|
|Resin Obsession: Resin Pigment||$47.95 per 8||Link|
Best Epoxy Resin for Wood Turning (Hard Finish)
Hard epoxy resins are preferred for use on floors and tabletops. Including bar tops and similar highly used pieces which are faced with large amounts of wear and tear. Additionally, it is preferred by those seeking to waterproof boats, decks, or other objects continually in the water.
|Total Boat: Table Top Epoxy Resin||$64.99 each per gallon||Link|
|System Three: General Purpose Epoxy Resin||$105.95 each per gallon||Link|
|StoneCoat: Cast Epoxy||$156.75 per 1 ½ gallons||Link|
Best Epoxy Resin for Wood Turning (Gloss Finish)
Some epoxy resins are designed to give an especially vibrant finished look. You need to be careful to follow the pouring directions or else you may over saturate it, but as long as you do not pour too much at once, your finish should be nice and glossy.
|Stone Coat: Platinum||$260.20 per 1 ½ gallon||Link|
|Stone Coat: Super Cast||$156.75 per 1 ½ gallon||Link|
|Better Boat: Epoxy Resin||$69.99 per gallon||Link|
What is the best Non Yellowing Epoxy Resin?
Yellowing tends to result from UV exposure or other damages from environmental factors. Some less intense, toxic resins have difficulties achieving this to a full extent. One such example which is very popular and good at preventing yellowing while remaining non-toxic is the ArtResin brand.
This brand is especially preferred for spaces that are heavily in contact with food, as well as for art and crafts. A resin such as this is often used to coat old manuscripts and such which may soon deteriorate.
Another popular brand for UV and yellowing resistance is the Countertop Resin UV Resistant Resin which is a non-toxic and eco-friendly option. You will want to be careful with this application due to the fact it does not get very hard and experiences wear.
How to use Epoxy Resin in Wood Turning?
One of the most important facts about turning epoxy resin is to be aware of how much hardener you add and how fast the resin dries. Most resins dry at different speeds and you want to be sure to get a good shine as it hardens.
You want to be careful how hot the resin gets while you’re turning to avoid any bubbling or foaminess from occurring. If bubbles do occur you can use a heat source such as a blow torch to get rid of them.
Be careful of chips and dents as you turn, since you do not want to damage the wood itself as you’re turning.
How much Epoxy Resin can you use in your Wood Turning Project?
This depends a lot on the project you are creating and the hardness you wish to get when finished. If you are working with some very knotted or rotted wood you will want to add some thick high viscosity epoxy to the cracks.
Epoxy resin wooden bowls are especially popular and are great for preserving damaged wood and making something beautiful with it. The resin shouldn’t be applied much thicker than 1 inch when turning your bowl. If you exceed this it could start to yellow in the heat and pressure and make an unappealing finish.
For table tops, cabinets, and countertops you want to be sure to apply it at no more than 1 inch to 1 ½ inch thick to prevent yellowing. Resin needs to be at the proper ambient temperature when drying and if it is applied too thick you run the risk of the heat messing it up.
How Long does Epoxy Resin last?
Epoxy resin can easily extend the life of your products by 20 years. If it is applied well and maintained, then it can easily extend it even longer. Take care to ensure that the wood was properly dried prior to applying the epoxy or else you run the risk of it rotting or warping.
The life span does vary per project, however. If you are using it to preserve a wooden floor then it will experience much more wear than a bowl that holds some plastic fruit on the table.
Epoxy resin is also excellent if you are seeking to preserve a family heirloom or some old piece of wood you fear may rot. In such cases, it can add many more years to a piece you fear will face decay.