Lacquer? (Self-leveling Epoxy)


Old 06-28-05, 01:20 PM
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Lacquer? (Self-leveling Epoxy)


I recentely made a table out of a 4x8 sheet of ply-wood. I then covered the top in rows of collected beer bottle caps. Now I'm trying to figure out what would be the best (and hopefully cheap) way to cover the table. I'm mainly looking to fill the gaps between caps as well as a thin layer over them. It doesn't need to be super thick or anything.

Would Lacquer be the best choice? If so which kinda and how much would I need. And whats the usual selling price?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Old 06-28-05, 07:07 PM
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I assume you need the table to be flat after you are done so you can actually use it as a table?

If so I don't think a wood finish will be practical. Just a thought but what do they use to encase flowers etc. in clear plastic? Is that lucite?
Old 06-28-05, 07:44 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

You will want to consider a 2 part epoxy called Envirotex Lite. It's a pour on, self leveling epoxy that will cover your beer bottle caps, and provide a super hard glossy finish for your table. A 4x8 sheet of plywood would need enough support so that it doesn't flex for this (or any other finish) to get great results. Envirotex is available at most of your home centers such as Menard's or Home Depot. Here's a link to the company's website for more info.
Old 06-28-05, 08:17 PM
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I was thinking of the product that Herm mentioned too.

Lacquer is too thin. The caps are too weak, offer no support from flexing and the lacquer would be short lived. But you could coat it once a year or whatever.

A clear poly is something to consider. It is thicker. It will collect in puddles that will take days to dry. It would also help seal (glue) the caps in place.
Clear poly dries with a yellow hue. Water clear poly dries 'clear'. Water used in that context signifys a color, and not the base chemical.

Make 2 test pieces of smaller cap boards and try a couple of different products and only then will you be able to see the end look.
Old 06-28-05, 08:36 PM
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I doubt that any type of poly or other such product will give satisfactory results. 15 yr ago a friend of mine built a bar off of his kitchen and made the top with rough sawn cedar. I don't know if he used envirotex or something similiar. He paid $100 for a gallon. The result was a shiny slick surface. You could see the wood fibers but couldn't feel them.
Old 06-29-05, 09:18 PM
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Herm's advice is good. Though I have no experience with the product he mentions, it appears to be a two part epoxy resin, though I can not seem to find anywhere it says this on its website. It says that it is a polymer compound, but that is not very informative, as many different substances are polymers, from nylon pantyhose to the cellulose fibers that are otherwise known as wood, (yes, polymers regularly occur in nature, they are not exclusively man made) to a kitchen trash bag. These are all polymers, but not all are epoxy resins.

An epoxy resin is what you want. It is the material used on bartops and tables in restaurants with embedded objects. Bottle caps, seashells and sand, whatever. It is not inexpensive, as marksr has noted. At Least $100 per gallon. And make sure you use a product that stays clear, as lugnut wisely suggests. You can buy the best marine epoxy for boatbuilding, but it is not designed for clarity or visual appeal. Concentrate your serch in this area, and when you are ready to tackle the project remember, there is no turning back once the two resin components have been mixed!

I made a similar table years ago, and I built a "dam" around the entire perimeter of the table out of thin firring strips, caulked with silicone all around to prevent leakage and facilitate the removal after curing. Once it cured, I had a "lip" that I removed and rounded over with a router fitted with a good carbide bit. I mixed a smaller amount of the epoxy and painted the edges, and feathered the rough routed edge in to the shiny top with 600grit wet sandpaper and then some polishing rouge. The end result is definitely a thing of beauty that will last for years, and stand up to quite a bit of abuse.

Good Luck and most of all have fun with your project!
Old 07-04-05, 09:12 AM
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Thanks Guys

Hey thanks for all the reply's.

I went to the Home depot yesterday and got a 2 part epoxy, not sure of the name right now. Anyways it worked great, it dried perfectly clear and hold the caps down extremely tight. Only thing,like you all said, is it's expensive. 32oz was $18 and it appears in gonna need atleast 4-5 more. Oh well.


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