fbpx

Sealing Live Edge Wood for River Tables

Epoxy River table why Sealing Live Edge is important

Sealing Live Edge Wood for River Tables?

Seal coat epoxy resin for sealing live edge

When creating a river table, it is important to properly seal the live edge wood before applying the epoxy. The live edge, or the natural edge of the wood, can absorb the epoxy differently than the smooth cut edges, causing uneven coloration and an uneven finish. Sealing the live edge of the wood can help prevent bubbles from forming in the epoxy by providing a smooth and even surface for the epoxy to adhere to. However, it will not necessarily prevent bubbles air trapped under the wood, but will definitely reduce bubbles from coming out of the live edge itself.

Humidity can still exist inside the wood and when the epoxy is applied over it, bubbles may still appear on surface, in this cases it’s important to follow the Polymeres Technologies’ instructions for mixing and applying the epoxy, to avoid trapping any air.

Sealing the live edge can also prevent wood movement to a certain level, which can help prevent issues caused by the natural movement of the wood over time. However, it is worth to keep in mind that as the wood will still expand and contract with changes in humidity and temperature, this natural movement may still cause cracks or deformations in epoxy.

Although sealing the live edge of the wood will not prevent all issues that may arise from natural movements and humidity, it is an important step in ensuring a beautiful and professional-looking finish on your river table.

To properly seal the live edge, the first step is to clean the wood thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Next, apply is to apply our low viscosity penetrating epoxy sealer specifically formulated for wood penetration and bonding.

Delamination of epoxy from the live edge of wood is not likely when using our low viscosity epoxy, but this can occur if the wood is not properly prepared before the epoxy is applied.

There are several factors that can contribute to epoxy delamination from the live edge of wood:

  • Improperly cleaning and sanding the wood: If the wood is not cleaned and sanded properly before the epoxy is applied, it can lead to a weak bond between the epoxy and the wood, resulting in delamination.
  • Applying a medium/high viscosity epoxy : Applying a medium/high viscosity epoxy can lead to a weak bonding between the epoxy and the wood, which can cause delamination.
  • Not using the appropriate sealant: Using a sealant that is not formulated for wood or not allowing the sealant to dry completely before applying the epoxy can lead to delamination.
  • Moisture in the wood: If the wood has high moisture content and not allowed to dry or not treated properly before application, it can lead to delamination.

It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for preparing the wood and applying the epoxy, and to use a sealant specifically formulated for wood. Allowing the sealant to dry completely and sanding the wood to a smooth finish before applying the epoxy will help to ensure a strong bond between the epoxy and the live edge.

By following proper techniques and steps, it will help you to avoid delamination and ensure a strong, long-lasting bond between the epoxy and the live edge of wood.

After the CHILL SEALER has dried, sand the surface of the wood with a fine-grit sandpaper to ensure a smooth and even surface for the epoxy to adhere to.

Finally, apply the epoxy, being sure to follow the Polymeres Technologies’ instructions for mixing and applying the epoxy.

It’s also very important to let the epoxy cure fully before pouring your epoxy river, usually it takes 4-8 hours to fully cure., the time frame will depend on the room temperature and humidity conditions.

Following these steps to properly seal the live edge will ensure a beautiful and professional-looking finish on your river table.

Low density woods are woods that have a lower weight per volume than other types of wood. These woods are often more porous, meaning they have a higher number of small holes in the surface of the wood, which can lead to issues when applying epoxy. These woods may require extra attention and steps when sealing the live edge to ensure a good bond with the epoxy.

Some examples of low density woods that should have their live edge sealed before applying epoxy include:

  • Balsa: Balsa is a very light and porous wood that is commonly used in model making and crafts.
  • Basswood: Basswood is a soft and lightweight wood that is often used in carving and whittling.
  • Paulownia: Paulownia is a fast-growing, lightweight wood that is often used for furniture and construction.
  • Aspen: Aspen wood is a pale wood that is light in weight, it also has a high porosity and absorbs moisture easily.

These woods typically have lower density compared to other types of wood like Black Walnut, Oak, Maple, or Cherry, and the epoxy may not adhere as well to the surface of the wood, which is why the live edge of these woods should be sealed before applying epoxy.

It’s also important to keep in mind that many species of wood can have variation in their density depending on growth location, climate, genetic factors, and other factors, so it’s also important to test a small surface before apply the epoxy and sealant on large surfaces.

For example :

Solid                                       Density
(103 kg/m3)                           (lb/ft3)

Walnut      0.65 – 0.7              40 – 43
Maple       0.6 – 0.75              39 – 47
Oak          0.6 – 0.9                37 – 56
Pine         0.35 – 0.5              22 – 31

Wood movement and possible delamination?

When pouring a river tables with a certain thickness, for example between 1/2″ and 2″ thick, the exothermic reaction will generate heat. This quantity of heat can be enough to open up the porosities and release a small or big quantity of air. Is it important to understand that bubbles are not created by the epoxy, but by the presence of air. When sealing your wood before a pour, you limit the introduction of air into your mixture and thus reduce the number of bubbles.
Secondly, when adding 1-2 coats of epoxy on your wood or Live Edge, you will stabilize it and reduce any wood movements created be the combination of wood and heat. There is a lot of misconception about seal coats on Live Edge wood. Rumors of possible delamination. Those false ideas have been brought to day-light by people using medium to high viscosity epoxy systems. Those will not fill all the cavities and porosities and create a weak mechanical bonding. When using our Low-viscosity Sealer that really penetrates the wood fibers, you create a strong adhesion. We have put those techniques to the test multiple time without any failures.
In conclusion, sealing the live edge of wood before applying epoxy is a crucial step in creating a beautiful and professional-looking live edge table. When sealing the live edge, it’s important to use a sealant specifically formulated for wood and to clean, sand, and dry the wood thoroughly before applying the epoxy. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that the sealant is applied evenly and given enough time to dry before moving on to the next step. When creating a live edge epoxy table, it’s important to properly seal the live edge of the wood before applying epoxy to ensure a beautiful and professional-looking finish. Low density woods are known for being porous and may require extra attention when sealing the live edge. Additionally, It is important to consider the durability, stability and natural beauty of the wood when choosing a wood for a live edge table.
Thank you for reading this text. I hope you found the information provided to be useful and informative. If you have any further questions or need further clarification, please do not hesitate to ask. Thank you again for your attention.

Unlock free shipping all May long on orders of $350 and above!

X