How To Use Ecopoxy Liquid Plastic
How To Use Ecopoxy Liquid Plastic
Epoxy can be an intimidating material to tackle and it can be very expensive to experiment with. Luckily, you won’t have to experiment since we have already made all the mistakes and we are sharing our findings with you.
First, it’s important to determine which epoxy is best for your application. Not all epoxies are created equal so it’s important to figure out which epoxy will best suit your application.
We use the Liquid Plastic for our deeper pours that are between ½” and 2.5” deep. Ecopoxy recommends not pouring more than 1.75” deep but, we have learned that with a few fans running over the workpiece, you can keep the exothermic reaction to a minimum and prevent the epoxy from flash curing which can lead to a fragile epoxy.
5 Tips for using Ecopoxy Liquid Plastic
1) Building The Form
It is important to make sure that you build a solid form to eliminate any leaks from occurring. We use HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) for our forms since we do multiple pours every week and the HDPE is reusable. You can also use plywood and sheathing tape to build a form if you don’t plan on doing more then 1 or 2 pours. We always run a bead of silicone along the inside and outside edge of the form to insure that we don’t have any leaks. It is also important to build your form about 1-2 inches wider and longer than your finished table size so you have enough material to trim your table to size after it is cured and out of the form. Here’s a link to our youtube channel where we show you How to Build an HDPE Form and How To Build a Plywood Form for Epoxy Pours.
2) Calculating How much Epoxy You Need
The calculation for determining the amount of epoxy you need is a simple volume calculation. You simply multiple the length of the pour by the depth of the pour by the average width of the pour and then convert to litres. When calculating the average width of the pour, we measure the width every 6 inches along the entire work piece and then divide by the total number of width measurements you took to determine our average.
Watch our YouTube Video on How to Calculate Epoxy.
Length (L) X Depth (D) X Average Width (AVG W) = Cubic Inch Volume
Average Width: 6”
48” x 1.5” x 6” = 432 cubic inches
432 cubic inches = 7.08 Litres (converted using google: Type “432 cubic inches to litres” in to the search bar)
You can also divide the cubic inches by 61 to determine the total number of litres needed.
432 / 61 = 7.08 Liters
3) Make sure your Slabs are flat
Before you pour, you should surface the 2 pieces of wood to make sure they sit flat in your form. If your slabs are twisted or cupped, you will lose a lot of epoxy underneath the slabs and it will end up costing you more in epoxy than necessary.
We will often run a bead of silicone or hot glue under the slab about an inch in from the live edge to create a barrier between the slab and the form. We also run a bead of silicone or hot glue on the top of the slab along the live edge to prevent the overflow of epoxy from covering the entire work piece.
4) Mixing The Epoxy and Adding Pigment
Mixing the epoxy is a very critical part of an epoxy pour. It is often rushed which leads to incorrect mixtures. We use a kitchen scale or a bathroom scale to calculate the 2:1 mixture (2 Parts Resin to 1 Part Hardener) required when using Ecopoxy Liquid Plastic. After we have poured the Resin (Part A) and the Hardener (Part B) in to our mixing bucket/container, we use a paddle mixer on our cordless drill to make sure we achieve an even mix. We also use a wooden mixing stick to scrape the edges and bottom of our bucket to ensure a thorough mix. We mix for 5 minutes making sure to scrape the edges of the bucket at least 2-3 times while mixing.
Now it’s time to add a pigment. If you are doing a clear pour, you can skip this step. We use Ecopoxy Metallic Pigments and Black Diamond Metallic Pigments in our shop. The amount of pigment needed is minimal and I would recommend starting with a very small amount and adding more as necessary. We use the end of popsicle stick or a ⅛ teaspoon to scoop the pigment. Just remember, you can always add more pigment but you can’t remove pigment once it is mixed.
5) Pouring The epoxy
The first thing you want to do is make sure that your shop or work space is within a few degrees of room temperature. We like to pour when the shop is between 19-23 degrees Celsius (66-73 degrees Fahrenheit). Next is to make sure your from is level. This will ensure an even pour and eliminate low spots once you’ve poured your epoxy.
We always monitor the pour for a few hours after we’ve poured the epoxy to make sure we don’t have any leaks and to top up the pour if required. Epoxy will sneak under the slab as well as absorb into the wood so it is quite common to require a top up about an hour after the pour. You’ll notice a lot of bubbles after your pour but those bubbles disappear over the course of a few hours but if you are eager to see how it’s looking, you can lightly pass over the pour with a heat gun or torch to eliminate the bubbles.