Vintage Wood Tabletops…and Epoxy!

I am in the process of making different tabletops from the “Memory Wood” I collected from my sawmill friend.

(If you would like to see some info on it, chick here for the post.)

Being that the wood is over 350 years old, I felt that I needed to let the wood convey its age by keeping as much of its natural feel as possible.

The piece I was working with this week was to be a tabletop for one of my art show pieces.  I wanted it to be longer and wider than some of the other pieces, so I needed to use all the wood available to me.

The piece I selected had a section of the wood that had been damaged by the years in the water.  The layers of the wood seemed to have “delaminated” somehow.  It made for an interesting look and I thought it should be preserved.   aa

But how?

I had seen Chris Wong do some great work filling cracks in pieces of wood with epoxy.  I thought I would give it a try some day.  Well this was that day.  (Oh yea, you can follow Chris and see his fantastic work here).

I started my research and located the flagship of the epoxy fleet …Smooth On.

They make anything and everything that has to do with epoxy, molds, latex, and all things cast-able. a1

I called and was able to make someone understand what I wanted to do, and they recommended the best produce.

Now. Take Notice.

Before you read the rest of this blog, keep in mine, I have never done this before…

I read all the info in how to mix and pour the epoxy.  I found an electronic gram scale to use.  I got the containers and was ready to go.

In order to keep the epoxy from oozing out the bottom of the cracks I placed clear tape on the area, b laid a board on the back, sealed with some silicone and clamped it in place with C clamps.

I thought I was ready to go.

I carefully mixed the two containers and started pouring it onto the wood.  And it immediately started to run out the bottom.  Yes, the prep I had made was useless. The product was water thin…maybe even more that water thin. c

It ran down the cracks.

It soaked into the wood.

It ran out the bottom.

A total disaster.

I thought I had ruined the piece of wood.

Never to be one to give up….and what the heck, I still had more epoxy.

I forged on.

I got some 5 min epoxy from the local store, used it to fill the bottoms and holes and then tried again.

This time it all filled correctly, and after the 24 hour drying time it was done.

One way or another.

Now, what about all the black stain which soaked into the surrounding wood?  Would it all be stained and useless?

I got out the  plane and started to work…. and the black came off!  d1

It was on the surface only. The wood underneath was just fine.

I sanded and planed for a while until it looked glassy and beautiful.

Oh, trust me, a metal shop is not the best place to do woodworking.  All my metal dust was replaced with wood dust. And every time I touched the wood, I got oil or metal filings on it.  But the extra work was worth is and I got the first coat of finish applied without fault.  e

I will be adding other coats to the finish and then starting the base in the near future.

The table still has the beauty of the vintage wood, the smooth edges from the years in the water, and the black accents for the epoxy highlight the defects which only time can create.

I’ll show you more as the base progresses.

Let me know what you think

Via email at

Or if you like an easier way,

Use the form below…

See ya next time.


  1. […] The finish is nice.  It is smooth.  It had the epoxy inlay where the wood was cracked (read about it here). […]


  2. […] The one with the epoxy inlay.  If you missed it, read about it here. […]


  3. Stephen,

    I immediately recognized that there was potential when I saw your first picture. The end result is nothing short of spectacular. Well done! And thanks for the mention.



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