Monday, April 23, 2007

Make Craft Projects Shine

(MS) - Game boards, flash cards and a beautiful high-gloss epoxy finish can turn a child's table into a fun learning center and a cherished keepsake that will stand up to years of play for children and grandchildren.

This project requires no special tools or products except an epoxy resin (like Famowood® Glaze Coat by Eclectic Products, Inc.) which can be found at most home improvement stores. Two-part epoxy resins like Glaze Coat are mixed together in equal parts to create a superior, ultra-clear, high-build coating that is perfect for embedding objects or preserving designs.

To create this table, you will need:

· Unfinished or painted table

· Game board and flash cards (make photo copies and laminate them)

· White glue

· 1 quart kit of Famowood® Glaze Coat Epoxy Resin

· 1 pint of Dura-Tuff® Clear Coat polyurethane coating

· 3 or more unwaxed paper or plastic cups, or buckets with clearly marked volume measurements and clean, smooth walls and bottom

· Straight edge stir sticks

· Plastic spreader (notched) or squeegee

· Disposable brush for coating edges

· Masking tape

· Carpenter's level

· Handheld propane torch or hair dryer (to remove bubbles)

· Plastic film for protecting surface while it dries

Work in a clean, well-ventilated, well-lighted area (temperature 70 F to 85 F). Place newspapers or plastic drop cloths under the game table. Wear protective eyewear, protect your clothes with an apron, and protect your hands with latex, vinyl, or chemical-resistant neoprene gloves.

Prepping the table: Make sure the tabletop is dry, sanded, and free from dirt and dust. Position photocopied and laminated game boards and flash cards on table. Using a paint or craft brush, coat backs with white glue, and press into place, making sure all edges are glued down. Use a spreader or clean towel to gently wipe top of boards and cards to remove any excess glue. Dry completely.

Use the carpenter's level to ensure the tabletop is level. If the table has any cracks or holes, position masking tape on the bottom of the table at those points to keep resin from leaking through. Remove tape before product dries and adheres to the table.

Here's a good trick: apply masking tape to the underside of the table flush with the edge to help the resin flowing off the edge wick under the edge where the tape acts as a dam. When you remove the tape, you remove the "icicles."

The Magic is in the Mixing

To get good results with a two-part epoxy like Glaze Coat, you must mix it thoroughly to activate the chemical reaction that allows the mixture to cure properly. Otherwise, the result is a soft, sticky surface.

Eclectic Products chemists recommend the two-cup method:

1. Pour equal parts each of side A (Resin) and side B (Hardener) into separate clean, unwaxed disposable paper cups or plastic tubs. Mix MUST be one-to-one ratio (by volume) meaning equal parts resin and hardener.

2. Pour the measured side A (Resin) into the container with measured side B (Hardener) and thoroughly mix for two minutes. Mix with a folding-into-the-center motion by hand using vigorous, steady revolutions, which will minimize trapping excess air bubbles into mixture. Occasionally scrape sides and bottom and clean stir-stick off several times on mixing container edge.

3. Pour the Resin and Hardener mixture into a third clean mixing container and thoroughly mix for an additional two minutes - it is very important to scrape all sides and the bottom of the container with your stir stick as you mix. Mixture should appear completely clear with no sign of haziness.

4. Once thoroughly mixed, rapidly pour Glaze Coat onto the middle of the table. Spread to outside edges with spreader. Using a paintbrush, brush the resin around the edges as it flows over.

5. Allow fresh pours to cure in a warm room (70 F). The finished product will dry in about 4 to 5 hours at 70 F with a hard cure at 72 hours. Protect the coated surface from dust while it dries by attaching a clean dust cover to objects that are taller than the table. Don't use cardboard because of "paper dust" that can sift down.

Tips for success

· Do not use a paintbrush to spread the resin, it will leave streaks.

· Surface bubbles must be removed when surface is still wet. Use a hand torch or hair dryer 6 to 8 inches above the table to make them disappear and move source over the surface using a waving motion so surface is only slightly warmed. Do not hold flame/hair dryer in one area. Continue this action until surface is bubble-free (20 to 25 minutes.)

· Remove the masking tape from the bottom of the table when the resin has stopped dripping and the resin is at a gel stage or let it harden and then remove the tape with a putty knife.

· After 12 to 15 hours, remove any remaining drip points with a light sanding.

· To increase resistance to abrasion and scratches, sand the surface lightly with fine grade sand paper and brush on a final coat of a superior-strength polyurethane coating like Famowood Dura-Tuff® Clear Coat.

To learn more about the amazing craft projects you can do with Famowood® Glaze Coat Epoxy Resin, visit www.eclecticproducts.com or call 1-800-767-4667 for technical assistance.

CAPTION: A high gloss epoxy resin helps to seal in the components of this game table and make it shine.



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