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The best thing about working with epoxy resin is that it can be used with just about anything. The kinds of products people create with this substance are skies the limit; from mold making to jewelry and even cheese boards! What is it about epoxy-resin that makes it so popular and fun to work with?

We’re going to explore the unique properties of epoxy resin, how its used, and most importantly how it's applied to furniture making.

What is Epoxy Resin?

This material is a thermoset plastic (polymer) that cures when mixed with another catalyzing agent (or hardener). The most common epoxy resin is produced from the reaction of two substances called bisphenol-A and epichlorohydrin. It’s chemistry and ability to polymerize with other catalyzing agents has made its application quite broad. Epoxy resin also serves as a base material for many applications such as paint, coatings, adhesives, and even industrial tooling. According to 3dChem, “commercially available variations to use with epoxy allow cure polymers to be produced with a very broad range of properties.” To sum up it all up, epoxy-resin is a very viscous substance that hardens over a period of time when mixed and exposed to other materials.

What makes this substance so useful throughout all applications is that it’s known for having adhesive qualities, the ability to be heat and chemical resistant; and have good mechanical and electrical properties. This makes it quite useful in the production of industrial-grade materials and tools like laminates, molds, fixtures; or electrical systems like motors, generators, and transformers.

While there are a variety of reasons why epoxy resin remains incredibly useful throughout every industry, one of its most popular commercial uses is in furniture making.

Filling In knots and holes with epoxy resin.

Epoxy Resin in Furniture

While it’s known that utilizing resin with furniture can also be handy for repairs (due to its adhesive qualities and being waterproof). It is also used for artistic purposes and like other industries that have various commercial uses for epoxy resin, furniture making has creatively applied it to often fantastic results, therefore making resin furniture a style of its own. Simple pieces like credenzas, benches, and shelving units have benefited from epoxy resin because it heightens the aesthetic with a touch of class.

The Art of Resin Tables

How designers incorporate resin into their furniture is also an art form of its own. The shapes and variety of materials to use with epoxy resin are entirely up to the designer, but it’s the production process that makes this kind of furniture design incredibly unique. Quite arguably, the most sought-after material with resin is wood. When it comes to applying resin in wood furniture, one of the many shapes designers will use is live edge (slabs of wood that retain the natural appearance). There are no changes to the slabs, but areas like knots and holes are filled with resin to smoothen out the surfaces. The end result to every furniture piece that uses live edge are striking since the shapes are never the same size and form; every piece ends up looking completely different than the last.

Pouring epoxy resin into river table.

Other kinds of wooden furniture that use resin, like river tables greatly benefit from live edge wood because of the unpredictable nature of the substance. The fact that epoxy resin is so viscous allows it to ebb and flow (before hardening) or change gradation in color when using resin dyes; certain sections of the table may appear murkier than others, resulting in a more water-like effect to the design.

What makes epoxy-resin very popular is its ability to be applied to just about anything. Whether it be for repairing purposes, engineering, or even making art; there is no doubt that it is highly useful for commercial applications, especially when it comes to furniture.