In our journey to create a beautiful live edge table using a slice of tree, we note many craftsmen are using epoxy resin as an integral part of a live edge table. And right up front, let’s be clear on what epoxy resin is; it is plastic.
So, why add plastic to an otherwise beautiful piece of wood built by nature? There are several reasons, but only one we feel is important: to ensure that the table top is level and therefore functional.
Live Edge is Unaltered
Because a live edge table is truly an unaltered slice of a tree, there will be all types of “defects” in the tree, ones we actually think create a beautiful thing. Nature has a way of allowing insects, growth patterns, branches, wet and dry seasons, and so on to create a wide variety of, well, variety in the look of a tree.
Using Epoxy Resin or Polypoxides
Sometimes, when a tree is cut to allow us to make a live edge table, there will be holes, voids, knots that are loose or have fallen out and so forth, that require us do to something to create a smooth flat surface in your table. Today that something is usually epoxy; or more technically epoxy resins, also known as polyepoxides.
Creating a Flat Surface
At JCDC Woodworks we do not add epoxy quickly or without looking to see if we can find another way to create a flat surface for your table. Our basic approach is to allow nature to be nature and craft a table that will accentuate nature’s design, rather than change that design. Recently, we were working on a table with a void in the wood, which created an oblong dish and was clearly something we needed to change to allow the table top to be flat, eliminating a place for all things dusty to collect. We added blue epoxy to fill in the void.
If we are trying to retain a fully organic approach to our tables, we need to be organic in as many ways as possible. So, while we will add epoxy to a table for it to be more usable and functional, we will always strive to be as organic and as environmentally friendly as possible.