Adventures in Epoxy

18 06 2012

Having finished up the hardwood flooring that was to make up the bartop, I applied a coat of polyurethane in preparation for the bartop epoxy that would create a crystal clear sealant/protectant and bring the top to life.  This was the last step before I embarked on a process that would essentially be irreversible, and quite possibly disastrous if done improperly.  The days leading up to my eventual embarkation were ones of slight anxiety and a little lack of sleep.

I had to figure out how much of this stuff I needed.  The product I went with was EnviroTex Lite, and I was able to find it at Menards.  The dimensions of the bartop are about 91 inches by 28 inches, or 17.5 square feet.  According to the product website, this would require about 2.25 gallons of the epoxy (you can look up the product at Menards; it’s not exactly cheap) to be poured onto the hardwood flooring that was trimmed in with a 3/16 in bordering lip.  Piece of cake, right?

I had Melissa help me.  The plan was to mix two of the one gallon kits in separate 5 quart ice cream buckets, and then pour them on.  I did my best to tape up any area underneath the trim that I thought could potentially be a place of leakage.  So Melissa and I poured the resin and hardener into our ice cream buckets, stirred for two minutes, and then poured the mixture as evenly as we could onto the surface (I then quickly mixed up the additional quart and poured it on as well).  It did it’s thing and found level, filling out all the way to the edge of the top without any human interaction.  Then the fun began.

The stuff has the consistency of molasses, so I thought surely any little gaps wouldn’t cause that much trouble.  I’ll put it this way, it wasn’t the worst thing that could have possibly happened, but despite being thick as glue, the 7 hour hardening time meant that for a good couple hours the stuff was just nonviscous enough to be just the right amount of annoying.  The epoxy found every gap it could and eventually started dripping down from beneath the bartop, under the trim, into the shelf area, and anywhere there was a gap.  I wasn’t all too concerned since I had plenty of plastic down on the floor, but I wanted to dam up the rest to keep as much of the epoxy on the bartop instead of on the plastic.  So I did what I could with paper towels and plastic bags to shore up the places on the underneath side where the epoxy was dripping.

As with most of the projects I have undertaken over the last couple of years, what started out as a “this should only take about 20 minutes” turned into a 1-2 hour affair.  The next morning, however, I went downstairs and was amazed at how great the top looked.  Other than a few areas along the edge where the hardwood floor had some gaps between it and the trim, the epoxy dried evenly and crystal clear, just as it should have.

The glimmer of a job well done

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One response

12 07 2012
Sew Scrappy Day

Looks great Scott!

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