Adventures in Resin Table Repair

Broken Resin Table on Floor

The Resin Table Project

This customer reached out to us to inquire about our ability to repair a resin table they had ordered online. The table was shipped to them from overseas and arrived to them in two pieces. After communicating with them and seeing the table in person we decided to take on the job. Our main goal was to make the two halves one sturdy table again.

Resin Table Plan

Our plan with this table was to simply lay it out on a flat surface, dam the edges of the cracks, and fill it with resin. In preparation for filling the cracks we planned to cut in some biscuit slots on the split sides of the table. The idea of this was to ensure the most surface area for the resin to adhere to and provide the strongest possible hold.

To style this repair we took inspiration from the Japanese technique of Kintsugi. Kintsugi means “golden seams” or “golden repair”. It is the art of putting broken porcelain back together with gold. Part of the intention of the practice is to emphasize the acceptance of ones flaws, which is exactly what we are wanting to with this table! Our goal was to give the table the look of being repaired with liquid bronze instead of the traditional gold. This was to best compliment the colors already present in the table.

The First Attempts

When we got the table back to the shop and laid it out, we found that it was very warped making it a more difficult fix than we anticipated. The warp led to most of the issues we experienced!

We went through and gave the broken edges a good sanding to increase the hold of the resin on the table. It was then set up on a flat table with the bottom of the crack outlined in silicone to help prevent leaks and the sides dammed. Once it was all set up and dried, we were ready to mix up the resin and get it into the break.

The first pour went poorly to say the least (pun intended). One of the dams on the ends did not seal and led to a leak that we were able to fix. Unfortunately, the leak was also on the bottom of the table due to the warp preventing the silicone from creating a seal. We did not realize this leak until the following day when we came in to see the resin level in the table had fallen. Upon further inspection we determined the leak was on the bottom and decided to attempt filling the split again in the hopes the void was filled and remaining pours would not leak out the bottom. Unfortunately this was not the case.

For our third attempt, we lifted the piece off the table and set it up on some foam blocks to more clearly see the bottom. From there we saw the extent of the leak was contained to the edge of the table with the dam that had originally failed. With the knowledge that the first pour had only partially cured, we went for a third pour. True to its tendencies, the resin found a crack and leaked out the end again. This time it was less severe, but we still were missing the mark on the intended outcome.

The Final Pour

By now, the table was holding together in one piece. At this point we were able to hoist the tabletop with our forklift to get a better look at the bottom and trace the leak. After another round of patching suspect areas we were ready. It’s a Saturday morning and we mix the final batch of epoxy. With a 72 hour cure time, we know that this is our final chance to get it right and to a achieve a good bond between the different layers. Filled to the brim, the resin was showing no signs of leaking. We waited and we watched..

In what felt like a heroic victory, the leak was patched and we were home free! In 72 hours we would be able to move on.

The Hardware

The warped table made it difficult to ensure the hardware and the legs wouldn’t lead to issues over time. We want to ensure that everything that leaves our shop, even those that aren’t our originals, will stand the test of time. This obsession goes down to the smallest details. Here in Oregon we experience temperatures from 20 degrees to 100 degrees throughout the year. This type of fluctuation actually causes expansion and contraction within the wood. In order to avoid any damage this can create, we utilize threaded inserts and c-channels. If you’re building your own river table, hardwood table or any sort of large flat piece of furniture, it can be a critical and often overlooked detail that helps the piece live a long life!

Final Result

From the start, we had our reservations about taking on this project. Nothing could have convinced us that this was a good idea. Through it all and with the benefit of hindsight, we would still agree. To our knowledge, this type of repair has never been done on a river table and it turned into a massive undertaking. The result was a revived dining table, more sturdy, beautiful and functional than it’s original form.

Repaired Resin Table With Legs


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