Epoxy Sunset Beach Art with LED Sunset

Epoxy Sunset Beach Art with LED Sunset

– Hey, I’m Caleb. Today I’m gonna try to
turn this into some art. This is this month’s giveaway. If you’re interested, there will be information below. Now if you stick with me, I’ll show you how you can make this too. I need to glue these into a panel, so first step will be
getting them milled up. A good way to make this more DIY friendly would be to just get a panel that’s already glued up
from the big box store. When you’re milling, to minimize chip out, you want to make sure you
always feed your grain downhill for your machines, and if you don’t want your dust collector to be an expensive waste of money, watch for obstructions
like miniature children, electric motorcycles, that clog your lines. Clear here. Clogged here. Time to prepare the glue up. I figured I’ve used every big
machine in my shop already, so no big deal if I go ahead and try out my DOMINO on this thing. So I’m just gonna mark
where they’re going, the tape is to make sure I
keep it inside the width, ’cause these are pretty oversized. Of course, if you want
to do a panel glue up and don’t have a DOMINO, you totally can. Earlier this year I did a video on how to get good panel glue up results with just clamps and cals, so I’ll leave a link to that. So I’m running into problems here, because with the DOMINO, the idea is you want to cut
a tight tenon on one side and a loose tenon on the other, because if you do both tight, if there’s any misalignment, then things aren’t gonna come together. I thought I would be cute and to make cutting it easier, do one board tight, tight, tight and then the other two loose, but what I should have done is put the loose and tight on
the same side of the board, so that way, and then put all the tenons and only the tight mortises, ’cause it’s easier to get
them in the loose mortises than in the tight
mortises during this part. So this was the first
time using my DOMINO, and I’ve gotta say, did not make me instantly
feel like a better woodworker. I honestly think I got better
results with just my culls, so let’s just call this
a learning experience. Time to let it dry. Scraping off these little glue berries is one of my favorite shop sounds. All that sanding made me
rethink making my own panel, but anyway, one of the
things to note on this side where the water is going to be, I made sure to really
smooth out the live edge so the epoxy flows nice. On the side that’s gonna be beachy, I left a lot more texture
because sand has texture. It’s an artistic choice, don’t judge me. It had nothing to do with
being tired of sanding. I don’t want to risk messing up the color of my epoxy by
applying finish after all of it, so I’m gonna seal all the wood before I do any epoxy. For that, I’m using some shellac, because it’s a universal
finish or solvent, meaning it sticks to anything and anything sticks to it, so I know I’m not gonna have any adhesion issues with the epoxy. It’s also just light and clear, so I’m not gonna lose
very much of my color, it’s just gonna tone it
a little more like sand. There’s nothing wrong
with using the can stuff like I have here, but if that’s not pretentious enough for how you like to do your art, you can mix your own, you know, you do you, I won’t
judge, you don’t judge me. Now it’s time to take these two pieces and turn them into the French cleat, an arch that’s going to
support the entire piece and hold the LEDs. My battery died sometime in that cut, but anyways, what we can
see is I’ve got two miters that move together, and
this is how its gonna hang. Now to mark and cut the arch for the LEDs. I’m gonna use some acrylic to
tint and diffuse the light, so I need to cut it to the
same width as my cleats, so it’ll fit. And any time I need two pieces to match, I always try to setup my
machines with the actual piece, so I don’t have any measurement error. And now to start the
epoxy pour for the ocean. But, oh, wait, hold on, I didn’t make enough. Okay, I’m using TotalBoat two to one resin with acrylic pigment for the coloration. The colors were recommended
from my friend, Jess, at Crow Creek Designs,
who is a pro at this, and has a really great class that goes into all of the details, and won’t lead you wrong, so I’m gonna hand it over to her. Thanks, Caleb. Hey, I’m Jess, wood and epoxy
artwork is my specialty. Caleb is a great guy, but clearly, surprisingly,
a horrible student. He really should have
maybe read my class again and paid better attention to the video. Are you using your wife’s hairdryer? Well, I assume it’s not yours. Wait, Caleb, why are you tipping it? I never said do that. Oh, jeez, well, anyway, if you want to try this and probably get better
results than Caleb, consider buying my class. I’m sure Caleb will link it below. Also, I launched a new line
of epoxy with TotalBoat called Makerpoxy, that is formulated just for epoxy art like this. It has a longer open
time, it’s easier to mix, and will get you much
better lacing than the well, practically no
lacing that Caleb has here because he didn’t listen to me. But, thanks for giving it a shot. It does look pretty good. Back to you, Caleb. Thanks, Jess, I thought
that would go better, but really appreciate your time. All done, I let it cure overnight. It’s not totally cured, but pretty cured enough I can touch it. I think it looks pretty cool. I do wish I’d put more white on top, the way the white is here, I think it’d look better if this was kind of backwards with this much white up top. I think this is about good and that amount back here, but still happy with it. But now it’s time to clean off
all the drips on the bottom. Another thing Jess mentioned in her class was taping the back of the board. As you can see, I didn’t do that, so I used the heat gun
to help loosen them up and a chisel to pop off the epoxy drops. This side is prepped enough, I can get some shellac on the back. Now to attach the sunset strip. I made some little clips from an offcut to hold this in place and get the arch. A few brad nails hold the clips in place. I didn’t want to use much more for fear of splitting them. And to attach the French cleat
to the back of the piece, I used my drywall square
to get it lined up and then used some brad nails
for holding it in place, while I drilled some countersink holes and then screwed it on. With the cleats securely attached, I can add the LED lights. I just use the adhesive back that was already attached to them and looped them over to get
double the amount of LEDs to increase the brightness. This strip has warm and cool LEDs, so to get a consistent color glow, I made sure that the colors alternated and weren’t stacked on top of each other. And a little Starbond CA
glue is some insurance that the lights won’t come loose. To keep the bottom of the piece from tipping towards the wall, I added a spacer block at the bottom. And this is why I love hanging
things with French cleats, it’s super easy, I just mark the studs and screw in the wall cleat, making sure that it’s level, then put the piece on it. The screws are hidden and there’s no trying to
catch a nail on the wall with a wire or hold
something that’s heavy up while securing it. I did order a white power
cord to go with this, but it’s not here yet. Anyway, I hope you’re
inspired to make something or at least entertained. Be sure to check out
Jess’s class and Makerpoxy, but until next time, make
time to make something.

12 thoughts on “Epoxy Sunset Beach Art with LED Sunset

  1. OK so Iโ€™m at Loweโ€™s right now and donโ€™t have time to watch the whole thing so I fast forward it to the end. Looks really incredible brother nice work.

  2. Picked up a subtle tip, use clamps at the ends of the board and then use a long flexible ruler to get the desired arch

  3. Nice! this came out awesome. I've found that the adhesive backing on the led strip are pretty terrible after a while, so adding dabs of hot glue throughout the length really help hold it in place. The plus side is that it doesn't permanently bond to wood, so you can peel the strip off if one of the diodes die.

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