Polishing/Cutting compound for epoxy "river" table - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-09-2018, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Polishing/Cutting compound for epoxy "river" table

I'm about done with my river table but i've run into quite the pickle. Epoxy gets a really matt/dull looking surface even when wet-sanded up to grit 2000, so im looking for some sort of polishing compound that can restore the colour and gloss. I know nothing about polishing so any help/suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance! :)
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-09-2018, 04:13 PM
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I would suggest treating it like an automotive clear coat. You might be able to get by polishing by hand with rubbing compound, but depending on how hard the epoxy is and how big the table is you might want to use a wool bonnet on a polisher and some Presta 1500 (my favorite) polishing compound - auto paints stuff.

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post #3 of 15 Old 07-09-2018, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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@Maylar Will any car polishing compound work with epoxy? The selection is limited in my country and i've heard that car polishing compounds should not be used on acrylic plastic. Granted the epoxy i've used isnt of the acrylic type im still worried it would ruin the entire thing considering its still a plastic.
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-09-2018, 05:46 PM
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I've never had to finish any of my epoxy projects beyond 2000 grit. I know people that rarely go over 400 actually. Have you put finish on it after 2000 yet or are you questioning it off the look of it after the 2000 grit? It does look dull no matter what until you put a finish on it. To check it you could wipe it down with mineral spirits.

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post #5 of 15 Old 07-09-2018, 09:23 PM
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Epoxy is just more difficult to sand on than a lot of products. If at any time the surface was sanded with anything coarser than 2000 grit it's going to take a huge amount of elbow grease to polish the surface to a gloss. In the end when the surface is sanded sufficient the gloss can be made by buffing with an auto polisher and common rubbing compound like you use on a car.
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post #6 of 15 Old 07-10-2018, 04:24 AM
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post #7 of 15 Old 07-12-2018, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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what finish would you recommend? regular danish oil does make the thing shiny, but it looks like a right mess.
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-12-2018, 01:40 PM
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Why would you not polish the epoxy directly, as already mentioned? No need to put anything else on top of it.

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post #9 of 15 Old 07-12-2018, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maylar View Post
Why would you not polish the epoxy directly, as already mentioned? No need to put anything else on top of it.
Because you will need to finish the wood itself. It will be difficult to tape off the epoxy and finish the wood alone.

I've used arm-r-seal and odie's oil both on these types of projects. I prefer the odie's oil. I'm sure there are other products out there similar to odie's that would work just as well.

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post #10 of 15 Old 07-12-2018, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nxtgeneration View Post
Because you will need to finish the wood itself. It will be difficult to tape off the epoxy and finish the wood alone.

I've used arm-r-seal and odie's oil both on these types of projects. I prefer the odie's oil. I'm sure there are other products out there similar to odie's that would work just as well.
I was under the impression that the whole table top was coated with epoxy. If that's not the case, then I'd probably sand to maybe 600 grit and spray a clear film finish over the whole thing. Urethane or lacquer would be my choice.

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post #11 of 15 Old 07-12-2018, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maylar View Post
I was under the impression that the whole table top was coated with epoxy. If that's not the case, then I'd probably sand to maybe 600 grit and spray a clear film finish over the whole thing. Urethane or lacquer would be my choice.

Ah, Understandable. I don't want to speak for the OP but I was under the impression it was just the "river" portion in the center. I'm assuming that simply because thats how I've done them in the past. If it is fully coated in epoxy then I'd definitely just polish like you suggested.

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post #12 of 15 Old 07-13-2018, 06:40 AM Thread Starter
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Tried polishing and then tried an oil finish, they both look good and does shine up the epoxy. In the right light though, when my eyes are somewhat level with the table it still looks a bit matt!

thanks for the help
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post #13 of 15 Old 10-17-2018, 08:08 PM
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Is that polishing compound an abrasive and a protectant or does it wipe clean? I'm looking for something finer than white diamond, but that I can then apply my own renaissance wax to at the end. Essentially I'd like to know f I remove the residue of the Presta 1500 will it have finer scratches than white diamond?

Last edited by Pondy; 10-17-2018 at 08:09 PM. Reason: Meant to quote
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post #14 of 15 Old 10-17-2018, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maylar View Post
I would suggest treating it like an automotive clear coat. You might be able to get by polishing by hand with rubbing compound, but depending on how hard the epoxy is and how big the table is you might want to use a wool bonnet on a polisher and some Presta 1500 (my favorite) polishing compound - auto paints stuff.
Is that polishing compound an abrasive and a protectant or does it wipe clean? I'm looking for something finer than white diamond, but that I can then apply my own renaissance wax to at the end. Essentially I'd like to know f I remove the residue of the Presta 1500 will it have finer scratches than white diamond?
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post #15 of 15 Old 10-18-2018, 09:39 AM
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There are many tutorials on polishing epoxy. I doubt any top finish will be as hard and durable as the epoxy itself.

This one is pretty thorough (5 minutes).


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