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Hey all,

I've put together a birch table that I'd like to embed items (e.g pictures, shells). I know this isn't a novel idea and I'm fairly certain Parks Super Glaze is one of the best ways to accomplish; however, to make a 1/4" thick layer its very expensive. It's been recommended to try Minwax Fast Dry Polyurethane and pour thin layers but on a test piece I used, it seems I have to make extremely thin layers to allow it to dry. This looks to be a very lenghty method and I have no idea how the end result will look.

So is there a more economical solution than the Super Glaze and quicker/more reliable than the polyurethane approach? Does anyone have tips for the polyurethane route? I dont mind this method if it's really the only alternative and a thick layer dries clear like the Super Glaze.

Thabks much.
 

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Woodenboat Builder
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Epoxy is commonly used for bar and table tops with all kinds of stuff including bottle caps embedded in them. When buying large quantities of epoxy I use www.jgreer.com
 

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Woodenboat Builder
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327 Posts
Also note that they have a version especially suited to this use. It's called "bar top epoxy" and the page on it has a chart to determine exactly how much you need to buy based on sq feet and thickness.
 

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You should not put any non-catalyzed finish on more than about double the thickness of a plastic trash bag. If it doesn't turn completely yellow it will crack as the wood expands and contracts. You couldn't just pour it on anyway. It would never completely harden all the way through. It would have to be applied in layers letting each coat dry longer than the previous. Before you would get it very thick you would probably be waiting two weeks to a month between coats. It just isn't made for that purpose. A conversion varnish might work but I don't think anyone has tested it for 1/4" thick. I think it would be best to spend the money and use the pour on epoxy. It is formulated for that purpose. It's one of those situations where it's better to go with what you know will work then spend money on something that very likely won't.
 

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You can not build up an oil based varnish to the thicknesses you are talking about. The finishes dry and cure from the top down a thick film will dry on top stopping any further drying.

What you want is a pour-on epoxy. Google "pour-on epoxy" and you will be given a number of products. All are two part epoxy.
 

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If everyone is using a pouring epoxy, there is probably a good reason.
 
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