Mosaic dish: stabilized, mold-cast, turned and epoxy finished

This project combines three uses of epoxy: (1) epoxy stabilization of spalted/rotten wood; (2) molded casting of epoxy and wood, and (3) epoxy finish coating.

The wood pieces were mainly from corners cut off of half-round log blanks. Being on the outside of the logs, they were more severely spalted than the rest of the blank. So, I dried them out in a toaster oven, then stabilized them with SOS 3.0 (an epoxy stabilizer similar to Cactus Juice), using a vacuum pot. Apply vacuum while wood pieces are immersed in the stabilizing liquid, until the air bubbles stop; then, drain and bake at 200 degrees for several hours.

Next, I arranged the wood pieces like a loosely-fitted jigsaw puzzle, in an 8″ silicone baking dish. Silicone has the advantage that epoxy will not adhere to it, so it’s a perfect molding material for epoxy casting. I tried to dye the epoxy dark blue, but overshot the mark, into black!

Once removed from the mold, I fastened a glue-block to the bottom and turned the piece, transforming it from a cake layer shape into its present dish with rounded rim. Last, I put it on the Epoxinator, and applied two coats of epoxy as its finish.

Robert started woodturning in 2015, after retiring from law practice and software development work. His woodworking shop, Black Rock Woodworks, is in Clayton, Georgia, where he resides on Lake Burton.