This was a brain child of mine that was brought about through my wife’s friends of the family. They lost their home/business to a tragic fire. During the salvage, they were only able to find a small bit of wood, which unfortunately, was too burned to make a project. So instead of scraping the idea, I came up with project that would incorporate the ash into epoxy in the form of a cross. Not only will this be unique but also beautiful and reflects a fond memory.
However, I didn’t know how to make a mold for the cross pour. Enter NV Woodwerks! Zac Higgins decided to collaborate with me to get this project done (check him out: http://www.NVWoodwerks.com). I was happy he decided to take a chance on me. So here is how we did it.
We first began by Zac making a master cross out of MDF. You will find this to be super smooth and easy to work with. Using half laps, the cross took shape.
Next the joints were filled in to smooth all the transitions. This would ensure a perfect mold with no gaps or lines for the epoxy to form around. Once dried, a little sanding was required.
Next the mold was constructed with a corrugated core plastic and hot glue. The pieces were cut around the master cross to limit the amount of silicone needed for the pour. Then the master cross was hot glued in the middle.
The silicone was then mixed thoroughly. This was about a 10:1 mix ratio and was the consistency of taffy, so you need to take your time if you find yourself doing this.
Then he placed it in a vacuum to evacuate all the air bubbles. This is pretty crucial for a nice mold.
Now you just need to pour the silicone into the constructed layout making sure that the silicone makes it into the low lying areas of the master.
Once cured, just remove the master cross and take off any left over flashing with an exacta-knife. Thanks Zac!
Now it is my turn! I take a sledge to the burned wood to free up some ash to use in the project.
After some trial and error (see video for that), I mix the part A and B equally 1:1 in a cup and stir thoroughly, making sure not to create bubbles.
Now your imagination can go crazy with epoxy, which means you can add anything you want into it to make it unique. Here I used square head nails to give some interest with the ash floating around them in a 3-D fashion.
Once cured, which is about 24 hours, you can free it from the mold easily without any sticking.
I really like how these turned out and they should go really good in that new funeral home once it is rebuilt. Thank you to Zac Higgins (NV Woodworks http://www.nvwoodwerks.com) for collaborating with me to help make this possible. It has been great fun and I will continue to make more of these crosses in the future I’m sure.
Thank you all again, and please be safe in your shops!
Take care, and as always… BOOM!!!