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Author Topic: River Table Build  (Read 2416 times)

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Offline boonesyard

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River Table Build
« on: June 26, 2020, 03:58:02 PM »
I've done some work for a local client that just built a new lake home. Great customer, great people! Finished up a large mantle project for them, but in the mean time, they wanted a large table made from a red oak they took down on their property for the home build. I really get a kick out of taking the project from log, all the way to finished product. This one is a pretty big project for us with some non-standard requests, but I've never been very good at saying no so I took it on.

They wanted an epoxy river table with the traditional blue color. Also, they wanted the exterior to remain live edge so building a full size mold for containment would not work. This would be particularly challenging due to it's size at 50"x 120". The next challenge would be that this table will be in an outdoor environment. It will have a roof over it, but it would be exposed to some sun and moisture so finishing for outdoor environments just adds another twist. Also, they wanted the ability to light up the river but without corded power. No problem  8).

We cut and dried the slabs last fall.


Cut the slabs close to size and flattened.



Flattened slabs laid out on a sheet of HDPE. Bulkheads and caulking were installed. 



Slabs weighted down and epoxy resin poured. The air bubbles all released, looked perfect when we went to bed.



This is what we found the next morning. The spider had come from overhead and landed perfectly in the middle of the epoxy. He was "frozen in time" about 1/2" deep  smiley_cry



Re-flattening the table.



Top sanding complete, ready to turn over to mount legs, install lighting and finish.



The biggest time eater on this project has been the epoxy filling of all the holes and cracks and of course the sanding. Will post more pics as we progress.

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Offline WDH

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2020, 09:28:49 PM »
The dark blue is very nice.  Well done.  I sell a lot of wood for river tables but have not tackled one myself.
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Offline Larry

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2020, 09:59:11 PM »
Looks good.  I have a guy that wants me to make him one as big or bigger.  Lake house with a million dollar view and he wants what he calls a "statement table".  I think that means something to show guests he has lots of money!

How much epoxy went into the void and what kind did you use?

Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

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Offline boonesyard

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2020, 11:24:33 PM »
The big void (river) is Ecopoxy deep cast. 6 colors were mixed to get the blue, 36 liters. We've got a ton of work into this table filling all of the small voids and cracks. For that we used West System epoxy and colored it with a dark coffee color for contrast. We've used that system for a number of other projects and really like it. 
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Offline Nebraska

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2020, 08:24:37 AM »
I'm still struggling  with  leaks on my little
pours I have attempted.  How did you get it sealed so well?

Offline Sedgehammer

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2020, 07:07:11 PM »
I think it's really neat and you're doing a great job. I've seen some of these before. While they aren't my style, I'm glad that you  guyz have the skills to do them. Usually they bring good coinage. 

Offline DWyatt

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2020, 08:58:41 AM »
I'm still struggling  with  leaks on my little
pours I have attempted.  How did you get it sealed so well?
When I am doing crack repairs, I sand down the cracks on one side of the slab to get a smooth surface for the tape to bond to, and I use frog tape (painter's tape) to tape the sanded cracks. Then pour from the opposite side until everything is filled. Flip the piece over, remove the tape, and pour from the other side until filled. On bigger pours, I think the trick is to use caulk, but I have not had any pours large enough to warrant that practice though.

Offline boonesyard

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2020, 10:55:05 AM »
I'm still struggling  with  leaks on my little
pours I have attempted.  How did you get it sealed so well?
Leaks are a BIG deal. I can tell you that from a lot of trial and error (lots of error). The right tape as DWyatt stated for the back side on small cracks and holes is important. For large pours, it works best if you have all straight sides so that you can build a form around the entire project. I use melamine and completely cover it with a Tyvek like tape which allows the mold to release from the epoxy easier. You then caulk all seams of the mold prior to laying the project into it. I've had very good luck with this procedure.
The project above created some different issues in that we could not build a mold around it because the client wanted the live edge on the table. We had to pay close attention to making the pouring table very flat, then we laid a large, single sheet of HDPE poly on the table. The bottom of the project has to be flattened, then we caulked along the river edge and laid the project on the caulking. For assurance, we also caulked along the inside of the river edge with clear caulk for double insurance. We built a taped bulkhead on the ends and caulked them as well. No leaks  8)
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Offline boonesyard

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2020, 11:33:22 AM »
Fit-up of the legs, rails and battey box. Watco Teak oil was applied, it's had 4 days of drying. Next I'll remove the hardware, spray 3 coats of General Finishes 450 exterior, remount hardware, install lighting and flip it over for top finish. The assembled table weighs in at about 445 lbs.  :o

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Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2020, 02:25:20 PM »
Fit-up of the legs, rails and battey box. Watco Teak oil was applied, it's had 4 days of drying. Next I'll remove the hardware, spray 3 coats of General Finishes 450 exterior, remount hardware, install lighting and flip it over for top finish. The assembled table weighs in at about 445 lbs.  :o.

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
Looks pretty nice👍. Are the legs attached just by sitting in the  routerd out area and then the square tubing anchored over the top? I see the battery box. What kind of lighting are you using and how are you mounting it. Thanks. Great job so far 👍

Offline boonesyard

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2020, 03:15:04 PM »
The legs are mounted with 8 inserts and flat head screws. The lights are LED strips mounted to the inside of the rails on both sides.
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2020, 09:40:09 AM »
So, the obvious question, did the spider remain?  Or did he get machined out?  I can't believe no one asked that question.
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
If I say it\\\\\\\'s going to take so long, multiply that by at least 3!

Online btulloh

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2020, 10:03:30 AM »
Thanks for raising that question Brad.  I've been wondering.

The spider inspired me and I had a GREAT (??) idea:  Embed a few little fish of appropriate species in every river table pour.  Any insects that happen to get embedded overnight are a bonus instead of a problem.  If no insects fall in, oh well - the fish still belong there.   ;D
HM126

Offline alan gage

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2020, 04:20:25 PM »
I saw someone advertising one the other day with embedded jigheads.

I'd be a little worried with what might happen to the fish over time. Will they dessicate/wrinkle/shrivel at all once encapsulated?

Alan
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Online btulloh

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2020, 06:16:44 PM »
I saw someone advertising one the other day with embedded jigheads.

I'd be a little worried with what might happen to the fish over time. Will they dessicate/wrinkle/shrivel at all once encapsulated?

Alan
I think they need to be from the plastic department  to maintain their appearance. 
HM126

Offline WDH

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2020, 08:08:50 PM »
I have found that the plastic one don't bite very well and are very hard to catch :).
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2020, 11:09:15 AM »
I have embedded the cicada exoskeletons that they leave on the tree trunk when they molt, and an actual adult cicada that was dried out.  I pre-filled the exoskeletons to reduce chance of air bubbles.  I positioned them in a little scene in a void and used clear epoxy.  I put that slab back in the barn.  Not sure where it is but I'll find it one of these days when I go to move my wood.  I save different things to try putting in epoxy - wasp nest, a dragon fly, a very large horned beetle, robin egg shells, walnut half shells and acorns....  I like filling a void in a brace with the nuts to look like a squirrel cashe.
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
If I say it\\\\\\\'s going to take so long, multiply that by at least 3!

Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2020, 04:33:46 PM »
Very nice table .
A crass question and doesn't need to be answered if you don't desire to.
How many hours in the build so far and gulp, how much will it cost.
The reason I ask is I made 2 very nice live edge Cherry benches 3 years ago using leg rite legs.
One bark on the other off.
Many hours in them and i couldnt get even a nibble at $500 each.
One now resides in my granddaughter's house and the other is a gift to my daughter and new (as of the 25th of this month) husband
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Offline Bill Gaiche

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2020, 10:54:47 PM »
Do U build your own legs? bg

Offline boonesyard

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2020, 09:51:12 AM »
So, the obvious question, did the spider remain?  Or did he get machined out?  I can't believe no one asked that question.
Brad,
The spider did not remain, it was machined out. I have gotten this question many times, and more people say they would have left it. It has been an interesting project.
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Offline boonesyard

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2020, 10:01:43 AM »
Very nice table .
A crass question and doesn't need to be answered if you don't desire to.
How many hours in the build so far and gulp, how much will it cost.
The reason I ask is I made 2 very nice live edge Cherry benches 3 years ago using leg rite legs.
One bark on the other off.
Many hours in them and i couldnt get even a nibble at $500 each.
One now resides in my granddaughter's house and the other is a gift to my daughter and new (as of the 25th of this month) husband
We're approaching 200 hrs on the project and our material cost is just south of $2,000. This does not include the slabs because they were the customer's.  
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Offline boonesyard

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2020, 10:03:22 AM »
Do U build your own legs? bg
A blacksmith in Canada built them, they did a great job.
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Offline alan gage

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2020, 05:25:38 PM »

We're approaching 200 hrs on the project and our material cost is just south of $2,000. This does not include the slabs because they were the customer's.  
Thanks for sharing that. It reinforces my belief that I don't want to do one of these. Every time I see one that's really nicely done my mind starts to spin when I think of the time, effort, and skill to take rough sawn slabs and turn them into something like this.
Nice work!
Alan
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2020, 10:03:21 PM »
I love  the table.  I have some walnut slabs in the drying shed right now that are going to become a river desk for my son.  Gotta get a white oak table done first though.
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Offline boonesyard

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2020, 10:43:51 AM »
Just thought I'd wrap this up with a few pics of the final product. We finished up the project and delivered the table in an enclosed trailer. The customer had plenty of help to unload and get it in to place. It was a big job with many challenges, but very satisfying. 





Happy customers and it's new home.
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2020, 08:38:35 AM »
It looks awesome!  I should be putting finish on my son's desk today.
Is that table gonna live outside?  I hope not.
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Offline boonesyard

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #26 on: August 09, 2020, 10:04:05 AM »
The plan was to live outside, that's one of the things that made this build such a challenge. There's not a lot of product that works well with everything involved and the exterior. Finishing that thing was a bearcat. The customer told me he couldn't stand it outside, so after 3 days, they moved it inside. Glad they changed their minds.
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Offline dollar

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2021, 02:52:41 PM »
Amazing table. 
Has anyone made a river table using a blue color like this but in a void that is not through and through?
My table is rainbow poplar with the pith partially rotted out. 
The rot does not go all the way through the slab leaving about 5 wide by 3/4 deep channel that is black in color. 
I am wondering if I use epoxy tinted blue if the river will be blue or will it take on the color of the black rot. 
Thanks for any help. 

Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2021, 10:29:46 PM »
Saw a table once where the center of the wood was rotted out, and the guy did not disturb the rot, just coated it with clear epoxy, and you could see down into the rotted area, and it was just so cool. He finished it with clear gloss.
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Offline kelLOGg

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2021, 06:02:47 AM »
Never made one but I like them, especially yours.

Very basic question: Does the epoxy bind the halves together by itself or is there cross bracing underneath?
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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #30 on: April 19, 2021, 07:00:52 AM »
Great job on the table.  It looks fabulous.      I will most likely never build one of those as I have a VERY difficult time getting past the $100+ per gallon for the epoxy.   :o     I have 2 gallons in the shop that was a Christmas gift from my son.  It will be used to fill some "character" holes in a few Elm planks I'm using to make open shelves for in our kitchen.   River tables are not on my bucket list.   ;D
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Offline metalspinner

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2021, 08:38:40 AM »
Beautiful work! Thats a big job!

I have yet to make an epoxy table. Plenty of big, live edge tables. Most of my questions have been asked by others and thank you for answering them. 

But I have two more of you dont mind...
How much more time was involved dealing with the epoxy part over building with just the slabs? My guess??? 200 - 300% more.  :D

And did you enjoy that aspect of process as much as the woodworking part?

Oh, and one more.... are you worried about the wood movement interacting with the epoxy? 
I see some tables completely encapsulated with epoxy. Did you use a traditional finish on the faces or an epoxy finish?

Beautiful work!
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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2021, 02:17:16 PM »
Wonder how much epoxy $$ this one took ??  :o


 
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Offline boonesyard

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #33 on: April 19, 2021, 04:40:42 PM »
Hey all, thanks for the compliments. I'll try to answer questions in order:

 dollar - to answer question using blue color if the void doesn't run through it. It all depends upon how much blue pigment you put in the epoxy. Less of the black rot color will show through if you use more pigment in your mix.

kellog - the epoxy, done correctly, bonds the 2 halves together. 

DR Buck - Yea, epoxy is CRAZY expensive, I won't buy it until I contract the project. 

metalspinner - it is a big job, huge. There are different facets of building with epoxy. If it's not a full blown epoxy river sort of thing, most of our clients want the character, but a smooth top which requires all bug holes, cracks or imperfections filled (with epoxy) before finishing. The large deep pours are expensive and the molds and sealing of the molds are very important, takes time for everything. The real time eater is filling all of the small imperfections and the sanding, this can take days. If you don't have to do any epoxy work, it would save at least 300%. We did enjoy the work, but there is more stress involved than just woodworking. Wood can move a bit during an epoxy pour, that's why you leave enough bulk to re-flatten the project afterwards. We used 2 coats of Rubio Monocoat to finish this project. As a bit of a sidebar, and the "need to know what you're working with" type of thing. Recently, a guy I know of took on a huge epoxy bar project for a paying customer. The project required $4,500 of clear epoxy  :o. The project required empty rifle brass imbedded in the epoxy. The owner thought he would throw in a few live rounds, it would look cool right? After the epoxy was poured over the top, a thick epoxy pour generates a lot of heat and yup, you guessed it, 2 of the live round went off. The internal explosion shattered that portion of the bar top, you could even see the powder burns, but it did not come apart. The owner really liked the look of it so they just poured another smooth finish coat over the top of the whole project and called it good. Know what you're getting in to with large epoxy pours. That one could have ended bad.      
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Offline alan gage

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #34 on: April 19, 2021, 05:57:53 PM »
Holy cow! I assumed those large pours were either with a really slow set epoxy that better controlled the exothermic reaction or were done in smaller batches....but I guess not.

I've melted plenty of plastic cups with the leftovers set aside after wetting out cloth. I'll try and remember to refrain from dropping live ammo into them.

Alan
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Offline LongLogSmith

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #35 on: April 19, 2021, 06:01:20 PM »
Never would have occurred to me that it could set off live rounds. Just built a 4 thick 8x42 table with some epoxy and thought of doing the live round thing; a friend just did set some in his smaller build, without anything going off. I assume that must be about the thickness/scale? Good to know..

Offline doc henderson

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #36 on: April 20, 2021, 09:08:42 AM »
if you pour the wrong type too thick, it will boil, steam and bubble and turn black.  If you want an ammo theme,  I would use a spent casing and put a bullet in the end.  (not a live round)  besides ammo is too expensive.   :)
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2021, 08:37:06 AM »
Wonder how much epoxy $$ this one took ??  :o

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

If i'm not mistaken, that one is a piece of glass cut to fit a rabbet that was made on the edge.  A woodworker friend of mine did that for a table.  Custom cutting the glass wasn't easy or cheap.  May have been cheaper to use resin.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2021, 09:15:03 AM »
OK, I can see it now.  Glass on top and open on the ends.  A customer sent me the picture saying that it was an example of what he wanted to do.  No epoxy.  Not simple but very nice.

Thanks firefighter for the explanation.
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Offline boonesyard

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #39 on: April 21, 2021, 10:12:05 AM »
A couple pics of the event  :o

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JD 4520 w/FEL
Cat TH255 Telehandler
lots of support equipment and not enough time

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Offline boonesyard

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #40 on: April 21, 2021, 10:14:01 AM »


LT50 wide
iDRY Standard kiln
JD 4520 w/FEL
Cat TH255 Telehandler
lots of support equipment and not enough time

"I ain't here for a long time, I'm here for a good time"

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: River Table Build
« Reply #41 on: April 21, 2021, 10:38:07 AM »
We have ammo detonating at house fires all the time, but its not too dangerous unless its in the chamber of a gun.  That had the possibility of being dangerous since the round was trapped inside the resin.
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