No matter how you feel about epoxy resin being used in woodturning it can’t be denied that its use has added an interesting element to the craft. While there may be way too many tacky projects created with epoxy there are just as many beautiful projects being created as well.
I love epoxy resin woodturning projects as it has allowed me to use a lot of different woods that would not have been turnable in the past. Burls with large voids, punky wood, burl caps, and live edge wood are all in play now in ways that were never possible before.
I really like browsing Etsy for boxes of burl scraps as they are perfect for the projects we’ll discuss below.
Hopefully, these epoxy woodturning project ideas can help inspire you to start incorporating epoxy into your woodturning repertoire.
Epoxy Resin Woodturning Project Ideas
1. Epoxy and Burl Dragon Egg
Dragon eggs are a near-perfect project for using up small scraps of unique wood and introducing yourself to turning epoxy resin projects.
I keep a stack of cups in the shop of various sizes that are great for smaller resin castings like eggs. Just choose the size that best fits your wood, mix the resin with a pigment of choice and, once hard, turn the piece into an egg shape.
Finishing the ends can be a bit tricky. I like to finish the epoxy end while it’s still on the lathe then mount a 3-inch sanding disc onto the lathe and work my way through the grits to finish the wooden end. If you choose to mount the egg on a piece of wood once the piece is finished, you don’t even need to completely finish the bottom!
2. Stabilized Epoxy and Wood Pen
Making your own stabilized pen blanks are another awesome way to use up small scraps of wood. I know I have way too many pieces of burl or figured wood laying around that is just big enough to keep yet not quite big enough for most projects.
By casting them in resin you can increase their usable size and stability and create some stunning wood and epoxy pens.
If you’re starting out with punky wood then you’ll want to read up on stabilizing the wood first using a stabilizing resin-like cactus juice. Using cactus juice is different than epoxy as it is a lot thinner and meant to harden wood rather than be poured and cured as a solid piece of resin.
3. Resin Sphere
Like dragon eggs, epoxy and wood spheres are another cool way to use up pieces of burl cap or even encapsulate figurines within the piece.
You can even buy silicon sphere molds on Etsy which will help keep waste to a minimum. Resin is expensive so cutting down on how much ends up as shavings on the shop floor will make your wallet happy!
4. Resin and Burl Pepper Grinder
Making a resin and burl pepper grinder has been on my need to make list here for a few months now as I have a bunch of big leaf maple burl that is the perfect size and shape for this project.
I primarily use crushgrind peppermill mechanisms in my pepper grinders but I love the look of these antique-style mechanisms as well. Woodcraft sells these mechanisms and, if my wife is to be believed, the pepper grinders would sell like crazy if I ever started making them.
5. Live Edge Bowl with Resin Rim
One of the reasons people are so drawn to making dragon eggs and spheres is that it highlights both the wood and epoxy so well. The play on textures, especially when using burl caps, and the colors in the epoxy make for a visually appealing project.
The same can be said for adding epoxy to a live edge bowl. So long as the live edge isn’t covered in loose bark but the epoxy should have no difficulty adhering to the wood.
The rim of the bowl will need to be left thicker than normal due to epoxy’s tendency to flex and warp when turned thin but other than that it shouldn’t be too difficult of a project.
6. Epoxy Christmas Tree
Wood Christmas trees are one of my favorite projects to make…ok, that may be a lie. They do sell like hotcakes though around the holidays so I don’t mind making them so long as someone is paying for them.
Adding resin to the mix, or turning trees from pure resin and adding some LEDs, will make these holiday money makers even more attractive.
Another twist I’ve always thought would be cool would be to turn a wood tree and drill holes throughout it which could then be filled with resin. Add a small LED light to the bottom and the resin holes should all shine a nice holiday glow.
This video shows a pretty simple idea of what can be done with some cheap wood and epoxy.
7. Pinecone and Resin Ice Cream Scoop
Pinecones are a fun medium to play with when working with epoxy as they have a visually interesting pattern and plenty of negative space for the epoxy to fill in.
You’ll want to make sure your pinecone is completely dry before adding the epoxy but after that the options are endless.
I love these ice cream scoop kits from Woodcraft (honestly they make one of the best scoops I have ever used) and adding a pinecone resin handle would really make for a cool epoxy resin woodturning project.
8. Resin and Wood Bottle Stopper
Wood and resin bottle stoppers are another great small woodturning project to experiment with resin and wood. You can use up a lot of small pieces of wood and experiment with different colors of epoxy without having to commit to a large pour.
I like these bottle stopper kits from Penn State Industries as they seem to be well made and hold up well over time.
9. Epoxy and Wood Coffee Mug
- Made of 304 stainless steel. Not rust or corrode in wet environment. Suitable for whiskey and also great for coffee, tea, rum, and other mixed drinks.
- Perfect design:The double-wall design retains the temperature of your beverage, and keeps it cold or hot for a longer period of time. You won’t break like glass if you accidentally knock it over.
- Easy to carry: No need to worry about lowball glasses shattering! Not only easy to use at home, but also great for outdoor! Take it hiking, fishing, camping, boating, and other outdoor activities.
- Creative gift: This unbreakable whiskey glasses set is great for wedding, birthday, or anyone who loves whiskey. The set packed into a beautiful packing box, you can order as gift for your family, friends on Christmas or other holidays.
- SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: We promise to guarantee the warranty for one year. If you are not completely satisfied, after receiving your whiskey glasses, for any reason, we offer full refund.
I am a big fan of these stainless steel tumblers on Amazon. Not only are they double-walled which makes them great for hot or cold beverages but they also have perfectly straight sides.
This means they can easily be epoxied into wood or resin which takes the tumblers to another level. If I was looking to batch out a project like this I would probably make a silicon mold of the tumbler to fill in the negative space so I’m not pouring a ton of epoxy only to turn it all into shavings.
There are some great videos on youtube of woodworkers who have used either these tumblers or similar stainless steel inserts to create a unique coffee mug.
10. Epoxy and Wood Pendant
Last but not least on our list is epoxy and wood pendants. This is the smallest project yet and is perfect for batching out if you want to give them as gifts or sell them on your own Etsy shop.
Pendants are super easy to turn. I’ve done a few in the past and just use some double-sided carpet tape to stick them to a flat piece of wood chucked up to the lathe. After turning one side they can be flipped over and turned on the other side.
Youtube Channels to Follow for Epoxy Woodturning Project Inspiration
If you’re looking for more inspiration for epoxy woodturning projects then I’d recommend checking out some of the Youtube channels listed below. I follow all of these channels and they put out some really cool content.
Some of the videos are so far beyond my capabilities that they are just fun to watch while others have given me a lot of inspiration for new projects.
Derek grew up woodworking in his father’s shop and has since gone on to start up a successful woodworking business on Etsy. In his spare time, you can find him mountain biking, skiing, or writing.