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DIY Epoxy Resin Sign with LEDs

John Malecki

DIY Epoxy Resin Sign with LEDs

A Simple Standout Among Epoxy Resin Project

Projects
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6
min read
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Feb 8, 2019

As most of you can tell, I spend a lot of time in my workshop. Whether I’m building, filming, or basking in the perfect combination of the two, my workshop is my second home. I like to keep my distractions to a minimum because I only have one shot to film most of my clips. I was super jazzed about the idea of creating some form of ‘do not disturb’ sign, but a hotel door- style paper handle sign just wasn’t going to cut it. I’m John freaking Malecki.

So in this build, I created an “On Air” sign for my office using epoxy resin. These are typically acrylic, but I found this the perfect opportunity to try out some new epoxy resin projects after my live edge river table. After a few minor mishaps, I turned out a sweet battery-powered LED light with a Shoshugibon-finished wooden box. I had a blast putting this thing together -- check it out.

Epoxy Resin Projects: the ‘On-Air’ Sign DIY Overview

  1. Build The Epoxy Forms 
  2. Pour Your Resin Sheets 
  3. Cut Out Your Letters 
  4. Fill Your Letters 
  5. Sand Your Sign Flat 
  6. Build a Shadow Box 
  7. Install Your Light 
  8. Light up the world!

Before building epoxy resin projects, you’re going to need a few things. Here are the tools and products I recommend for this build:

Tools:

Materials:

While you’re here, check out all of my Woodworking Tools!

This page contains affiliate links, but all ideas are my own. For more information, check out my disclosure page.

Epoxy Resin Projects: The Step-by-Step to a DIY LED Sign

on-air sign epoxy resin projects

Step 1: Build The Epoxy Forms 

Pouring epoxy requires some prep work. You’re going to need a box to help shape your sheets. The hard part is that this box must be watertight and you must be able to get the resin sheets out. I made a shallow box for the resin sheets using scrap wood. I lined the box with packing tape because I’m kind of a cheapskate. The pros will tell you to use Kydex Tape, but packing tape does the trick too. 

on-air sign epoxy resin projects

Step 2: Pour Your Resin Sheets 

For epoxy resin projects like this, you don’t need super thick sheets. I made 1/4″ thick sheets, so I didn’t need an epoxy for a super deep pour. This being said, I used Total Boat High Performance Epoxy. I measured out my form, and make enough to fill the form 1/4″ by volume. If you want to dye your epoxy, do it now and mix it well.

 john malecki makes letter cutouts for DIY epoxy resin sign

Step 3: Cut Out Your Letters 

I popped out the sheet from the box carefully using a putty knife, making sure it's fully cured and rock hard. To cut the letters, I used double sided tape and my Axiom CNC to create a completely non-sexist female pocket. I accidentally broke the second sheet, so I rerouted my plan and decided to backfill the epoxy letters with red resin after I cut them out. 

Step 4: Fill Your Letters 

Since I decided to fill my letters instead, I mixed more epoxy to fill the grooves. When pouring epoxy you’re going to want to stay close to the pour because, unless you can vacuum the resin, bubbles will form and come to the surface. To avoid this, you’re going to want to pop the bubbles with a torch. My favorite way to do that is to use a MAPP gas torch because it heats to the just-right temperature for epoxy resin projects and has a convenient trigger.

john malecki sands his epoxy resin projects with a drum sander

Step 5: Sand Your Sign Flat 

Now that your sign is taking shape, you’re going to need to flatten it up. I used my drum sander for this, but you can easily do it by hand. I sand up to 400 grit, but a lot of people prefer to sand epoxy to 1000 grit or more to get it to shine. For this application, the 400 grit made more sense -- but do your thing.

john malecki creates mitered shadow box frame

Step 6: Build a Shadow Box 

To encapsulate the sign, I built a simple mitered shadow box. I wanted to create some more reflection in the inside of the box for maximum brightness, so I painted the inside white. I then used the Japanese technique ‘shoshugibon’ - a method of wood preservation with a flame that turns your wood a rich, dark grey or black color - on the outside for some contrast.

I wanted to make sure the sign was removable, so I stand it off with magnets. I embedded the magnets with a Forstner bit and some CA glue. I then aligned the sign with some CA glue and set it in place.

john malecki creates mitered shadow box frame
John Malecki uses shoshugibon technique on his wood frame

Step 7: Install Your Light 

For the light, I used a wireless battery-powered LED light. The LED light I chose uses a sticky back, which made it super easy to install. Additionally, it’s battery-powered and has a remote for easy turn on -- this one is pretty similar.

And there you have it: one super-cool DIY ‘on-air’ epoxy resin box. If you love this and want to explore some more of my builds - including more epoxy resin projects - check out these other projects! 

Download the Plan

Want to try this build out for yourself? Download the digital plan now for step-by-step instructions, measurements, and a detailed look at how to punch this project in the face.

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Projects
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6
min read
|
Feb 8, 2019
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John Malecki

I used to be an offensive lineman in the NFL, Now I run my own furniture business and am completely self taught. In my videos and posts you'll see a variety of wood and metal work as well as some tips and tricks. Enjoy!