Turned Coasters

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Project by JoeinGa posted 06-30-2016 09:43 PM 1524 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Turned Coasters
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Whenever I’m out in my shop, I have something cold to drink out there. (No, NOT beer, usually Diet Dr Pepper, or sweet tea). Anyhooo, I always leave it on a small bookcase by the door and the cup/glass always sweats like crazy, leaving a puddle on the wood top. So a couple years ago when I got the first lathe I turned a crude coaster from some black gum I had. You can see where it split and I filled it using sawdust and superglue. I gave the sides a good soaking of BLO, but left the top raw so it would absorb the condensation from the drink. It’s rather ugly, but it pretty much does the job.

Then when I got the new lathe (about a year ago) I made a set of coasters for the house. I had cut down a small fig tree in the yard and the base of the trunk was less than 6” across. It had only been drying for a month or so and I figured what the heck, it’s not like I’m making museum pieces here. So I cut up some slices on the bandsaw, not even trying to match the same thickness. I figured this would be like “test pieces” to see if the thicker slices would work and last better then thin slices.

As I figured they would, every slice split open, some a bit more then others. It took a month or better for the splitting to stop, and once again I used a filler of sawdust and superglue. on two of them I made a small wedge of wood just to see what it would look like. Then I sanded them all and rather than use a rag to slather on some BLO, I poured some in a shallow bowl and one at a time I set each slice in it for several hours. I adjusted the BLO bath each time so that the slices were never fully submerged, letting the BLO soak in from the bottom. I then left them all to “drip dry” on some cardboard for several weeks. Once they were dry, I added small felt pads to the bottoms.

So now it’s been just shy of a year and we have been using them all the time. Every couple months, I “rotate” the two we use so each one has been used “about” the same amount of time. They’re not the most beautiful things to look at, but like I always respond when someone says their project is ugly, It AINT gotta be pretty, to be functional! They all still absorb the condensation so there’s never a puddle under the glass, which drips all over your shirt when you take a drink (which was my MAIN objective to start with.

And here’s what they look like. They range in thickness from about 3/4” to about 1.5” and they’re all just under 5” wide.






As always, comments & critiques are welcomed. Thanks for looking at my stuff !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

12 comments so far

View BusterB's profile


1910 posts in 1427 days

#1 posted 06-30-2016 09:53 PM

Cool project Joe….well done!!!

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

View lew's profile


11263 posts in 3175 days

#2 posted 06-30-2016 10:12 PM

I can picture these in use in a rustic hunting lodge! Nice Work!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Jerry's profile


1709 posts in 1067 days

#3 posted 06-30-2016 11:10 PM

Beautifully Rustic!

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View farmerdude's profile


606 posts in 1458 days

#4 posted 06-30-2016 11:19 PM

Nice coasters, Joe. I really like the idea of having them a different thickness. Also those with the wedges are very cool. As far as my opinion on the looks of projects goes, let me quote my father when watching me be too fussy, “quit fussin with it, you ain’t building a church, boy”. Great job, buddy.

-- Jeff in central Me.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


543 posts in 240 days

#5 posted 07-01-2016 12:14 AM

Nice use of raw timber.

.... (No, NOT beer, ...
...absorb the condensation…

- JoeinGa

Alcohol would not leave condensation.. It evaporates and gets absorbed into the pores of your skin (if you stand close enough).

-- There's two ways to do things... My way or the right way.. LBD

View doubleDD's profile


5056 posts in 1462 days

#6 posted 07-01-2016 12:30 AM

I like you idea of the wedge Joe. I thought about using it on a bowl with a split. Good job. I’m another diet dr pepper fan too.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Todd Barrone's profile

Todd Barrone

792 posts in 1691 days

#7 posted 07-01-2016 03:30 AM

Great project.

-- "The Cedar King"

View bushmaster's profile


1251 posts in 1702 days

#8 posted 07-01-2016 04:07 AM

nice work

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1694 posts in 482 days

#9 posted 07-01-2016 08:03 AM

”... it’s not like I’m making museum pieces here…”
It’s a good thing, Joe. As Homer Simpson once said, “Art is stupid. That’s why they put it museums, where no one goes.”

Nice coasters, Joe. I really like the idea of having them a different thickness. Also those with the wedges are very cool. As far as my opinion on the looks of projects goes, let me quote my father when watching me be too fussy, “quit fussin with it, you ain t building a church, boy”. Great job, buddy.

- farmerdude

When helping actual carpenters build houses in Montana, in my youth, Jack would catch me being fussy with something, and say, “Dammit, Mark! It’s not a piano.” Whereupon, Arnie, the elder statesman of the group, would reply, “Shut up fathead. She coulda been if we’d a dun her right.”

-- Mark

View JoeinGa's profile


7366 posts in 1426 days

#10 posted 07-01-2016 03:31 PM

Wow, Daily Top 3, AND Editor’s Choice? All this for a few measly slices of Fig tree? Who’da Thunk’it?

And thank you all for the nice comments.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2286 days

#11 posted 07-01-2016 07:04 PM

This is a very nice set of rustic coasters.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Roger's profile


19711 posts in 2223 days

#12 posted 07-01-2016 09:52 PM

Good solution Joe. Definitely don’t want any sort of drinking device on any of your equipment tops

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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