Bunch O' Coasters

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Project by JL7 posted 12-24-2011 03:31 AM 3919 views 35 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So goes another Christmas gift rush…...

This was inspired by ChuckV’s post here. Thanks Chuck. Found the Woodsmith article after reading his post.

No real plan going in, just started pulling “shorts” out of the bin and making blanks. I think the final coaster count came out around 170 or so…...Woods used: Hard maple, Walnut, Cherry, Ash, Pau Amarello, Goncalo Alves, Mahogany, Sapele and Anigre.

Cutting the coasters from the blanks with the bandsaw was the biggest challenge here – I was eating up blades left and right… issue was the sanding….wow, it’s ALOT of sanding.

Ended up with 23 coaster sets and the rest (individual coasters) are being passed out with a little note to think about my sister who is fighting cancer…...the feedback has been huge…....

The square box bases are grain matching four sides (re-sawn stock). The stand up bases were just a novel idea by cutting a coaster in half and gluing some Maple spacers between them….

Here a some construction photos:

The blanks:

The Inlays:

Here is a shot of my brother helping with some sanding the thin coasters using the down and dirty vacuum clamp on the belt sander:

Finishing – 3 coats of oil base poly – then buffed and carnuba wax:

The bases:

To use up some of the really thin scraps left over from the bandsaw op – I glued some together making a “two faced” coaster:

After the coaster project was done – I still had a bunch of the cutoffs and such leftover so glued them to scraps of plywood and added some edging to make a bit of wall art:

I have been told with some authority that only the center piece is really art and the other two are “just too busy”......but I hung em on the wall anyways….:) I just hate throwing away beautiful wood…

Last but NOT least…..the ever important testing. I plan on doing ongoing testing as well:

Thanks for looking!


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

17 comments so far

View ChuckV's profile


3119 posts in 3526 days

#1 posted 12-24-2011 03:41 AM


Wow – I am impressed. That is a whole lot of coasters!

After my first trial set, I made eight more sets with a total of 34 coasters – and I thought that the sanding was going to do me in (I did it all by hand).

I have already given two sets away to people that I will not be seeing on Christmas. They were well received. I am sure that you will find the same.

I like what you did with the leftovers.

Merry Christmas.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View SisQMark's profile


384 posts in 2599 days

#2 posted 12-24-2011 03:49 AM

You’ve been busy! What a great idea. Each recipient will love them I’m sure. Merry Christmas & best wishes to your sister. My Mom is battling with breast cancer right now & it’s a real hard thing to go through, my families best to yours.

-- Don't waste today, it is yesterdays tomorrow!~SisQMark

View JL7's profile


8662 posts in 2964 days

#3 posted 12-24-2011 03:54 AM

Hey Chuck – thanks again for the inspiration….and the comments!

Mark – appreciate the comments – my sister is battling breast cancer as well, and was actually diagnosed after I started the coaster project (which spans about 2 months time), so it was an easy decision to honor her with these…...

Merry Christmas.


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View EarlS's profile


1035 posts in 2347 days

#4 posted 12-24-2011 04:20 AM

WOW!!! Great way to use us some of those leftovers and make some amazing looking coasters. I saw the article and thought it was a very clever way to make inlays. You took it to another level.

Have a Merry Christmas!!!


-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3895 days

#5 posted 12-24-2011 04:29 AM

Quality testing is very important, would not want to give out an inferior product after as. Seriously the coasters look great and I’m sure ther recipients will be thankful to get them.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 2942 days

#6 posted 12-24-2011 05:45 AM

Hi Jeff.
Sorry to hear of your sister.
Hope you enjoyed working in the mass production sanding with your brother.

Have as much joy as you can, and Merry Christmas

-- Back home. Fernando

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2839 days

#7 posted 12-24-2011 05:47 AM

Jeff a wonderful bunch of gifts. And such a large choice of color. Very nice. I like all of the wall art and art is in the eye of the beholder. You are a better man than me. If I have to do something more than 10 times my ADD kicks in. I will find 5 other things to do just to get a break from the repetition. But back to the coaster the inlays are perfect. I am sorry about your sister and we will pray for her.
Merry Christmas.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3576 days

#8 posted 12-24-2011 05:51 AM

Great coasters a real amazing job and a big job too.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View JL7's profile


8662 posts in 2964 days

#9 posted 12-24-2011 06:15 AM

Earl, Betsy, Fernando, Dave and Jim – appreciate the comments! And Dave – I can relate to the ADD thing….many times over I had to walk away…..built several other things in between….some will be posted later…..especially the sanding part, I can go an hour or so at a time, but this was probably 10x that….crazy!

Thanks for the notes on my sis, she is really strong so is hitting it head on. Spent half the day with her in the hospital today doing a transfusion and we really had some great bonding time. On Christmas day, she should be getting some extra support and feedback from friends and family based on the little note I attached and distributed with the coasters… I think that will make her Christmas a bit more special…...

Thanks again!


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3035 days

#10 posted 12-24-2011 02:11 PM

Nice coasters, Jeff. Impressive production setup also

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3881 days

#11 posted 12-24-2011 02:14 PM

Wow Jeff. Truly serious production run. Good for you.

And they came out great. Love the wall art – nothing goes to waste.
Nice to see your vacuum clamp in use – I need a brother :)

Take care and Merry Christmas,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View MShort's profile


1789 posts in 3417 days

#12 posted 12-24-2011 02:39 PM

A bunch is slightly understated. WOW you have been very busy. Thanks for the extra photos and commentary.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View DamnYankee's profile


3301 posts in 2561 days

#13 posted 12-24-2011 03:14 PM

Wow. While I really like the coasters I am more impressed by the production.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View wdh's profile


55 posts in 3639 days

#14 posted 12-24-2011 03:50 PM

Nice coasters and I like the wall art idea! Hope your sister gets well soon!

-- Wayne,Saint John,NB

View sras's profile


4799 posts in 3128 days

#15 posted 12-24-2011 06:05 PM

Great project Jeff! I like the different stand you came up with.

Best wishes for your sister. May 2012 be a year of victory for her.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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