Smoke Bush Coaster/Trivet

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Project by bobasaurus posted 239 days ago 1743 views 11 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this coaster/trivet as a Christmas gift for my aunt. I used smoke bush slices from a branch I pruned in my garden… I actually started it several years ago and forgot about it until I was looking for present ideas. The smoke bush has a really neat yellow-brown heartwood with bright white sapwood for contrast. I turned the bark off on the lathe, cut some slices, and glued them up exposing the end grain. I’m not sure how it didn’t crack/check with the pith still in there, but it’s been years and the wood is still solid. The gaps are filled with an eclectic combo of sawdust, plastic wood, titebond III, and CA glue as I’ve been working on it off and on for so long. For the outer edge I traced the V-shaped gap onto scrap walnut, cut out pieces on the scroll saw, and spindle sanded them to fit before gluing. I cut the whole mess into a circle with a crude bandsaw jig and sanded it all flush. Finished with some shellac to seal the weird filler materials then several coats of waterlox for water/heat resistance. Now I have to quit messing around on lumberjocks and go wrap the darn thing.

-- Allen, Colorado

15 comments so far

View degoose's profile


6992 posts in 1980 days

#1 posted 239 days ago

So unusual…

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ For lovers of all things timber...

View sras's profile


3813 posts in 1754 days

#2 posted 239 days ago

Exceptionally interesting!! I’m guessing that the extended time span played to your advantage.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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Dan'um Style

12909 posts in 2608 days

#3 posted 239 days ago

really nice piece

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Hawaiilad's profile


1910 posts in 1646 days

#4 posted 239 days ago

That came out very nice

-- Larry in sunny and warm Hawaii,

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13732 posts in 963 days

#5 posted 239 days ago

That’s really cool

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View recycle1943's profile


219 posts in 247 days

#6 posted 239 days ago

symetrical – howja doit

really nice and totally unique

-- Dick, Ohio

View Spoontaneous's profile


1304 posts in 1955 days

#7 posted 239 days ago

Very striking coaster! The contrast really sets it off.

Years and years ago someone gave me a small piece of Smoketree root and it had brown, yellow, green, orange and white colors. I turned a small bowl…. and since, I have been keeping an eye out for more of this wood.

Nice work!

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View johnhutchinson's profile


593 posts in 254 days

#8 posted 239 days ago

Amazing attention to detail, Allen !!! At first I thought I was looking at gaps in the edge until I read that you filled them with fitted walnut wedges. Band clamp for the glueup?

Gotta go now. Just had an unexplained craving for a slice of pepperoni pizza. :)

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View HossMan's profile


37 posts in 2343 days

#9 posted 239 days ago

Incredible piece of work!

View oldnovice's profile


3684 posts in 1993 days

#10 posted 238 days ago

Allen that is NOT your average coaster as it is outstanding.

Remember, things made in the shop are things from the heart!

Never heard of a smoke bush … !

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Steve Kreins's profile

Steve Kreins

323 posts in 256 days

#11 posted 238 days ago

Now that’s something you can’t buy at Walmart. ;) Very nice and I’m sure it’s a conversation piece. Thanks for sharing.

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

View Karson's profile


34869 posts in 3026 days

#12 posted 238 days ago

When I lived in New Jersey we had a smoke bush in our front yard. One of the branches died and I cut it off imagine my surprise when I saw the bright yellow and brown wood.

It makes beautiful pens.

Nice looking coaster

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View Picklehead's profile


566 posts in 554 days

#13 posted 238 days ago

Awesome. Favorited because the materials and techniques are so unusual. The project’s not REALLY completed, though, until you drink a cool one that’s been sitting on one of those!

-- You've got to be smarter than the tree.

View woodkandy's profile


53 posts in 503 days

#14 posted 237 days ago

Oh wow, this is beautiful. I have many birch branches that I have been wondering what to do with…I think I may now have an idea! Thanks for sharing.

-- Kandy, Alberta, Canada

View Carbide's profile


145 posts in 1071 days

#15 posted 236 days ago

That’s really neat !! I like that. Great use of natural materials.

-- When it feels like a job, it isn't a hobby anymore.

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