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Need thoughts and opinions, (Wooden Drinking Coasters) finish or not to finish.

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Forum topic by Blackie_ posted 532 days ago 5601 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Blackie_

3375 posts in 1138 days


532 days ago

Being new to making wooden coasters, I had the train of thought to protect the coasters from the moisture and their wood never giving thought to their purpose which is to protect the finish of a table, it wasn’t until a month ago, I was talking to another fellow wood worker that brought this to my attention and it made since, the coaster should take the punishment, Ok still not giving much thought into this, I had made several since then and have continued using an exterior water friendly varnish as a sealer, it was a couple days ago that it finely came to light by talking to yet another woodworker that makes coasters, he told me that coasters are not to be finished as they should absorb the moisture to keep any drips from the table surface once again this made since to me, so I was wanting others thoughts and opinions on this method.

I would however like to at least put a single coat of tung oil and a quick wipe just to give the wood an appeal, would this still seal the wood enough to keep moisture out?

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs


11 replies so far

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3861 posts in 1005 days


#1 posted 532 days ago

Oil is almost no barrier to moisture. Can you use a piece of cork on top? Coasters that do not absorb moisture stick to the glass then like to fall off.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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Sodabowski

2002 posts in 1458 days


#2 posted 532 days ago

Dude, you made them with a lip, who needs a coaster to suck any stinking beer or wine drops as these will keep them within the dug out surface? Go ahead and finish them! :)
You can always try an oil finish but it will seal the pores anyway. Unless your wood were totally spalted, which is clearly not the case here (BTW they look good!).

Had I to make a set of coasters, I would first make them with a scrollsaw pattern in the middle and put felt under them to get the drips, and they would get a thick protective coating of whatever fits the wood and completely seals it dry. Last thing I would want is molds to develop in these, it happened to me with a store-bought crap-sawn long-grain cutting board, and I had to throw it after a few months.

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

4886 posts in 1468 days


#3 posted 532 days ago

Randy,

Hadn’t thought about it. Some finishes( not plastic) absorb water. If you are making it with spalted wood you have another factor…the wood, mold issues?

I often use a magazine LOL and my wife hands me a coaster….(purchased) Protects the table. Non plastic finish.

I’m thinking if it’s spalted wood …use a low matte finish urathane? I’d run a few test projects.

Another thought…wondering about time, labor, and materials….and your profit line, as I’m thinking you will sell these?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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Blackie_

3375 posts in 1138 days


#4 posted 532 days ago

Thomas, another valid point, after reading your comment, that makes perfect since too I think it all boils down to protecting the coasters or not protecting them but also protecting the finish on the table as well,

Rick No room for cork, the lips aren’t but only 3/16 high I think cork is thicker then that.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

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DocSavage45

4886 posts in 1468 days


#5 posted 532 days ago

Good Luck!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

4979 posts in 1934 days


#6 posted 532 days ago

We have a set of wood coasters that are around seven years old…found them at a second hand store. They get alot of constant use, have no finish on them and have held up just fine. They do absorb some of the water and condensation and it has not affected them at all.
I agree that a finish on them would probably bring out the grain appearance..but I wouldn’t want to mess with what is working.

-- If retiring is having the time to be able to do what you enjoy then I have always been retired.

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Blackie_

3375 posts in 1138 days


#7 posted 531 days ago

I think I know what I’m going to do, I’ve been using marine grade water resistant varnish, I think I’ll go back to using a lacquer and give that a try, I’m thinking I can get the best of both worlds a finish that absorbs partial water and gives it an appeal. shrugs

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4109 posts in 1482 days


#8 posted 531 days ago

Randy,
I oil everything, if the customer does not keep it up then the wood will dry out.
It was always my notion that coaster were trivets for drinking vessels to prevent
damage to the surface directly.
You then get coaster liners that have tissue on the top and a wax paper underneath
for absorbing moisture.
I also put cork under such items, I know that space could an issue with your design but
you can get 1/32” self adhesive cork or just put four coasters in a set my 2p worth =3c :)
Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3375 posts in 1138 days


#9 posted 531 days ago

Jamie I really don’t want to cover the wood if I can help it just looks to nice and cork is ugly, I just got off the phone with my local woodcraft store and they mentioned trying shellac as it’s not total water resistant but I also have to take into consideration of to much moisture causing the wood to warp.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4109 posts in 1482 days


#10 posted 531 days ago

Randy I meant underneath. :)
Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4109 posts in 1482 days


#11 posted 531 days ago

Randy the cork would also keep the wood intact if it split
I use titebond 11 for the cork
The wood I put my BLO, Wax mix on which even when dry
leaves a film of wax
Shellac can go opaque with alcohol.
Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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