Scraps to Coasters #1: Prep Work and the Glue Up

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Blog entry by Doug McPherson posted 09-08-2011 04:42 PM 6168 reads 27 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I’m sure others have posted a project similar to this, so I’ll be brief on the description.

This is just another great, simple way to get some use from those cut-off strips that accumulate in the shop. I start by gluing up several pieces side to side, first making sure that the sides are square and parrallel for a good lamination. I make each layer just over the sized of the width of what I want for the coasters’ width.


After they dry, I run them through the planer to make the top and bottom of each layer flat and parrellel. Then glue up all of the individual layers until you approach a height that matches the width. Square it up again, then slice off your coasters.

This gave me 30 coasters, and so I’m thinking I make three separate sets of 10 with some type of coaster holder to place them in.

Any suggestions on the best choice for a finish for a coaster? I’ve used poly in the past, which seems to work

-- DullChiselDoug,

12 comments so far

View John_G's profile


165 posts in 4190 days

#1 posted 09-08-2011 04:46 PM

These look great, what are the dimensions of them??

-- John Gray

View OhioMatt's profile


11 posts in 3986 days

#2 posted 09-08-2011 05:35 PM

With lemons you make lemonade. With scrap wood, you glue it together randomly and create envy.
Awesome idea, even if you claim it’s not yours.

-- Matt from Ohio

View Doug McPherson's profile

Doug McPherson

114 posts in 4654 days

#3 posted 09-08-2011 08:45 PM

John_G- I think they ended up close to 3 3/4” square x 1/2” thick. I made some of these about a year ago for my own house. I’m doing these as a barter exchange for a professional photographer and friend to take some quality shots of some of my woodworking to use on my new website.

-- DullChiselDoug,

View LittlePaw's profile


1572 posts in 4577 days

#4 posted 09-08-2011 09:29 PM

Hey, that’s pretty sharp for a “dull chisel”, Doug! How about a water-proof finish so sweating glasses won’t get your coasters warped or unglued?

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View Doug McPherson's profile

Doug McPherson

114 posts in 4654 days

#5 posted 09-08-2011 10:25 PM

LittlePaw, yes, water-resistant/proof is the main objective. Also, able to hold up to hot beverages too- coffee/tea. So, do you have suggestions? I’m thinking shellac may not work well, that’s why I went with poly the first time. Those are holding up ok, but you can see light rings on the surface.

-- DullChiselDoug,

View rrdesigns's profile


541 posts in 4684 days

#6 posted 09-10-2011 04:47 AM

How about 100% pure Tung oil? I use it on my cutting boards followed by a coating of George’s Club House wax. Holds up well.

-- Beth, Oklahoma, Rambling Road Designs

View Doug McPherson's profile

Doug McPherson

114 posts in 4654 days

#7 posted 09-10-2011 12:54 PM

Thanks for the idea Beth. I use mineral oil and beeswax on my cutting boards. I don’t know about George’s Club wax, and also wasn’t aware that Tung oil was “food safe”. I’ll look in to this. Thanks for your comments and idea.

-- DullChiselDoug,

View ted_jay's profile


1 post in 3964 days

#8 posted 10-09-2011 08:52 PM

I would use a 3 inch forstner bit and bore a 1/8” recess on one side or maybe even both sides.

View flippedcracker's profile


91 posts in 3952 days

#9 posted 10-27-2011 09:28 PM

I like Ted’s idea of the recess because I hate it when the glass condensates, and then it overflows the coaster and gets on the table anyway.

View degoose's profile


7287 posts in 4853 days

#10 posted 10-27-2011 09:37 PM

Great blog.. and some great ideas in the comments…yes I do read all the comments…

-- Be safe.

View Dave Haynes's profile

Dave Haynes

203 posts in 4852 days

#11 posted 12-15-2011 05:59 PM

I used Watco’s Butcher Block clear coat on mine and they turned out beautiful. I also made some snack trays last year using this finish. You can take a look here if you want to see the finish:

-- Dave Haynes, Indiana,

View Manitario's profile


2818 posts in 4381 days

#12 posted 12-15-2011 07:07 PM

Great idea! I’m going to go rummage through my scrap box this afternoon to “borrow” your idea.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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