Use up those scraps!

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Project by oldstarter posted 04-16-2015 01:56 PM 2982 views 13 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A friend popped in to see us a couple of weeks ago and was really taken with some coasters I had made previously. As her birthday was coming up I thought I’d make her a set as a surprise.
I learned from my previous experience of making them that all the pieces must be perfectly square so that you don’t get any gaps in between, (no need to sand them though) although mine did shift slightly when I clamped them but not enough to worry about. Also another thing was not to cut them all off the main piece first and then sand them, but to leave them and clamp the whole thing in a bench vice and then sand off the top, then over to the mitre saw and set it just slightly over three eights to allow for any further sanding required and cut off one at a time. The overall finished size of the outside was four and a quarter inches. The inner core I made oversize and then cut it square to about three and a half inches, then glued half and inch around the outside eventually sanding back to the four and a quarter, again sand back the whole of the outside before cutting into individual pieces. I used one mm cork for the backing and this proved to be ideal.
Thanks for looking.

-- Oldstarter (Dave Ashby)

10 comments so far

View Heisinberg's profile


40 posts in 2753 days

#1 posted 04-16-2015 03:07 PM

Way cool! Now I know what to do with all them little pieces.

-- "I've still got things left to do." – Walter White

View splintergroup's profile (online now)


5430 posts in 2376 days

#2 posted 04-16-2015 04:43 PM

One of the best ways to empty my scrap boxes in a long while, thanks!

Given that these will undoubtedly get wet, what finish do you plan on using?.

My thought about this is to let them sit in a pan of thinned polyurethane and let it wick up through the wood pores, effectively sealing it all. Alternatively, maybe just a good sealing coat of epoxy. Of course I may just be paranoid…..

View oldstarter's profile


120 posts in 2645 days

#3 posted 04-16-2015 05:10 PM

Thanks guys, the main photo is of the finished coasters, I used my own wiping finish, using for the first two coats 1 to 1 yacht varnish and white spirit, and then followed with 5 coats of 3 yacht to 1 white spirit. Just seen someone use the same on a clock using Poly but brushed the coats on and left for 5 minutes then wiped off, better way to go I think as of course you’re working on end grain. Considering they’re only three eighths thick you wonder where it all goes. I like your idea of dropping them in a pan of thinned poly Splintergroup, I’ll give that a go as I’ve already been asked for some more.

-- Oldstarter (Dave Ashby)

View LesB's profile


3026 posts in 4597 days

#4 posted 04-16-2015 05:16 PM

Nice work.

I have recently done something similar but a bit larger for small cutting boards (6”X9”)
What I found was I could increase my output by making them 2 or 3” thick and then slicing them to 1” on the band saw. Also the glue up was done on the top of a piece of melamine laminated hard board. It keeps the pieces flat and the squeeze out glue does not stick to the melamine….you could also use wax paper. I will post some project pictures soon.

-- Les B, Oregon

View oldstarter's profile


120 posts in 2645 days

#5 posted 04-16-2015 05:23 PM

Good tips Les, I’ll bear them in mind.

-- Oldstarter (Dave Ashby)

View Matt (MWA Woodworks)'s profile

Matt (MWA Woodworks)

305 posts in 2767 days

#6 posted 04-16-2015 05:49 PM

what method do you use to sand the endgrain?

-- Follow me on instagram and facebook @mwawoodworks

View oldstarter's profile


120 posts in 2645 days

#7 posted 04-16-2015 06:33 PM

Hi Matt, after making the first cut on the end of the whole block with a mitre saw, I then placed it in a bench vice and sanded (very carefully) the cut end with a belt sander, using a 120 grit belt. Being end grain it doesn’t take it down so fast. When I was happy I cut off that piece and then sanded down the next, when I had got them all cut and sanded to 120 I then put a sheet of f2 glass paper onto a sheet of plate glass and using a circular motion I hand finished them on this. You of course only have to do one side like this as the other is covered in cork. I just sanded that side down to 120 with the belt sander.

-- Oldstarter (Dave Ashby)

View oldstarter's profile


120 posts in 2645 days

#8 posted 04-17-2015 05:34 AM

Wow! I just made it into the top 3. How brilliant is that.

-- Oldstarter (Dave Ashby)

View michelletwo's profile


2795 posts in 4170 days

#9 posted 04-17-2015 11:14 AM

Interesting that us “old” folks had the same idea..I’ve been making these sets for a few years..helps pay for all that expensive wood.

View oldstarter's profile


120 posts in 2645 days

#10 posted 04-17-2015 11:50 AM

Hi Michelle. I’ve never sold anything! But beginning to think that may be I should. I get nagged by all and sundry to sell my stuff, but then I would have to leave my workshop to sort it lol. That’s one really good thing about L/Js, if you sold anything then at least you can look back and see it on here. And if I’d sold stuff like you produce then I would certainly want to keep a record of it all. I’ve never bought any expensive wood, but would sure like to, so maybe I’ll be dragged into the commercial world, just so that I can.
I’m making a clock at the moment but I’m having trouble with finding a piece of wood to carve for the underneath. I need to have a piece 6” high x 6” wide and 3” deep, not a lot to ask but all the wood I’ve got is way to hard so I’m laminating 3 pieces of Mahogany together, hopefully it’ll work.

-- Oldstarter (Dave Ashby)

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