Black Ash Coaster Set in Dovetailed Holder

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Project by palaswood posted 10-08-2015 12:34 AM 2205 views 3 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I sliced these coasters from a small branch off a Black Ash log salvaged from a downed tree in Lake Elsinore where I spent the summer. The tree was completely dry with ZERO bug holes, which is a miracle in my experience.

Gang sanding made the sanding process a breeze. Plus I was able to get the coasters evenly shaped all the way around.

The small boards for the holder were milled from the same tree, and joined with a single dovetail on each end. It was then shaped on the sander, and two small sticks with curly grain and sapwood glued into a dado in the side.

I was commissioned to make two of these the same day I posted it on my Instagram feed. So at least somebody out there liked em enough to want two. That’s pretty cool. :)


-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

11 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26409 posts in 4261 days

#1 posted 10-08-2015 12:49 AM

Very nice coaster set!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View BobWemm's profile


2996 posts in 3081 days

#2 posted 10-08-2015 05:23 AM

They are beautiful. Love that grain.
Thanks for sharing.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 4257 days

#3 posted 10-08-2015 06:15 AM

This project has lots of character…...............

-- mike...............

View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 2923 days

#4 posted 10-08-2015 10:58 AM

Good find and a good project.


View palaswood's profile


1061 posts in 2907 days

#5 posted 10-08-2015 11:44 PM

Thanks for the kind words guys! Almost done with the 2nd iteration; it will be larger than the first and it has 7 coasters.

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 5051 days

#6 posted 10-09-2015 01:07 AM

Very nice. what did you finish it with?

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

View palaswood's profile


1061 posts in 2907 days

#7 posted 10-09-2015 03:12 AM

After sanding vigorously, I finished with the coaster set by applying Watco Danish Oil using a foam applicator to all the grain absorbed a good portion, and wiped clean very thoroughly. After a bit then coated them generously with Minwax paste finishing wax, and buffed to a shine.

Daily top 3. Woohoo!

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View Ivan's profile


16896 posts in 4023 days

#8 posted 10-09-2015 04:06 AM

Outstanding- rustic, live and natural

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3162 days

#9 posted 10-09-2015 05:38 PM

They look great, but with all that oil and wax wont the water just run off? We have 4 or 5 different sets of coasters and they are all sealed in some way. When I put a glass that sweats on any of them it just puddles and/or runs off. So when I pick up the glass any water the glass carries up just drips on me. Seems like the sealer defeats the purpose of the coaster.

Just yesterday I made a coaster from a slice of a branch. It’s about 1” thick. I put 2 thin coats of BLO on the sides, and about 6 or 7 coats of rattle-can lacquer on the bottom. Sanded the top to 400grit. I figure it will take quite a while for it to absorb whatever moisture it’s going to take and I’ll just throw it away and cut another slice.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View palaswood's profile


1061 posts in 2907 days

#10 posted 10-09-2015 05:45 PM

well Joe its 1 coat of Danish oil, wiped off after a few minutes and 1 coat of wax, also wiped off. Ash is ring porous and will absorb some water. The finish isnt water tight and these coasters are functional as well as aeshetically pleasing. This black ash is similar in grain to the first set of coasters I did in Black Mulberry, which were finished the same way. Those perform well so I’m sure these will too. Unfinished the wood may mold if used often. You may want to seal that coaster somehow or like you said just replace it once it funkifies.

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3959 days

#11 posted 10-28-2015 01:23 AM

You coasted right thru that project… :)

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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