Today I will show you how to make a rustic and decorative birch coaster from a piece of birch branch. Yes, you heard me right - we are going to turn a piece of branch into a board, from start to finish.
- bandsaw - you need to watch the video to see why I prefer this tool for this project. You might be able to substitute other tools, but they might not work as well (say, a jigsaw mounted upside down in a work surface) or be outright dangerous in my opinion (like a table saw for this project).
- C-clamp or bar clamp - it needs to be long enough to hold your piece of branch, and not too bulky. You could substitute it with a jig made from, say plywood, but for that you should check out Izzy Swan's channel on Youtube.
- more clamps - for the glue-up.
- cauls - two pieces of scrap to put the coaster between for the glue-up.
- mitre saw - I used a hand mitre saw, but you could also use your bandsaw for that.
- sander - you need a way to send the boards flat and to uniform thickness. This very much depends on what you have and what surface your bandsaw leaves behind. You can sand them by hand, I am using a jig that turns my drill press into a thickness sander. I am also using my random orbital sander, but the whole thing could be done with hand sanding only.
- measuring and marking equipment - i.e. a pencil and a ruler
- a piece of branch slightly longer than the coaster you want to make - you can use other species as well, I am using birch because that is what I had in my shop. Depending on the dimensions of what you have, you might need longer pieces.
- wood glue - waterproof is an option but not necessary.
- finish of choice - I am using acrylic lacquer, poly or even linseed oil and/or wax might work.