The specifics are largely up to the style you'd like to achieve, but here's what I used to make mine:
0. CNC Router
- Could probably be done with a laser cutter and most definitely with manual tools, but those are outside my area of expertise. Bits I used were: 1/4" downcut bit
for wood and cork, and 1/4" straight bit
for aluminum. Feel free to substitute for what you have on hand.
1. Thin wood
- Walnut, 1/2" thickness, at least 26x6" but larger is better. The bulk of the structure is made with this. I chose walnut because I love the color and, less romantically, because it matches coffee stains. Purchased for about $5-10 a plank on eBay.
2. Something absorbent
- Cork sheet, 1/4" thickness, also purchased way more than I need on eBay for about $10.
- Titebond or any other wood glue should work A-ok.
- I only used 150 and 220, but you may have a better technique. Random orbital sander could be used for planks before routing.
5. Wood finish
- AFM Naturals Oil Wax, used for both the wood and bamboo because it's natural, food-safe, and imbues water resistance. Can be substituted with any other oil or wax finish, or even something non-natural. Sponge, rag, or brush for applying this.
6. (optional) Router table with roundover bit
- I used a 3/8" roundover bit for taking away sharp edges from most of the sides.
7. (optional) 6061 Aluminum
, .040" thickness, at least 5x5". This is perforated and cut into a circle to act as a "landing pad" of sorts over the cork absorber. It is optional because it scratches easily and probably only exists for its good looks. Purchased from onlinemetals.com at $5 for 12x12".
8. (optional) Flapper wheel
. This is basically a bunch of small sandpaper pieces attached to a shank that you put in a drill press or the like. It gives you a quick and dirty way of smoothing over rough cuts, but I also used it to deburr the aluminum and give it a brushed look.
9. (optional) Laser cutter or scissors
. This would make quick work of the cork. So could a sharp, strong pair of scissors. Cost, moolah, cash money
- The bottom line cost is a little hard to calculate, since most of the materials, consumables, and tools will hopefully last through many more projects. However, I'd say a minimum of ~$25 is needed for just enough wood ($10), aluminum ($5), and cork ($10) to complete the project. In reality, though, I went through a few rounds of prototypes and tests in MDF first, and a couple of screwups in walnut itself.