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I made a set of custom wood coasters with a coaster holder all from a small piece of 1/4" plywood using a CNC laser machine. You can customize the design to anything you want and these make perfect gifts.
- Laser cutter (I used a Full Spectrum Laser Hobby 20x12)
- Design software (I used Illustrator
- 1/4" plywood
- Blue painters tape
- Rubber bands
- Spray polyurethane
- Felt bumper feet
Read the instructable here and you can also get a download of the cut file over at my website: http://fixthisbuildthat.com/how-to-make-laser-engraved-wood-coasters/
Step 1: Design Your Coasters and Holder
I used the awesome website makeabox.io to design a small box that would be slightly larger than my coasters.
I imported the pdf of the box into Illustrator and made changes to the design to give me flat edges on the top of the sides, put some finger recesses in, and a few other details. All the lines for the box were set to cyan and .001pt for vector cutting.
I then drew 6 coasters at 3.5" x 3.5" square. I used the Tennessee tri-star logo for my coaster engraving. You can really make it anything.
Step 2: Prepare the Cutting Stock
I cut a piece of 1/4" plywood to about 19-5/8" x 9" to accomodate my layout. I covered the piece with blue painters tape to keep the wood from charring on the top
Step 3: Run Your File on the Laser
I loaded the workpiece into the FSL Hobby 20x12 and exported my design into Retina Engrave 3D. I set the program to raster then vector and let it do it's thing.
Step 4: Assemble the Coaster Holder
When the laser was done I removed the pieces and assembled the coaster holder. I used wood glue to assemble the holder and rubber bands to clamp it together while the glue dried
Step 5: Apply Finish to the Coasters and Holder
I sprayed on 4 or 5 light coats of polyurethane to the coasters to give them protection against water. I did 3 coats on the coaster holder.
Here is an example of what the coasters look like with and without the masking tape as well.
Once done just put some felt feet on the coasters and you are good to go!
If you want to see the whole blog post with more details you can go check it out here: http://fixthisbuildthat.com/how-to-make-laser-engraved-wood-coasters/