Hey and thanks for checking out my instructable :)
Being the geeky kind of person I am, I love reading comics. Although I'm more of a Marvel/Indi kind of guy, I love a good DC hero (or villain ;)
With exploring resins recently and what you can do with them, I decided to give a set of wood superhero coasters with resin inlays a go.
Read on to find out how to make your own set! Check out the video for the full run-through.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
For this project, you'll need...
- Xacto/craft knife
- Permanent marker
- Scroll saw
- Cutting board
- Tacky glue stick
- Sheet of MDF/birch/other wood for coasters
- Masking/Frog/Painter's tape
- Spray paints (I used red, green, blue, white and black)
- Copy of coaster templates (download in this step!)
- Can of spray sealant/lacquer
Step 2: Tracing and Cutting the Stencil Shapes
I've found that spray painting logos works best in drawing stencils for the main colours and adding edging later - but that's just my opinion!
Start by laying a sheet of acetate on top of the printed templates and use your permanent marker to mark the corners of your coaster as a reference point for later.
Now, starting with the outermost area, draw around the main areas of each logo. I found that you could fit 6 stencils (including marking the corners) on each A4 sheet.
Once you've drawn around each logo area, use your Xacto/craft knife and cutting board to cut around each of the stencils.
Step 3: Cut Out Your Coaster Blanks
Measure out a rough square on your wood which will accommodate all your coasters.
Add overlapping lines of masking/painter's tape enough to cover the area both front and back of the wood.
Use your tacky glue stick to stick the templates onto the taped area.
Then, use your scroll saw (although a band saw would do) to cut out the coaster blanks.
Step 4: Sand Off the Rough Edges
Next up, use a piece of sandpaper to sand off the rough edges of the coasters.
I find that taping a piece of sandpaper to the table works well as it doesn't move around as you sand!
Alternatively, a sanding block works well too.
Step 5: Spray Paint Your Base Layer
Next up, take your coaster blanks into a well ventilated area (e.g. outside) and give them a good spray of sealant (spray lacquer) to allow the paint to settle better.
After that's dried, spray a coat of their base colour. Flip them over and, resting them on a thin edge, give the back of each coaster a spray of their base colour.
Step 6: Adding the Additional Logo Layers
Once the base layers are dried, use your stencils to build up each logo. Remember to start from the outside and then work your way in.
After each additional layer's dried, apply the next stencil and build up the logo one part at a time.
Step 7: Adding Edging to Each Piece
Using your permanent marker, draw black edging around each piece that needs it. This helps the colours stand out better and really pulls the logo together!
Step 8: Cutting Out the Resin Area
First up, use a drill (with drill bit just wider than the width of your scroll saw blade fitting at the top) to pilot a hole through the area you'll be filling with resin later.
Unscrew your scrollsaw blade and fit it through the saw (see pictures 3 and 4), reattaching the blade to the scroll saw arm.
Carefully, cut out each piece you'll be keeping for each coaster. In Superman's case, you're cutting away all the red and keeping the yellow pieces with the black edging!
Step 9: Prepping & Casting the Resin Into the Void
First up, flip the edge of the coaster over and add overlapping strips of painter's tape/masking tape to cover the empty space you cut out. Flip it over and (using the printed template as a guide), add the yellow pieces back in, sticking them onto the sticky side of the tape.
Next, make sure you have a level surface first before working with any setting liquid. I have a dodgy desk, so a few pieces of wood and a spirit level help!
Mix up the resin equal amounts resin and hardener (I used a tablespoon - 7.5ml - of each).
On colouring resin
Now, for colour, you could use resin dyes, but I was looking to do this on a budget! I tried out the spray colours out of curiosity and found that a spray or 2 in 15ml of resin gave even dispersal and cured perfectly.
Having tried out each colour, I gave 15ml of resin 2 short sprays of red paint and mixed it up until the colour was smoothly mixed.
I found a useful trick when pouring the resin into voids, it can be messy and cause drips. However, to stop this, you can use a piece of dowel (or even a pencil!). Place the tip in the middle of one of the voids and pour the resin down the pencil. The resin will follow the pencil into the void and then spread out into the surrounding area. Keep gently pouring until the whole empty area is full.
Use the tip of a cloth to dab at any drips that fall on the painted areas.
Leave the resin to cure overnight and come back the morning :)
Step 10: Let It Glow!
Finally, grab your coasters and hold them up to the light. You should find the sunlight illuminates the logo on each coaster, making it glow!
I did wonder about adding LEDs underneath the cast resin but figured that'd be a step too far for this instructable!
I hope you feel inspired to cut and cast your own superhero coasters and post photos if you do!