How to Make Drinks Coasters With Nails Inlay





Introduction: How to Make Drinks Coasters With Nails Inlay

About: Maker On YouTube

I have had this idea kicking around in my head for a while. So I finally got around to making them.

If you would like to watch the video of me making the coasters, you can watch it here:

Materials Used:

  • Walnut
  • Nails
  • Wood Glue
  • Woodoc Finish
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Black Felt Baize

Tools Used:

  • Evolution Table Saw (this saw can cut wood with nails which was the inspiration for the project)
  • Belt Sander
  • Scissors

Step 1: Add the Nails to Your Chosen Material

I wanted to use walnut so I glued up a 4"x4" block ready for the project. Any hardwood would work great for this though. Even plywood would look great with the exposed edges. I wouldn't recommend using a softwood as I think it would be too brittle.

I used 2 different sized nails, 5.5mm & 3.75mm. I drew on a random pattern of dots for a rough guide for me to drill. I used a 5.5mm drill bit for the larger nails and a 3.5mm drill bit for the smaller ones. I vacuumed out the dust before adding some wood glue to the holes just to help hold the nails in place. I didn't want them working lose over time.

Then it was just a case of hammering the nails in. My drill bits wasn't very long so quite a lot of the nails were left exposed. I will have to order some longer drill bits for next time. I didn't hammer the nails in any further because they would split the wood if I did.

Step 2: Cut the Blank Into Coasters

I used an Evolution Table Saw to cut the blank into coasters. The Evolution saws are designed to be able to cut metal and wood but especially wood with nails in.

There are other options you could try though. You could use a hacksaw to cut the nails or you could use some epoxy to fill the holes you drill instead of adding the nails. You an get metal pigments too so it would still look metallic. You could really let your imagination run wild with different options. The simpler the better :)

Anyway, I added a stop block after trimming the nails flush. I cut the coaster 8mm thick and then sanded them smooth on the belt sander.

Step 3: Final Step - the Finish

To finish the coasters and protect the wood I used Woodoc. I've never used it before this project so I don't really know how it will hold up. Its a mix of wax and polyurethane. It says to add at least 3 coats but it kept soaking into the end grain leaving a dull finish. I think given enough time and extra coats it would work well. Its water, alcohol, heat and scratch resistant. perfect for coasters. For the video I added some gloss spray lacquer to show the look I was going for. I don't think lacquer will hold up very good though.

Instead of the traditional cork bottom to the coasters I added black felt baize. I sprayed some spray adhesive onto the felt and then stuck it to the underside of the coasters. After 10 mins I cut off the excess flush to the coasters edge with a pair of scissors.

And that them done. I really hope you have been inspired by this project :)



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    33 Discussions


    8 months ago

    Ingeniously used the Saw for cutting wood along with the embedded metal, useful project, thanks

    I love the idea of using multiple materials together, I didn't even realize you could cut wood with metal in it! Nice instructable, those coasters look awesome!

    3 replies

    Thanks! I really like the contrast of metal & wood, I think they work well together.

    Not all saw can cut wood with metal. I was using Evolution Power Tools. Their range of saws is designed to cut wood, wood with nails and steel. :)

    I know you're "wedded" to your Table Saw brand (we all are *G*)...but I think that your success has more to do with the *blade* than with the *saw* itself.

    Can you give specs on both? (i.e. 10", 12", Motor size, Belt Drive/gear drive/Direct Drive....and brand of the Blade, Carbide/Tungsten tipped, TPI?

    Otherwise, *awesome* idea...and well-executed.

    Evolution makes blades as well and they're decent blades. Looks like the only table saw they make is a 10" 2500 RPM saw, gear drive, brushed motor (looks like.) Looks to be the same motor assembly as out of their 10" miter saw (which I have.) One negative of their 10" saws, they have a 1"(25mm) arbor, which won't fit most blades. Their general purpose blade is good for wood, but pretty lousy for aluminum, chips get stuck between the teeth too often. Their aluminum only blade is $100+ and I've yet to find a 3rd party aluminum blade with a 1" mounting hole.

    Most belt drive table saws can be under-driven if you replace the pullies. I've done this on my Craftsman and now have a 2-speed saw, 3450 RPM for normal cutting, 1725 RPM for cutting aluminum (with the appropriate blade.) Would work fine for this as well.


    1 year ago

    Nails are normally just iron,not steel or hardened, so easily cut with hack-saw, scroll saw, grinder or sander. But I sure like and credit your idea.

    Most impressive and thank you!

    1 reply

    The nails I used were steel wire nails, not advised to cut with a regular saw really. A hacksaw should work great just a lot more effort haha. Glad you like the idea :)

    Wow this is a brilliant idea! Keep it up! :)

    This looks amazing. I'll have to remember this trick!

    Nice project, the glued 4X4 adds visual interest. For those of us without the steel cutting capability of your table saw, we could use aluminum gutter spikes or rods and smaller aluminum trim nails for a similar effect.

    1 reply

    Thanks! Yeah I think thin aluminium should be fine on regular woodworking saws. Would create the same effect :)

    Well done, pretty sweet for an instructable! Two thumbs up!

    1 reply

    1 year ago

    What do you think about any plastic color coat on it. Just to protect it from water.