This will show you how to make a simple drink coaster out of very basic and free materials to put glasses, cans, and other drinks on top of to prevent leaving rings on wooden tables, etc.
Project time: 1 - 2 hours (not including drying time)
Step 1: Preparation
To get started you should clear some space in your garage or other work area.
Also, we need to collect these materials:
-Branch or log at least 3 inches in diameter
-Power saw or hand saw(I used a hand saw)
-Sandpaper(grit level doesn't matter too much I used 65, somewhere in the middle) or sanding power tool
-Cork or similar(has to be smooth and soft for sliding and not damaging tables)
You could even use durable cardboard!
-Adhesive like wood glue or super glue
Step 2: Measure and Cut
Make sure that the log you choose is at least 3 inches. Even if your finished product is going to be 2 and a half inches you want some room for error.
Then, cut in the roundest part of the log as straight as possible.
Step 3: Cut Off Piece
After cutting the log in two, measure about a half inch up and make a second, precise cut.
Again, your finished product will end up a little smaller.
Step 4: Sand
The sides of your piece will (unless your really lucky) most likely be really uneven and rough. In order to try and fix this, we must sand these sides to be smooth and even by using back and fourth motions with the piece against sand paper, or by power tool. I used sandpaper by hand fairly quickly.
Your life can be made a little easier by carving the bark and a little bit of the outside layer of wood off first. Review the pictures below.
Step 5: Is It Even?
To check if the piece is even, or at least if it will support a drink rather than spill it, simply place it down and put a glass on it. If the glass tilts one way really badly, you have to sand it down to make it more balanced. Mine was a tiny bit off balance, and if yours is too, it's OK. We can fix that in the next few steps without much effort.
Step 6: Bottom Sliders
Next, we will apply sliders to the bottom so that the coaster will be able to move around on surfaces without leaving scratches and marks.
On your cork, mark off 3 or 4 sections that are 1/8 of an inch or about 3 mm long. When you cut these, be as even as possible! If your wood piece is uneven, we need to balance it out with slightly longer and shorter cork pieces.
If you are using cardboard or other material, you need to cut about 3/4 inch diameter circles of consistent height.
NOTE: This is the most difficult part since cork crumbles/rips when you try to cut small sections off. Leave room for error, and its OK if you end up with different length sections if you have an uneven wooden piece.
Step 7: Placing Sliders
Place the sliders evenly on the bottom of the coaster(whichever side is uneven). Match up the longer/shorter sliders with a shallower/deeper portion of wood. Once you've found a combination that works, mark on the coaster and sliders to remember where each goes.
Then you must glue. Apply coats to both the slider and the wooden piece, press together firmly and put it under a book or something heavy to keep the pieces pushed together. Drying time mainly depends on the adhesive you use.
Step 8: Finish!
For the most part you are done! Now you have a sweet, handmade drink coaster. There are finishing touches that can be done, for instance, I'm burning words into the wood with a special tool for just that. Other things could be painting, drawing, etc. on the surface of your coaster. Hope yours came out well!