Stormy weather has never looked so good or been so delicious. This marble Cloud Platter and ceramic tile Raindrop Coaster set will help make any gathering a torrential success!
A heads up: I used a water jet machine to cut these out. I know what you're thinking, that's pretty fancy. For those of you lucky enough to have access to a water jet cutter, this project will be a breeze to make. For those of you who don't, don't fret, most towns have machine shops that will be able to cut the pieces out for you, if you take them the attached files.
NOTE: I love that I got to use water to cut raindrops!
ANOTHER NOTE: I'm assuming that whoever gives making these a go will have previous experience on a water jet machine, but if you need more detailed explanation on any of the following steps, feel free to ask me in the comments section.
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Step 1: Supplies
(1x) 14" x 10" white marble slab*
(2x or 3x) 6" x 6" white glazed ceramic tiles*
(1x) 16" x 14" x 3/4" plywood sheet
double stick carpet tape
permanent fabric glue
220 grit wet sand paper
(1x) 4" x 12" 3mm wool felt**
clear rubber self-adhesive feet
*I got the marble and old tiles at a recycled building materials store for under $5.
**You can also use cork or a self-adhesive felt.
water jet machine
Step 2: Mixed Tape
Apply the double sided carpet tape to the back of both the marble slab and two tiles.
Removing the backing of the tape, position both the marble and the tiles on the plywood so that their edges line up with the edge of the plywood, leaving a 2" border on each of the long sides of the wood. (like pictured)
Step 3: The Files
I've attached the ORD files for both the cloud platter and the raindrop coasters. These can be opened directly in OMAX Make on an OMAX water jet machine.
I've also included the .ai Illustrator files, so you can resize the pieces, or import them into another machine brand's software.
Step 4: OMAX On-ness
Turn your fancy water jet machine on. Make sure the pumps are also on and that there isn't more than a 25psi difference between the two gauges. Check to make sure you have pressure in your granite hold.
Step 5: Secure Means Secure
Place your mounted materials onto the water jet cutting bed. Make sure the plywood edge is parallel to the edge of the bed. (like pictured) Place 4 clamps around the edge of the plywood securing the material in place. Make sure that the clamps will be well out of the way of the cutting head for that first cloud cut.
Step 6: A Date With Data
When opening the cloud platter ORD file in Make, be sure to select the correct material type (white marble) and to click on 'very brittle material' . 'Use low pressure' will auto fill when you do that.
Also make sure to set the thickness a little big higher than the actual thickness of your combined materials (plywood and marble in this first cut's case). You want the water jet stream to pass through both materials and create lots of bubbling in the water. The bubbles will be your indicator that you set the thickness correctly.
Step 7: Zero-ing Your Z Height
Move the cutting head over the marble slab and within easy reach of you. Lower it using the 'Z Down' button until it is about 1" off marble surface. NOTE: Be careful to not have it go further and run into the material. That could brake the tip.
Using a .080 distance gauge and the keypad's 'pg down' button, lower the tip until it is just slightly higher that the surface of the gauge. You should be able to pull the gauge out easily.
Zero out your Z height.
Using the arrows on the keypad, move the tip to where you want the start position to be on the material.
Replace the splash guards.
Step 8: Press GO!
Well, actually, you'll press START. Be sure to look out for the bubbles I mentioned in Step 6.
Then do some stretches or practice your dance moves while monitoring the machine's progress. (It took about 12 minutes on my machine to cut out the platter = 40 or so Dougies.)
Step 9: Stemming the Rising Tide
If after your first cut, the water in the machine has crept up too hight (my definition of too high is when the water gets very close to the top of the supports), push the drain pipe down into the water. Once the water has lowered to a more desirable height, lift the drain pipe back up to where it was before.
Step 10: Well Adjusted
Adjust the placement of the clamps so the ceramic tile area is free and clear for the cutting head to do it's thing.
Open the raindrop coaster ORD file in MAKE and set the material (ceramic sheet) and the height (approx. 1.5').
Re-adjust and zero your Z Height to the ceramic tile height and place the cutting tip at the start point. (like pictured)
Press START and get busy with round two of dance rehearsal.
Once the first set of two has been cut, move the cutting head to the new start point on the second tile, for the second set of coasters. No need to adjust the height again if the tiles are exactly the same height.
Step 11: Make It Rain
Spray the garnet off of the pieces with a spray nozzle or toss a bucket of water on 'em if you don't have a hose.
Remove all the material from the cutting bed and dispose of the unusable cutoff bits. Keep the larger pieces of usable support wood and marble for future projects.
Step 12: A Cushy Job
Because both of the materials I used are hard and meant to be used on potentially softer surfaces (tables, etc.), it's important to add protective material to the bottoms of both the platter and the coasters.
For the platter, add clear rubber self-adhesive feet to the bottom, at all the cloud peaks. Put them about 1/2" in from the edge. (like pictured)
For the coasters, we'll be adding felt in Step 15.
Step 13: A Sand(paper) Storm
The edges of both the marble and tile pieces came out a lot smoother (aka, less sharp) than I expected, but I wanted to ensure their softness with a little bit of sanding.
Use wet 220 grit sand paper with a bit of water to further soften the edges of both the top and bottom edges of the cloud.
When finished, wipe clean with a damp cloth.
Step 14: Soft Drops
Repeat the sanding process with raindrop coasters. Be sure to pay extra sanding attention to the pointy points.
Step 15: Getting Felt(ed) Up
Trace the raindrops onto the felt using a fine tip marker.
Draw an offset, slightly smaller drop inside each one. (I did this so the felt wouldn't be visible from above.)
Cut out the drops following the inner lines.
Step 16: Stuck Like Glue
Use the fabric adhesive to attach the felt drops to the bottoms of the coasters.
Use the Cloud platter to weight them down while they dry.
Step 17: When It Rains You Pour (and Eat)
Now you're ready to fill up the tray and coasters with the snacks and drinks of your choice.
A perfect way to celebrate being cozy inside when the weather outside is anything but.