With a gift exchange fast approaching we needed to make something fast and easy. Custom gifts are always appreciated but when you are making them for a lot of people they can be a burden. With a laser cutter you can produce large quantities of a custom product rapidly. Once you have finished with the design and worked out the settings on your laser cutter, it is as easy to produce 50 as it is to produce 1.
Step 1: Materials/Design
We designed simple 4" x 4" coasters using Adobe illustrator. We wanted an image and a word in the center of a thin wooden square. Draw your outline, insert and size your image and add your text.
Selecting an image for the center took some time. We wanted something fairly high resolution with a white background. We opted for a picture of a rooster ring necked pheasant and what better text to add that "ROOSTER!".
For materials we just used whatever thin ply scrap we had lying around. Most of the wood was between 1/8" and 1/4" thick.
Step 2: Laser Settings/Cutting
We made our coasters on an Epilog Legend 36EXT 120Watt laser cutter/etcher.
With some trial runs we determined these settings for 3/16" thick ply:
Resolution: 600 dpi
Run the job!
Step 3: Finishing
Due to lack of time we just left the wood raw (no oil, or finish).
A nice wax or oil finish could add to the look and longevity of your new coasters.
With the right settings the coasters were good to go right off the laster cutter, no sanding required!