A few days ago, I was in that well-know situation, when you suddenly remember that you should have looked for a gift but simply forgot it. So I needed a gift relatively fast. That was when the idea for this wooden coaster set came into my mind. At the beginning, the plan was to simply cut a thin trunk into slices. However, the project became a little more complex over the building process an turned into a one-day father-son project. (Check out my father's instructables profile here. Totally worth it.) As we were running short in time, we mostly used leftovers from other projects or stuff we found in our garden.
In this instructable, we will show how we've built it and how you can make your own wooden coaster set.
Step 1: Things You Need
- A thin trunk. The diameter of the trunk should be about 90mm. The length of the trunk depends on how many coasters you want to build. It should be about 13mm per coaster
- Aluminium tube. With an outside-diameter of 10mm and a length of (number of your coasters*13mm+40mm)
- Piece of wood for the base. We used one which was 100mm x 100mm x 25mm
- Wood oil
- Pattex glue
- Wire. To put the flowers on it
- Wood flowers. Found in a local craft shop
- Power drill
- Wood drilling bits. 10mm and 2mm (depending on the thickness of your wire)
- Grinding machine and/or sandpaper
- Hack saw or pipe cutter
- Wood saw
Step 2: Make the Coasters (Part 1)
Choosing the wood
The trunk should have the dimensions mentioned in the previous step. Plus it should be dry and free of resin and of cracks.
Drill the hole
First thing to do is drill a hole into the trunk. To do this, mark the center on the flat surface of the trunk by making two measurments in an 90° angle. Because most trunks are not exacty cylinders, the hole does not have to be precisely in the center to look good afterwards. Then drill a 10mm hole through the trunk. Probably your trunk is longer than your drill, so that you can't drill all the way through. If that's the case, just drill as deep as you can, and finish the hole after you've cut off the first few slices.
Slice the trunk
This is the most sudatory part of the building process. Start by marking the first cut line. The coaster should be about 12-13mm thick and you probably want to measure and make marks on different places around the trunk's circumference. This makes it a lot easier to make a straight cut. After that, grab your wood saw and start the slicing. Repeat this step until you have the number of coasters you want. Don't drop, you'll get there.
Step 3: Make the Coasters (Part 2)
Perfect! The hardest part should be done.
Sanding the coasters
Grab your grinding machine or a piece of sandpaper and go over each side of each coaster. We started with grade 60 paper to do the rough grinding and used grade 120 paper after that to smoothen the surface even more.
Oiling the wood
You may want to apply a coat of wood oil on the coasters, to protect the wood against water (or other liquid) stains. Depending on the wood oil, your brush may become useless after use, so you should consider using an old brush for this kind of work. Mind to remove the excessive oil from the surface before it gets dry.
Step 4: Making the Base
Choosing a piece of wood
Start by grabbing your piece of wood for the base. We cut off a slice from a plank to get a piece which was roughly 100mm x 100mm x 25mm. Of course you can use whatever piece of wood you want for the base, just make sure it is at least as large as the coasters you want to put on it.
Drill the hole
Next, drill a 10mm hole into the base piece for the aluminium tube. You probably want the hole to be about 20mm deep, to give the tube a stable hold. Make sure the hole isn't awry so that the tube stands straight afterwards. The hole doesn't have to be in the center of the piece if your trunk has grown irregularly. Just consider that the coaster should be completely on the base and not overlap.
Sanding and oiling the base
If you want to sand and oil the base, just do it the same way that we've done it with the coasters.
Cutting the tube
By using a pipe cutter or a hack saw you can cut the aluminium tube to the length you need. You can calculate the length by using this formula: length=(number of your coasters*13mm+40mm)
Putting the tube into the base
Now just put the tube into the base. If you are lucky, the tube stays in place because of the press fit. If that is not the case, or you just want to make sure it doesn't come loose, add a few drops of Pattex glue.
Step 5: Making the Flowers
The flowers came from a local craft shop. The light-colored wood makes a nice contrast to the dark trunk, so we decided not to oil them and leave them as they were.
Drill a hole into the side of each of the flowers. The diameter of the hole should be slightly smaller than the diameter of the wire. This has the advantage that you can put the wire into the hole without using glue. It just stays in place because of the press fit.
After that you can cut the wire to the length you want and put the flowers into the tube.
Step 6: Solve the Jigsaw
That's it. Your wooden coaster set is finished.
If your coasters are all from the same trunk, you can try to put them into the correct order. If you made this as a gift, don't worry, you only have to do it once before you wrap it.
If you plan to use it for your next party, you can ask your guests to solve the jigsaw.
If you want to give us some feedback, don't hesitate to leave a comment or write a message. We would be glad to hear from you.
By the way, if you liked this instructable, feel free to vote for it in the contests.