Monday, December 7, 2015

DIY Wood Coasters & Trivets

A few weeks before the time of this writing I had finished revising my existing computer desk, as seen above.  The old desk top was particle board painted up to look like marble and covered with a thick, glossy enamel.  The old desk was nice, but I prefer the wood look I have now better.  My new desk is covered with glossy polyurethane, but I worry that the condensation from my cold beverages may damage the wood underneath.  So I always use a bunch of napkins as a beverage coaster.

Now I could use one of the nice coasters my girlfriend bought for our dining room, but I don't want to take it away from the other matching coasters in that room.  Besides, I was cleaning up my workshop and found this leftover piece of wood with a nice looking knot in the middle.

I was going to throw it in my scrap wood box, but then decided to make a simple coaster for my computer desk.  But I want to make it look a little nicer first, so I set up a 1/4" roundover bit into my router table...

...and gave it a nice looking edge.

Then I sanded the whole thing with some fine sandpaper.

Next I applied some stain and let it dry for a while.

The whole process of routing, sanding and staining combined took about 10 minutes.  It was so quick and easy that I decided to make 3 more.  I found another piece of wood the same thickness and began cutting pieces to be the same size as my first coaster.

I then took my 3 newly cut pieces of wood and routed the edges.

Then I sanded them.

Then I stained them.

Once the stain was dry I applied several layers of glossy clear coat.  I opted for clear coat over polyurethane since the pieces are small (3.5"x 3.5").  It would have been hard getting good coverage using polyurethane and a brush since the coasters are so light.  I probably would have either dragged the coasters with the pressure from the brush, or gotten marks all over the coasters trying to hold them.

After each application of clear coat, I used a fine sanding sponge to lightly sand each coaster.  This removes any small bumps or bits of dust that may have stuck to the clear coat while drying.  After each sanding I cleaned the coaster and then applied another coat.

When the last coat dried I gave it one final sanding/cleaning.  Then I found some leftover felt pads I had...

...and applied 4 to each corner of each coaster.

And I'm done!

Now I have a nice coaster to set my cold drinks on... well as my hot drinks.

I originally wasn't going to make a specific blog entry for these coasters, but I've become so accustomed to taking photos of everything I make that I figured I'd might as well show all my steps.  I already had the materials, so making these cost me nothing at all. 

With the holidays coming up, and a lot of family coming over to my house, I decided to make some trivets using the same method.  I had a leftover board in which I measured out 3 pieces.

I then cut out those pieces on the table saw.

Then I routed the edges.  For these trivets I used a Roman Ogee router bit.

Then I sanded them using my mouse sander and some fine sandpaper.

On one of the trivets was a small crack and on another there was a small hole.  These I covered up with wood filler...

...and then sanded smooth when dry.  Then I cleaned them up with a damp rag.

Next I applied a stain I made (a mixture of cherry and jacobean stains) and applied them to the trivets.

The color was a little lighter than I wanted, so I took some course sandpaper and began scouring the top.

When I added more stain it was a bit darker, but the scouring also caught the stain, creating a cool, rugged look.

Below on the left is the scoured trivet with an untouched trivet on the right.

After scouring the remaining two trivets, I applied stain, wiped them and let them dry.

Once dry I brought them inside and took out my stamp set.  I then proceeded to stamp on designs with ink.

Since the stain is on the lighter side, I opted to use black ink.

Each trivet uses different stamps to make all 3 unique.

Next I brought the trivets back into the workshop and proceeded to apply some clear coat.

After each coat dried I would lightly sand it with very fine sand paper then clean it off with a damp rag.  After a few coats the tops were done and then I repeated the process on the bottoms.

Once the bottoms were dry I bought more felt pads...

...and attached them to the bottoms.

And I'm done!

The trivets turned out quite well and will be quite helpful this Christmas.

I can even use them for the many Christmas candles my girlfriend has.

I think these are good beginner builds, especially if you're looking for nice little things to spruce up your home.  


Thanks for reading!

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