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...
...as 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!