So I just want to be clear… I am not going to be a professional coaster maker. Yes, I’m making a lot of them, but that is because they are the easiest thing to make that you can hand to someone and say, “Hey, look at what I made!” and they will recognize what it is. I’m also playing around with finishing techniques, designs, and the tool itself, so its better to stay low cost with all of these experiments.
That said, here are some more coasters:
These were all done by milling out patterns and then filling them with a fast-curing resin. The blue and green coaster is made from 1/4″ polycarbonate that cut with the sawtooth pattern, filled with resin, sanded, and then filled again. The resulting design is a two tone pattern. When using the cork, the resin is actually thin enough that it will flow right through the pores. This left a halo of blue around the design, as I left a pool of resin on top. With the cedar blue jay experiment, I noticed the blue die in the resin actually bled into the cedar, so maybe a denser wood may help that, or possibly a thin coat of polyurethane before pouring. While the white resin didn’t bleed color into the wood, sanding the surface did leave a bunch of sawdust in the surface of the resin. This is unfortunate, because this means that both the cork and the wood versions need to be faced off with the mill, adding to machining time.
I built on the cork coaster, first coating the unfinished material with a thin layer of white resin. When I milled the design and poured the blue resin, the result was a much cleaner inlay, because the material had been solidified with the infilled material. I finished this one with the water-based poly and it looks pretty good: