This project was an unusual departure for me: making something small in quantity. Specifically, we needed coasters for our daughter’s wedding, which is coming up in June, for guests to use at the reception and take home as useful souvenirs.
The coasters are veneered with quartersawn oak and branded with a design Evelyn created for the wedding. Quartersawn wood is sawn in such a way as to highlight the ray figure, which is prominent in oak. I became quite enamored of quartersawn wood when I first discovered it, which happened when my daughter was a small child and I was just beginning my woodworking career. In later years I have come to value it more and more.
Making multiples of something always means more careful planning, because you want to figure out all the steps for quantity work, as well as their optimum order, before you start. I didn’t initially plan to make the coasters round, but as I got into the process I was sucked in and decided they would look better that way. Making them round meant designing several jigs, starting with the bandsaw jig shown in the next picture (if you can’t see the jig, here’s a hint: look for a small nail a couple of inches from the blade).
Finish sanding, especially of the rounded edges, turned out to be more challenging: I first did them all freehand but ended up making a jig for the disc sander that preserved the constant radius much better. It just proves the old adage that sometimes you have to do things twice. Luckily I’m very fond of this daughter, and her intended.
The first picture, above, shows how the finished coasters came out. They’re tipped up to dry on both sides.