Making Coasters from Wood Logs and Resin

I’m finding lots of different ways of making coasters and including resin in the design creates even more options. Making these round ones from wood and resin is quite straight forward and the end results are quite pleasing. The most important items needed are resin, a wooden log (small diameter and unsplit), a bandsaw and of course, as with all resin work, lots of patience!!

Making the Mould

I started by making a mould that would hold the wooden log and resin in such a way that the resin would stay put and not leak out.

A wide piece of plastic plumbing tubing (100mm diameter) is ideal for creating coasters the right size. I stoppered one the end of the tube with a circular plug made from 12mm thick ply. I cut the plug with a bandsaw as close possible to the internal diameter of the plastic tube. 

Choosing the log

I selected a nice straight log from a stack of wood delivered last winter for my wood burner. The wood was Ash and my moisture meter confirmed that its moisture content was less than 9% and therefore OK to use. Ash is good wood to use, its pretty stable and dense but I would have thought other varieties would be fine as long as the wood is dry.

I cut both ends of the log square with a mitre saw and then glued one end to the plywood circle and then slotted the glued assembly into the tube.

Resin Pouring

As is the case with resin, ensuring a ‘watertight’ seal before pouring is important if you don’t want to spend your time trying to seal leaks that seem to escape from the tiniest of gaps! Once everything looked secure I poured in the resin. I used about 0.75 litres which I calculated would be enough resin to produce between 12-16 coasters.

Cutting the Coasters

Once the resin had cured I set up the bandsaw to cut 10mm slices through my wood/resin cylinder. I had hoped to be able to release the set resin from the tube but it was stuck fast! Perhaps if I had waited a few more days the resin may have shrunk back enough to free the mould. In any event, I reckoned that the cost of the tube was not worth worrying about…Once the slices were cut, removing the coaster from the outer cylinder was easy.

Finishing Off

Lastly, I hand sanded both sides of each coaster and then applied food-safe wax oil. The result was quite a good looking set of coasters!

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