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First Try at Wooden Coasters


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After getting my saw, I was always looking for things to cut. Due to a few hurricanes over the past couple years, the power company decided to take a stab at taking down risky trees in the area that could possibly cause power outages. We had a small tree in our front yard that was leaning towards the wires and became a prime candidate for removal – and so it was.

I’ll truthfully say that I assumed they would take this wood away but unfortunately I was incorrect. Thankfully, my neighbor across the street had some who would take it away for me. Writing this a year after it happened pains me as I know I could have done some cool things with this wood. There were some pieces that were especially neat looking.

This clock-esque design on these logs could have made awesome stool tops or seats. Live & learn!

I decided to snag a few logs I liked and were a good size for coasters. Time to take a few slices.

Skipping a few steps, I took some of these slices and put them in Pentacryl overnight. The small strip of wood holding them while drying had a few push-pins super glued to it and seemed to work with holding them in place. I left these slices in a box in the basement to slow drying which is the purpose of Pentacryl. A lot of folks will take slices of logs and are faced with the unfortunate but inevitable cracking that occurs when wood dries too quickly. Pentacryl did a fantastic job at slowing this process down and keep things together.

I decided I wanted a hard surface on these to make sure they lasted for a while. I wanted to use epoxy to make sure these were durable. A lot of articles I saw online stated that adding a small layer of polyurethane helps seal the wood a bit and stop air bubbles from rising to the surface. So after adding a small layer of poly, I went for the epoxy.

If I did this again, I wouldn’t use epoxy. They created a super hard surface that I’m sure will last a lifetime, but they ended up being rather sticky when stacked together (even though they were super hard to the touch). However, they did fit the purpose and were able to hold a drink pretty nicely. The gloss on the top was nice looking and allowed you to see right down into the wood rings.

I stained a few of them but this wasn’t the best idea. It was a bit splotchy. Oh well.

Either way, I will definitely try this again in the future when I have a better idea of what finish would work best. I can probably get away with a few coats of lacquer and be happy. I would suggest cutting a lot of slices and trying a few different finishes to find what you’d like. Happy logging!

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