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Making drink coasters is a quick project that can be very satisfying. Wooden coasters make great gifts and, with their rustic nature, can be used as home decor. I used a dead limb from an Osage Orange tree that was the perfect size and shape.
I started by cutting small, manageable sections from the limb with a chainsaw. Make sure to use your chainsaw safely.
I then cleaned the loose dirt and bark with a wire brush.
I needed to make a very simple jig to hold the sections while running them through the bandsaw. There are jigs on the market that have a v-shaped channel with teeth and hold much better than this. But, in a pinch, this jig worked great. Using some scrap hardwood, I cut a runner that fits into the bandsaw miter slot.
I attached the top to the runner with hot glue. After the hot glue dried for a minute I drive screws to secure the top to the runner. I cut a section of 2×6 to use as the fence and attach it with screws.
The jig is cut to length by taking a pass through the bandsaw.
I’m able to recreate the same thickness by clamping a scrap piece of wood to the bandsaw fence. I push the limb to the scrap piece and then push the sled through.
Each coaster is then sanded smooth on the disc sander to remove the bandsaw blade marks. I finish each coaster with a couple of coats of spray lacquer.
This is a great beginner project if you have the means to safely and evenly cut a tree limb. If you attempt to use another tool, be very careful to secure the limb and prevent kickback.