Saturday Morning Workshop: How To Make Scrap Wood End-Grain Coasters

Making end-grain coasters is a terrific way to clean out your bin of wood scraps, and create some gifts for your friends and family.

Introduction

One of my favorite parts about DIY and woodworking is trying different things. An inherent part of my hobby is hoarding the scraps from various projects. So every few months I need to clear out my pile and make something useful out of them. These end-grain coasters are fun because of the endless patterns you can create, and they make great gifts!

Tools Required

  1. Clamps
  2. Jointer
  3. Miter saw
  4. Planer
  5. Table saw

Materials Required

  1. Scrap wood
  2. Wood glue

What It Takes

  • Time: 2 hours
  • Cost: Free
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Project step-by-step (5)

Step 1

Glue a series of layers

Coasters 1

Organize your boards into multiple layers, each about 4-1/2 in. wide. Measure the narrowest board in each layer and rip the rest of the boards in the layer to the same dimension, so each layer is a uniform thickness. Spread glue to the edges and clamp the boards. Wipe away any excess glue with a damp rag and allow the layers to dry fully.

Step 2

Joint and plane

Coasters 2

Unclamp the rows and flatten one face on the jointer. Run the boards through a planer, with the flat face down, for a completely flat board of uniform thickness.

Step 3

Create a block

Coasters 3

Stack the rows to create a block. Spread glue to the edges of the row faces and clamp them together.

Step 4

Joint and plane

Coasters 4

Unclamp the block and flatten one face on the jointer. Run the block through a planer, with the flat face down, until you reach a finished size of 4 x 4 in. Round the corners with 120-grit sandpaper.

Step 5

Crosscut the block

Coasters 5

Crosscut the jagged end from the block on the miter saw, revealing the finished coaster design. Put two layers of painter’s tape on the base of the miter saw and cut a kerf into the tape. This prevents your coasters from slipping into the saw's insert and getting destroyed by the spinning blade. Mark a line 3/8 in. away from the saw kerf. Align the block with the mark and start slicing off coasters. Sand and finish with polyurethane.

Coasters Featured