Coaster Recommendations

I searched the forum but nothing showed up for “Coaster settings” but also, what wood are people using for a wood coaster? I don’t see anyone talk about water proofing their wood. I don’t know if I am crazy, but I figure something that is so close to water and also gets water stains, water rings, (or other liquids), a wood should be water proofed to not ruin your nice designs. But I never hear anyone doing it!
What do people recommend? (wood type, engrave settings, waterproof yes/no) thank you all!

Engraving settings aren’t really coaster specific, and they’re really subjective anyway. I would suggest testing on one coaster and getting what you like first.

If you’re really in the dark, try the proofgrade settings, or search around like this:

Wood is really forgiving, don’t worry about “ruining” anything, because really it all comes down to what you want, so there is no wrong answer.

Also, waterproofing is up to you, and again, it’s not coaster-specific.

I personally like oils, they are easy to apply and refresh.

Sometimes a less specific search is more effective, strangely. Happy lasering!

Oh right, materials. Go nuts, try stuff. Hardwoods can work, though they might warp. Baltic birch plywood works nicely, but is a bit plain. Paper fiber coasters you get in bulk engrave really nicely, and require no finishing. Cork is nice, too. Just search for “coasters” and you’ll find so many threads with every idea under the sun.

The key here I think is to realize that these are coasters and won’t last forever. They’re designed to get ruined so your table doesn’t :wink:


I have made some in the past and waterproofed them with spar varnish after engraving them. Several coats and they are good for years.


As confirmed in the 7th thread in the search link I sent above:

The only thing I don’t love about spar varnish is subjective: it’s shiny. I prefer matte finishes.

I think this also might depend on where you live. I’m in the deep south, where coasters are used to absorb the condensation from your glass of sweet tea. A waterproof coaster would be of little use other than decoration. I make wood and wood-with-leather-insert coasters. Let’s just say that the ones I use most definitely look used. If I were selling them around here, I would probably try to sell a coaster subscription plan where the old ones were replaced on a regular basis for a continual revenue.


I like cork, felt, stone and leather for coasters. Not so much wood personally.

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I think waterproofing coasters is kind of counterproductive, isn’t it? I mean, the idea is for them to hold the moisture so it doesn’t run off onto your furniture. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


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