Cork coaster set

Hello, we are the Tuit family.

First things first, much credit goes to @tjleasa, his glass coaster set and box were the inspiration here. In fact, ignore my post and go read hers, it’s way better.

Still here? OK, I warned you.

So, for father’s day, I wanted to cook up a quick gift. My pop is a big Red Sox fan, so I landed on a coaster set. Of course, it’s my dad, so I wanted to do it right, so I made a box to present/store them in.

Details:

  • Materials are figured walnut, hard maple, and cork coasters from IKEA.
  • The woods are a mix of 1/8" and 1/16" hardwoods. The walnut and 1/16" maple came from Kim Oberlin, the 1/8" maple from Ocooch.
  • All surfaces sanded to 600 grit
  • All exterior surfaces finished with wipe on satin polyurethane.
  • Final dimensions were determined entirely by the size of the coasters, and I don’t have the piece anymore so I can’t tell you offhand. About 4.25" x 4.25" x 3.5", I think.
  • The coasters are pretty nice, they make an impression with their unusual shape. They are just a bit too thick to insert into the GF, but easy enough to wrangle the correct height without the crumb tray. I made a custom crumb tray replacement box out of mdf which was the perfect height to place them on and used cardboard corner jigs to align everything.

The obverse of the coasters is a series of Red Sox logos through the team’s history. As always with cork, it only takes a very light touch with the laser to get an exceptionally dark engrave.


(Cork, Maple, Walnut)

The Reverse of each coaster gives the dates in which the logo was in use. Unfortunately, I didn’t line them up properly, so if you compare the two pictures, the proper paring, left to right, is 1-1, 2-3, 3-4, and 4-2. That is, the second to left in the top is the 3rd to left in the bottom. If that doesn’t make sense, well, I guess it’ll remain a mystery :slight_smile:


(Cork, Maple, Walnut)

I found an old blueprint of Fenway park on the internet. It’s one of those images that is all over the place and didn’t have a specific source, so I can’t vouch for its provenance, but it had exactly the right amount of detail for the size of the piece. Walnut tends to engrave low-contrast, and so I didn’t want to try to do too much. All I needed was a clear way to make the top of the box stand out so you knew which side you were opening, and a site plan of the park was thematically perfect.
Apologies for the long note here, but I experimented with a new way of doing corners on my boxes, which I am currently calling a “pillow corner”. In the past, I’d always gone for an even radius on the corners, but this time I intentionally sanded the edges to have a progressive slow rounding with a sharper corner. The end result feels a bit more organic. As always, I used a hand sanding block to do it. The shape of it is fairly evident in the reflection on the lower left corner of the next picture.


(Cork, Walnut)

The grain on this figured walnut is pretty in person, I knew this box was going to display a fair bit of a solid wood, so this was an easy choice form my material stack. I cut the diagonal line across the face first, then the exterior of the fingerjointed box panel. This meant that the grain lines up almost with no interruption, only a kerf. The overall effect is that it looks like a solid block of wood at first glance. And seriously, look at that figuring, it’s really special.
IMG_1119
(Walnut)

“I want to see more grain”, you say? I got you covered. An interesting side effect of the figuring is that the wood sort of shimmers, so finger joints can appear either low- or high-contrast depending on your viewing angle and the lighting conditions.
IMG_1120
(Walnut)

The maple insert was a little quick and dirty, and the only thing I would change. Ideally all finger joints and slots would have been concealed inside the walnut lower half. This way is nice and strong, but if I were to do it again, I will make it a less conspicuous joint. I might also angle the 1/16" inserts to mirror the angles of the sides, but that’s optional and I really only thought of it just now. Next time, I suppose.


(Maple, Walnut)

The entire set packs up fairly securely, I made it have enough wiggle room so that it is easy to get the coasters in and out – my dad is still pretty dexterous, but I didn’t want it to be too tight – and the box slides together with very little friction.


(Cork, Maple, Walnut)

So that’s it, my tardy Father’s Day post. All in all, I think it turned out nicely, and most importantly my dad loved it.

47 Likes

Man, that’s some gorgeous wood! Nice job, I think you more than made up for your tardiness. :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Beautiful! I have wood supply envy.

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Some amazing grain in that wood. I keep putting the nice gran for later use because i don’t want to mess it up with engraving.

2 Likes

The effort and thought you put into it alone made is special, but the end product is really wonderful. Well done.

2 Likes

Box is so good

2 Likes

I think it’s called chatoyancy. Beautiful box. I really need to try working with some hardwoods. That hand-rubbed finish is just so special, and can’t be achieved with any prefinished wood, as nice as the Proofgrade is.

3 Likes

I think so too. :wink:

4 Likes

I did a double take looking at the coasters first… then, scrolling down, I saw the box and thought, yes that is so @evansd2.

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First of all I’m honor to inspire @evansd2 the one that normally inspires me. Next: Beautiful Box! I love the figure in the walnut. I sometime struggle with wanting to make a box that looks like a solid block but if you use thin stock you never see end grain. The high figure in the wood that you chose eliminates that issue for me. I also think the “pillow corners” is an interesting feature. It makes me want pick up and feel the box.

No big deal but:

Reminded me of the State Farm Commercial : She sounds hideous…Well, she’s a guy…so… :slight_smile:

6 Likes

That walnut really is stunning. Talk about upscaling those Ikea coasters!

2 Likes

Yeah that aspect really pleased me too. I mean, why reinvent the wheel there, those coasters are heavy and inexpensive. I checked my local IKEA stock before I went, they had “over 500 in stock”, so I figured I was good. :wink:

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This is truly beautiful. You put so much thought in to your projects. Your dad will display this proudly.

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Maybe too much so? He asked me for some plain coasters because the Red Sox coasters were too nice to use. :slight_smile:

10 Likes

What a great project - I really like the sanded corners/edges. It gives a much warmer feel to the box (if that makes sense).

3 Likes

That’s some amazing work you’ve done there!!

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Reminds me too - I need to make something for my inlaw’s anniversary - also Boston Red Socks fans. Thanks for the notion, I would not have thought of it otherwise…

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I have these same coasters from Ikea all over my house lol. Very nicely done!

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Me too. I use them to hold the Glowforge hold down pins, paper clips and all sorts of bits and baubles. Sometimes I use them as coasters even,

4 Likes

First, awesome. Presumably, because that is all you know.

Second, the final shot needs a :banana:. Unless the coasters are the size of dinner plates, then never mind. A closeup on a bistro table does strange things to my brain’s vision center.

Finally, amazing.

3 Likes