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  • Coasters and Trivets

    I am making some coaters and trivets from 3/8th baltic birch ply, both have decorative cut outs and the edges are rounded over. I sell these at the craft fairs but I have never been happy with the finish, which is usually an oil based finish. I feel I should give them a finish so that the customers can clean them with a damp cloth from time to time so any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    I would like to make them from hardwoods and that would solve a lot of problems but I don't have a planer and getting planed wood here is a big problem.

  • #2
    I would think oil based would work well for a finish and being able to wipe them down with a damp cloth. How is that not working?
    If it's plywood type material it needs to be sealed good or water will get in there and separate that plywood won't it?

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    • #3
      I've had great success with spray poly. It's easy to apply, doesn't clog up in the corners, and will stand the test of time. Poly is a tough shell like finish, so it stands up well against water and such....
      You'll want to do about 4 coats....
      Jim

      The limits of the imagination are imaginary.
      No task is too tedious for Art.
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      • #4
        I made loads of coasters when I did the fairs with my Pyro work, I used Acrylic silk or gloss laquer, (depending on the look I wanted) also at times an outdoor varnish, and the finish on the ones I still have several years later (with just a damp wipe in soapy water) is as good as new. Also never had a problem due to the heat of hot drinks. Keeping wooden coasters clean is a must however as they can get sticky and stick to your cup hehe.

        examples below.

        Sunlion
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        The Journey Is Everything.

        http://www.sunlion-pyrography.co.uk/

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        • #5
          Does anyone see a problem with a lacquer finish for coasters? I just made my first set and I used lacquer as I do on everything else I make.

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          • #6
            Fretnot, use what ever thickness hardwood you can get. My trivets range in thickness from 3/8" (10mm) to 7/8" (22mm). I use poly to give mine a protective finish. I generally use a small brush to get it into the frets if they are small and then either brush, wipe or spray the surface. I spray it on if the frets are large. Three or four surface coats does the trick. As Catlyn said, water will tend to get between the layers of ply and separate them no matter how well you try to seal the edges.

            george
            A day without sawdust is a day without sunshine.
            George

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            • #7
              Maybe you're better off not using ply. The ones I made are from various 1/4" solid woods.

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              • #8
                Thanks everyone for the benefit of your experience. I have taken a lot of what has been said on board and come up with an acceptable finish by using two coats of shellac sealer and then spraying them with a satin finish acrylic lacquer. I will tell customers just to wipe them over rather that put them in with the dishes. I hate having stuff in my booth that is not absolutely right. I just finished the enclosed and the fret work is from 3/16 birch ply that was treated in the same way. Thanks again everyone, much appreciated.
                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  Nice cut

                  I used to use finished that gave me a high gloss on my smaller work, they always stood out in a craft hall hehe. people like shiny things, then once they were up close they spotted the bigger more expensive stuff, hehe.
                  The Journey Is Everything.

                  http://www.sunlion-pyrography.co.uk/

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                  • #10
                    On my trivets I use Tung oil or Mineral Oil to soak them, and after they dry I shoot one side with a Poly...this allows the customer to display one side on the wall (the gloss side) but still be able to use the Oil side for hot dishes set on the table. I apply about 4 coats of Poly to the one side. I do use Hardwoods all the time for them.
                    Hawaiilad
                    Larry

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