Make Herringbone Wood Coasters

Make Herringbone Wood Coasters

The Humble Coaster’s Herringbone Transformation

If you’re like me, coffee (or tea) is an essential part of your daily ritual. Whether it’s that first sip in the morning, a midday pick-me-up, or an evening nightcap, there’s just something comforting about wrapping your hands around a warm mug and letting the aroma and flavor transport you. But you know what can really elevate that coffee experience? A beautifully crafted, handmade wooden coaster.

Timber Building knows a thing or two about woodworking, and they’re here to show you how to transform a simple coaster into a work of art with a classic herringbone design. Trust me, once you see how easy and satisfying this project is, you’ll be hoarding wooden scraps like a squirrel preparing for winter.

The Allure of Herringbone

Now, I’ll admit, when I first heard the term “herringbone,” I pictured some sort of fancy, intimidating pattern that only seasoned woodworkers could tackle. But let me tell you, the beauty of this design lies in its elegant simplicity. The interlocking V-shaped pattern not only looks stunning, but it’s also incredibly versatile, lending itself perfectly to all sorts of woodworking projects – from flooring to furniture to, of course, coasters.

What I love most about the herringbone design is how it takes a humble scrap of wood and transforms it into something truly remarkable. It’s like taking a lump of coal and turning it into a diamond – the end result is so much greater than the sum of its parts. And let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of creating something so visually striking with your own two hands.

Gather Your Supplies

Okay, let’s get down to business. To bring this herringbone coaster project to life, you’ll need a few key supplies:

  • Scrap wood (I recommend using a hardwood like oak or maple for best results)
  • Wood glue
  • Clamps
  • Miter saw or table saw
  • Orbital sander
  • Sandpaper (80, 120, and 220 grit)
  • Finish of your choice (I like to use a food-safe finish like Howard Butcher Block Conditioner)

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But Ashley, I’m not a seasoned woodworker! How am I supposed to pull this off?” Don’t worry, my friend, I’ve got your back. With a little bit of patience and some simple techniques, even a beginner like you can create these stunning herringbone coasters.

The (Not-So-Complicated) Coaster Creation Process

Alright, let’s dive in. The first step is to rip your scrap wood into thin strips, about 3/4 inch wide, on your table saw. I used five different pieces of wood for my coasters, but you can play around with the number and variety of woods to create your own unique look.

Once you’ve got your strips, it’s time to start the gluing process. Apply a generous amount of wood glue to the edges of the strips and clamp them together. This is where those handy clamps come in – you’ll want to make sure the strips are tightly pressed together while the glue dries, which should take about 30 minutes to an hour.

Now, here’s where the magic happens. After the glue has fully cured, it’s time to break out your miter saw (or table saw) and set the angle to 45 degrees. Carefully cross-cut the glued-up strips, creating a series of triangular pieces. These will be the building blocks of your herringbone pattern.

Ashley Grenon’s tutorial on making chevron coasters is a great reference for this step, as the techniques are very similar.

With your triangles ready, it’s time to start the assembly. Grab your wood glue again and start positioning the pieces in a herringbone pattern, pressing them firmly together as you go. Once you’ve got your coaster shape, let the glue dry completely before moving on.

Sanding and Finishing Touches

Now that the hard part is done, it’s time to make those coasters shine. Start by using a scraper to remove any excess dried glue, then move on to sanding. I recommend starting with an 80-grit paper and working your way up to 120 and 220 grit, using an orbital sander to ensure a smooth, even finish.

Donna from Funky Junk Interiors knows a thing or two about working with reclaimed wood, and she emphasizes the importance of sanding to bring out the natural beauty of the wood.

Once you’re satisfied with the smoothness of your coasters, it’s time to apply a finish. I like to use a food-safe option like Howard Butcher Block Conditioner, which not only protects the wood but also enhances its natural color and grain.

Embrace the Imperfections

One of the best things about working with reclaimed wood, as Ashley Grenon pointed out, is that you’re forced to push your creativity to the limits. And that’s exactly what makes these herringbone coasters so special – the subtle variations and imperfections in the wood are what give them character and charm.

So, don’t stress if your first few attempts aren’t perfect. Embrace the unique quirks and flaws that come with working with natural materials. After all, it’s those little imperfections that make your creations one-of-a-kind and truly special.

Elevating the Coffee Experience

Now that you’ve poured your heart and soul into these beautiful herringbone coasters, it’s time to put them to good use. Imagine the scene: You’re curled up on the couch, a steaming mug of Timber Building’s signature blend in hand, resting on one of your handcrafted creations. The warmth of the wood, the rich aroma of the coffee, and the satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself – it’s a moment of pure bliss.

These coasters aren’t just functional; they’re a work of art that can transform the humble act of enjoying a hot beverage into a full-fledged sensory experience. Whether you’re sipping your morning brew, savoring an afternoon pick-me-up, or indulging in a nightcap, these herringbone coasters will add a touch of rustic elegance to your ritual.

Conclusion: Unlocking the Power of Wooden Scraps

So, there you have it – the step-by-step guide to creating your very own herringbone wood coasters. What started as a simple scrap wood project has now become a testament to the power of creativity and the beauty that can be found in even the most humble of materials.

Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination. Embrace the process, celebrate your mistakes, and revel in the satisfaction of crafting something truly unique with your own two hands. Who knows, you might just find that this “humble” coaster project unlocks a whole new world of woodworking adventures.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some coffee to enjoy.


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