dad got a lathe recently for his woodshop. for those who aren't woodshop saavy, a lathe spins wood. when the wood is spinning, different speeds and tools can be used to cut and shape the wood. think of table legs, or those posts that hold up the bannister on your stairs -done on a lathe.
i went one step further, and fancier for my 1st attempt. i took pieces of scrap and glued them together before heading to the lathe. yellow heart, mahogany, and oak. using one solid piece of wood would have been simpler, but i don't think the final product would have been as nice. you be the judge.
i used plenty of glue, and clamped the scraps together. then let it sit over night. i had to use plenty of clamps to assure there were no air pockets.
a day later, the clamps came off and so did the corners. you want the wood as circular as possible before it hits the lathe. these corners are taken off thanks to our bandsaw.
then onto the lathe. at first we used centers, two pins at the opposite flat sides of our cylinder to hold the axis. we spun it on low speed and started to round out the piece.
after a bit of work, it started to resemble a smooth cylinder. this is when we mounted a metal coupling on one side. this coupling is yet another way to spin the wood, though this time you have clear access to not only the long side of the piece, also the short side (face). this comes in handy later.
here is what it looks like when cutting the coasters from the cylinder.
and lastly, some sanding and a few coats of varnish complete our coasters! this is the coasters sitting face down. i cut a groove on the outside lip of the top face which isn't pictured here. drinks will not leave wet spots or ruin my tabletops ever again!