Seasonal Holly Coasters

Starting with a random SVG holly image from the InterTubes:

Holly Coaster - assortment
Holly Coaster – assortment

The rattlecan chipboard versions came out pretty well, because I’ve already explored much of the error space. The two-tone berries and leaves received Sharpie contrast touchup. They’re all in constant use on the kitchen table!

The wood veneer version over on the right looks surprisingly good (in person, anyway) for being a complete faceplant. The narrow sections suffered severe burning and fell apart where the grain runs perpendicular to the cut. The highlight spots for the berries fell through the honeycomb table and vanished in the chaff. Sanding the whole mess flat scuffed off most of the smudges, although I couldn’t bring myself to slather it with polyurethane.

The bright holly on the left is mirror-back acrylic pressed into a 3 mm deep (!) recess engraved in more scrap paneling:

Holly Coaster - mirror
Holly Coaster – mirror

I hand-painted the colors by scribbling Sharpie onto areas where the mirror backing was engraved away. A sheet of aluminized Mylar below the acrylic reflects some light back through the colors to make them slightly brighter.

As I recently learned, applying alcohol to laser-cut acrylic produces almost instantaneous stress-cracking, which accounts for the decorative crackle finish around the perimeter:

Holly Coaster - mirror flaws
Holly Coaster – mirror flaws

The surface flaw beyond the berry over on the right apparently came from an acrylic fume explosion in the honeycomb below it, strong enough to torch the protective plastic film. Given that I was starting with a scrap mirror fragment, I didn’t perch it up on spikes, which is pretty much required to prevent such events.

The wood coasters have mmmmm excellent upside potential, but it’s obvious I have not yet mastered my craft.

The LightBurn SVG layout as a GitHub Gist:

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5 thoughts on “Seasonal Holly Coasters

  1. I dunno Ed. Looking at the stuff you’ve been producing, I’d say you’ve mastered your craft pretty well… Happy Holidays to all.

    1. The camera never lies, but sometimes it does not show the entire truth. [grin]

      Thanks for the good words …

  2. For wood veneer refinishing, I’ve had good luck with Watco Danish Oil. I doesn’t have the water resistance of polyurethane, but it’s reasonably durable.

    Standard fire precautions for polymerizing oils are necessary. I’ve never had first hand knowledge, and don’t wish to. (When an airtight container wasn’t available, I soaked the application cloth in water and laid it flat on concrete. Cement heat sink for the win!)

    1. I keep hoping the little cans of stain & sealer will run out, but it’s gonna take way more coasters than we can possibly use!

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