PDA

View Full Version : Bespoke Drinks Coasters



Wal
12-06-2019, 06:46 PM
Hello all.

This started as a woodworking project before the decision was made that making these in wood was going to be a nightmare - both in terms of finding dark exotic stock in the sizes and quantities that were needed, the ethical aspect of using all that stock and the expense and the wastage (both in time and material) that any tear-out around the details would lead to. In addition to all that, the aesthetics of the overall design asked for something a bit different too.

Eventually the design team settled for Corian - oh yes, still expensive but a lot more stable and predictable to work with.

Anyway, I present to you the new cocktail coasters for the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel in London. Yes, that one..!

25878 25879 25880 25881 25882

This was a real mission of a project. Each coaster is engraved (using 0.6 and 0.4mm cutters) and resin filled. The top faces along with machined edges and transitions into the round-overs all needed to be hand finished through multiple grades of wet and dry before getting rubbed down with Scotchbrite and finally polished. No micro-scratches allowed. I had 125 to make. Days and days of sanding/polishing - my arm barely worked by the end of it..!

A really nice project to be a part of - must pop down for a drink one of these days..!

Wal.

magicniner
12-06-2019, 06:52 PM
Lovely work!
I don't suppose you were allowed to put a maker's name on the back?

Wal
12-06-2019, 07:16 PM
I think something small and tasteful would have been permitted - although it would more than likely have been the design agency that got first dibs on that..!

Wal.

cropwell
12-06-2019, 07:40 PM
Nice work Wal.

Rob-T

mekanik
12-06-2019, 08:29 PM
Cracking job Wal:thumsup:

EddyCurrent
12-06-2019, 09:22 PM
Very nice indeed, what did you use to put the radius around the top edge ?

Wal
12-06-2019, 10:32 PM
Thanks guys.

Eddy, I used a 3mm radius one of these:

https://www.shop-apt.co.uk/corner-rounding-end-mill-cutters-4-flute-altin-coated-carbide-45hrc.html

- you can see it in action here:

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv-Zbb4nuH2/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

They're really useful tools - I use mine a fair bit. You program it as a 1.5mm tool (tip diameter), touch off the tip and plunge it to a depth of 3mm - in reality you might want to leave it just shy of 3mm, too deep is less forgiving than a tiny bit too shallow...

Wal.

needleworks
13-06-2019, 01:22 PM
Hats off to you Wal, those look fantastic, very nice:cheerful:

I've often thought about getting some corian, but could never find any offcuts and a full sheet would just be too expensive for playing around with.

Wal
13-06-2019, 01:51 PM
Yeah - a full sheet set me back 780..!

I imagine I could have got it cheaper directly from the manufacturer, but they won't sell it to you unless you're an approved fabricator - ie. taken their instructional course in how to use it (cut, glue etc.)

You just need to get lucky in terms of finding off-cuts. A lot of what's out there has metallic flecks etc, so might not be suitable for the intended purpose.

Wal.

cropwell
13-06-2019, 03:59 PM
Hi Wal,

What thickness was the corian sheet? did you have to cut it to thinner pieces ? I have some beige pieces left over from the kitchen refit, about 25mm thick. Not Corian but a stone filled acrylic, similar to the DuPont product, but half the price.

Cheers,

Rob

Wal
13-06-2019, 08:35 PM
Hi Rob - is that the HI-MACS stuff? Heard that it's pretty much the same stuff, but like you say - much cheaper.

I was using 12mm thick sheet.

Wal.

cropwell
13-06-2019, 09:10 PM
Hi Rob - is that the HI-MACS stuff? Heard that it's pretty much the same stuff, but like you say - much cheaper.

I was using 12mm thick sheet.

Wal.

Honestly can't remember what it was without going through some invoices from 5-6 years ago, it wasn't HI-MACS, I am sure, but I think it was cast, machined and polished by a firm in Sheffield.

Gary
14-06-2019, 09:07 AM
They look reallly nice. Will be there at the end of the month, so will try them out.
And before you ask, i don't normally stay at the Savoy.

Wal
14-06-2019, 09:16 AM
Excellent. You'll need to order a cocktail from the new Songbook menu at the American Bar in order for your drink to be served on one of 'em - shouldn't break the bank - unless you mistakenly order the one using Napoleonic era cognac, which is around 5k..!

Wal.

Gary
14-06-2019, 09:30 AM
Ok, will definitely have a drink and make an effort not to spend that much on a cocktail. :unconscious:

Boyan Silyavski
15-06-2019, 11:53 PM
Great work! What speeds and feeds did you use for the tiny bits in the corian?

Wal
16-06-2019, 12:27 AM
You'll laugh, Boyan.

I know how you like to see the workpiece bending and you're never really happy until you've sheared at least one fixture bolt in a day.!

Corian's very forgiving so you'll probably want to start at 20m/min, 1k on the spindle (chips not dust) and full flute length on the DOC. ;)

Off the top of my head I believe I was spinning at 15-16k and feed was around 5mm/sec.

These took a long time - to engrave the circular grooves took in the region of half an hour per coaster. I made a jig to hold four at a time and left the machine to it.

Wal.

Boyan Silyavski
16-06-2019, 03:58 PM
Thanks for the info!

I like to push the machine, but not when material is expensive and the bit is expensive. Though when doing 200 pieces any minute could mean a day or 2 more on the job...

Corian was always on my to do list, and the mineral one also, even have a couple of new diamond engravers for such materials.

I could only imagine the polishing... last time i took a job like this , honestly i did want to give back the money i took upfront. It took some will power to finish it

Wal
16-06-2019, 04:42 PM
>It took some will power to finish it

Tell me about it. Here's the finishing routine I went through:


Wet sand out the edge machining marks and roundover transitions - P180, P320, P600
Wet sand the resin back flush to the tops - P180
Wet sand the tops - P240, P320, P400, P600, P1200
Maroon Scotchbrite edges
Grey Scotchbrite edges and tops
Polish tops and edges.


Everything by hand. All 125 of 'em... (I did try out a random orbital sander with an interface pad. A non-starter. In practice it was very awkward to use on items of this size which needed a smooth transition into the edge. Regardless - the quality of finish when doing it by hand was orders of magnitude better.)

The material starts out quite grey and gets darker as you polish it. Consistency was important, so I ended up using a phone app interval timer which would count-down the sanding stage and then give me 20 seconds or so to select the next coaster before repeating.

25905

Heh. All good fun..!

Wal.

Boyan Silyavski
18-06-2019, 10:22 AM
The big question is: Is there a better/easier/ way to do it? I have thought of making a 3 or 4 spring attachment to spindle/ not the collet/ and a sanding disc , pneumatic or electric. then program it like a grinder to take very very slow pass. I am seriously considering it as soon i will have to sand something like 200 wooden instruments and it takes me a couple of days to do that to 120 grit.

Have you seen somewhere this kind of contraption? the only similar thing i have seen is someone attach an angle grinder to his mill :loyal:

Lee Roberts
18-06-2019, 02:41 PM
>It took some will power to finish it

Tell me about it. Here's the finishing routine I went through:


Wet sand out the edge machining marks and roundover transitions - P180, P320, P600
Wet sand the resin back flush to the tops - P180
Wet sand the tops - P240, P320, P400, P600, P1200
Maroon Scotchbrite edges
Grey Scotchbrite edges and tops
Polish tops and edges.


Everything by hand. All 125 of 'em... (I did try out a random orbital sander with an interface pad. A non-starter. In practice it was very awkward to use on items of this size which needed a smooth transition into the edge. Regardless - the quality of finish when doing it by hand was orders of magnitude better.)

The material starts out quite grey and gets darker as you polish it. Consistency was important, so I ended up using a phone app interval timer which would count-down the sanding stage and then give me 20 seconds or so to select the next coaster before repeating.

25905

Heh. All good fun..!

Wal.

How did you pick up the job Wal, packaging looks just as sophisticated as the products!

Wal
20-06-2019, 11:21 AM
Hi Lee,

I know a guy who runs a design agency that looks after a few high profile clients in food and drink. He knows I make stuff, likes my attention to detail along with the fact that we can talk in depth about processes, finishes etc.

Packaging was put together by Synergy Packaging Solutions as a short run job. Top company. I gave 'em an idea of what I wanted and they got back to me with something which was going to work better and be more efficient to produce as a short run. Indeed, they looked great packaged up and ready to ship. I did miss a trick there, though - the bar is a piano bar - I should have left spaces in the foam which resembled the keyboard layout on a piano..!

>The big question is: Is there a better/easier/ way to do it?

Boyan - heh, there's usually a better/easier way..! For this job I had very little time to try stuff out and barely enough material to finish all the coasters (I ended up with two surplus). I think I would have needed to put together a couple of heavy duty contraptions to help me out with this - in the time I had that wouldn't have been viable..!

Wal.

Gary
01-07-2019, 01:34 PM
They look and feel fantastic. A lot larger and heavier than I thought they would be. Very well made.
26007

Wal
01-07-2019, 01:39 PM
Heh, ace! Cheers Gary. Nice to see that they're holding up.

They started off a fair bit smaller and grew and grew as folks began to consider the inevitability of a few 'going walkies'... I think they're just a little too big to fit into a back pocket.

Wal.

Gary
01-07-2019, 01:54 PM
I thought the size was good, and they really looked good quality. I totally understand about them going missing, i was tempted but decided to have a pen instead.

Wal
01-07-2019, 02:27 PM
Heh. I've been told a few have gone already. That's partly why they upped the order from an initial 50/60 to 125, they wanted a few in reserve for as long as the Songbook menu is being served.

Lovely to get your feedback on it.

Wal.