Walnut and epoxy resin coasters

My wife asked me to make a set of these. The wood is walnut (no stain, that’s the natural colour). The fill is Ecopoxy flowcast epoxy with a seaform green metallic tint. I had to figure out a good way to keep the stock clamped down to the wasteboard without bulky clamps getting in the way. I wanted to maximize the use of the material since it’s expensive stuff.
After a couple near disasters where the workpiece lifted and I had to hit the emergency stop button, I ended up using two layers of blue painters tape with CA glue in between. That held the piece down well against the force of the upcut spiral bit.

Here’s the wood and epoxy in the form:

Then after resawing it in half to make two sheets, about 8mm each and lots and lots of sanding:

Here’s the last little bit of cutting the second sheet:

I cut the little holddown tabs with a razor blade and sanded the edges. Then I soak them in mineral oil and finish with a beeswax and mineral oil finish.

Here is a set of the square shaped coasters:


That could not have been easy!

The end product looks great though, well worth the effort in my opinion.

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I spent a good hour putting a brand new blade on the bandsaw, setting the guides just right and other prep work for the 2 minutes of actual cutting. I wasn’t sure it would turn out, but I have a pretty decent bandsaw and with the sharp blade it worked very nicely.

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I spent a few years wood turning and working with hybrids, epoxy and another material. A few suggestions for next time:
you can apply a light coat of shellac to the top surface of the wood, prevents the epoxy from binding,
use a bead of caulk or hot glue along your channel to prevent the epoxy from flowing over the wood,
instead of sanding, which just sucks, you could surface the entire piece before actual cuts,
for coasters you probably want to seal the wood to prevent moisture being absorbed and eventually warping or cracking,
since you did a resaw anyway, you could resaw off 1/16 inch to remove the material you sanded, I hate sanding by the way.

You can still treat the wood, shellac comes in a clear that won’t change the color and wont give it a “lacquer” appearance if you like the natural wood look.

They look great