Making Coasters


A while ago I found out about Evil Mad Scientist Lab’s font coasters. I thought it would be lots of fun to make my own, and so I began scanning for fonts and material. I decided that Times New Roman was too drab, and settled on something more exciting — Webdings. I had been putting this project off until I found a roll of cork in the basement, and then I had no excuse. What follows is an attempt at documenting the process of making a font coaster on a CNC router.

The Photos

Here are the photos. The coaster is a ) (right-parenthesis) in Wingdings.

This is how it looks in EMC.

The machine over a piece of 1/4″ cork. I just tacked it down with blue tape, because I’m too lazy to do anything else.

The initial plunge. I’m using a 1/8″ end mill from Drill Bit City.

Cork cuts like a dream. Smooth edges, and I can cut pretty deep. I was using depth passes of 0.08″, but really could have done 0.12″ (or deeper) if I wanted.

The dust is pretty fine and hard to clean up, so a vacuum is a must. I really need to make a vacuum mount so I don’t have to hold it myself.

Engraving the inner ring.

Cutting out the final shape.

The finished coaster. It’s about 3.25″ in diameter. I accidentally cut the inner ring 10 times deeper than I meant to. It should be 0.014″ deep instead of 0.14″ deep, but at least it shows up well in this photo.

That’s really it for coasters, as I make more designs I’ll put up more photos.