Waterproof Finish for Drink Coasters? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-12-2017, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Waterproof Finish for Drink Coasters?

I plan to make a set of drink coasters for my spouse. I have not decided on the wood, but it might be poplar or maple plus some walnut, because that is what I have in the shop right now.

The problem is that when a glass is on the coaster, there is a lot of water that pools up in the bottom. It is caused by condensation on the outside of the glass when the glass has a cold drink. I don't mind the pool of water in the bottom of the coaster, and I plan to include cut grooves in the bottom, so the glass rests above the pool of water.

I do not own any kind of finish sprayer. My past experience has been brush-on finishes from the 1980s (Deft), and the cutting board oil finish that I recently used on a cutting board.

QUESTIONS:

1. Is there a finish that can waterproof the coasters so that it won't be damaged by a pool of water in the bottom for an extended period (hours, possibly longer until evaporation)?

2. Is there an easy, spray can finish that can do the job?

3. Will Titebond III hold up under "soaking" conditions? Does it matter, because the glue should be protected by the finish?

Keep in mind that it will be hard to sand the grooves once the coasters are glued up. A brush-sand-brush-sand-brush... type finish might not work too well in those grooves.
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-12-2017, 02:21 PM
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Epoxy would work pretty well for a finish

I can't guarantee it but Titebond III is some good stuff, I keep a 5 gallon bucket about half full of water in my shop now to keep wet rags in to wipe off excess glue.When I first started using Titebond III I would rinse the wet rags out and hang them on the slop sink, and they would harden over night as they dried. No matter how much I rinsed them they would still be as stiff as a board the next day hence the 5 gallon bucket

I have had one of the stiff rags soaking in the bucket for over 3-4 months, and it is still as stiff as the day I put it in there so it is some pretty water proof stuff
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-12-2017, 03:02 PM
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Only somewhat tongue-in-cheek: from what Catpower says of Titebond III, maybe a thinned coat of that as a finish. Does it dry clear? Too brittle to flex with the wood? Too dumb an idea?


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post #4 of 8 Old 12-12-2017, 05:03 PM
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I would use epoxy in a low viscosity variety so it can get soaked in as much as possible. I would try to completely encapsulate them.
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-12-2017, 05:33 PM
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Preheat your kitchen oven to no more that 100C/212F/boiling water.
Melt cheap beeswax in a double boiler and brush it onto the wood. Use a $0.15 plumber's flux brush.
All waxes melt at less than 65C = fact. My "double boiler" is a cheap coffee mug in a pot with 1" hot water.

Into the oven to remelt and soak in. You have to eyeball this. Maybe 10 minutes or less.

I carved a shallow dish in birch to sit by my sink. For wet sponges, scrub pads, sink stoppers, etc.
Painted bees wax and warmed to melting in the oven, maybe 10 minutes. In 3+ years, not a mark on it.
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-13-2017, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robson Valley View Post
Preheat your kitchen oven to no more that 100C/212F/boiling water.
Melt cheap beeswax in a double boiler and brush it onto the wood. Use a $0.15 plumber's flux brush.
All waxes melt at less than 65C = fact. My "double boiler" is a cheap coffee mug in a pot with 1" hot water.

Into the oven to remelt and soak in. You have to eyeball this. Maybe 10 minutes or less.

I carved a shallow dish in birch to sit by my sink. For wet sponges, scrub pads, sink stoppers, etc.
Painted bees wax and warmed to melting in the oven, maybe 10 minutes. In 3+ years, not a mark on it.
Where do you find cheap beeswax?

I found a pound of white beeswax chips for $10 on Amazon. Is that what you recommend? Is it available from local suppliers?

Would other waxes work, such as paraffin wax?
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-13-2017, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
Where do you find cheap beeswax?

I found a pound of white beeswax chips for $10 on Amazon. Is that what you recommend? Is it available from local suppliers?

Would other waxes work, such as paraffin wax?
You can probably find beeswax at a reasonable price from a beekeeper who sells honey and other bee products.

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post #8 of 8 Old 12-13-2017, 11:55 AM
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I offer bees wax from the experience with a hand carved dish which was expected to be drippy wet, every day.
The original painting with melted bees wax was one Hell of a mess on the stove top. Splatters everywhere.
But, it worked really well with several years of use.

I bought all mine from a bee keeper. Do not recall the price.
The next winter, Colony Collapse Disorder killed off 23/25 hives.
Now he drives a bus.

Even if you live in a city, ask around, you might uncover bee keepers with 2-3 back yard hives.
I live in a little mountain village with 4-5 people very actively making mountain wildflower honey.

Plan B: Use Charles' Law of gas physics to apply an oven-baked veg oil finish
that you cannot wash off or cook off in a decade or more.
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