Create Your Own Coaster Set

Finished Coasters

This tutorial walks you through creating a custom set of coasters. Use this tutorial to help kickstart your next project!

This and many other projects are super easy to make with Carbide Create on the Shapeoko CNC Router!


Resources

Before you get started, download the resources you will need to complete this tutorial. Included in the zip file you will find the SVG images and the Carbide Create design files, with toothpaths already created, and the exported gcode files.

Files

Downlod the original design files here

Supplies

supplies

  1. Material of your choice (6” x 13” x 1/4” walnut used in this project)
  2. #102 Cutter
  3. #302 Cutter
  4. Workholding (we used hold down clamps)
  5. Veneer (see pro-tip below for more options)
  6. Glue and roller if using veneer
  7. Clamps!
  8. RO Sander or sanding blocks for finishing
  9. Clear coat for finishing

Material Prep

materials

glue up process 1

glue up process 2

Design

Basic Coaster Design

The design for these coasters is pretty straight forward. The base is a 3” circle, with a few smaller circles offset towards the inside. The design is completely up to you. Included in the tutorial are some basic graphs for the design, but you can import any SVG that you wish.

Use the alignment tools to center your designs on the coasters. it may be helpful to ‘group’ your design, by using the group button, then centering the entire group in the circles.

Basic Coaster Design

Toolpaths

Basic Coaster Design

Operation 1: Detail V-Carve (#302 Cutter)

Basic Coaster Design

Operation 2: Border V-Carve (#302 Cutter)

Basic Coaster Design

Operation 3: Profile Cut (#102 Cutter)

Basic Coaster Design

With all of the toolpaths created, take a final look at your design by clicking Show Simulation.

Basic Coaster Design

Saving Gcode

Because we used 2 different tools in this project, we need to export 2 different files - one for each cutter.

  • One file with the 302 cutter toolpaths (includes the ‘vcarve’ toolpaths)
  • One file with the 102 cutter toolpaths (includes the profile)

To save the 302 cutter file - Right click on ‘profile’ and select disable.

Go to the bottom of the left pane and click Save Gcode

Save the file as ‘coasters-302.nc’

To save the 102 Cutter file

  • right click on ‘detail-vcarve’ and disable that toolpath.
  • right click on ‘trim-vcarve’ and disable that toolpath.
  • Enable the ‘profile’ toolpath.

  • Go to the bottom of the left pane and click Save Gcode
  • Save the file as ‘coasters-102.nc’

Machine Setup.

Machine Setup

Insert your #302 cutter (60 degree v-cutter) into the spindle, then tighten the collet nut to secure.

  1. Secure the material to the machine.
  2. Home the machine and clear all offsets
  3. Jog to the origin (bottom left corner)
  4. Zero the X/Y
  5. Touch off the Z-axis (move the cutter down to the top of the material)
  6. Zero the Z-Axis

Running the Job

Load ‘coasters-302.nc’ - this is the 60 degree v-cutter file. The info screen will tell you some information about the job (extents for all 3 axis).

Click Run and start the job.

After the coasters-302.nc file finishes, the machine will move to the back center position.

  1. Click Jog
  2. Click Rapid Position
  3. Click S (south)
  4. Click Done

The machine will move to the front center of the frame. Change the tool to #102, secure by tightening the collet nut.

Now move the machine back to job zero

  1. Click Rapid position
  2. Click ‘Current XY offset’

your machine is now back to where it was previously zeroed!

  1. Touch off the z-axis
  2. Click Run
  3. Click Start

Congratulations! Your job should now be complete.

To finish your coasters, clean up the tabs (disc sander works well for this), and add a clearcoat to the top and bottom.


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