Mac’s Maker Project 2008 – Wooden Tessellated Coasters

On my first trip up to Helen & Mac’s place near Perth Western Australia, they showed me the workshop and my eyes popped out of their sockets. Not only a huge well-stocked woodworking space but a forge too, and all set in a beautiful rural scenic location!

So Gen said, sure dad will be happy for you to make something in the workshop over the break…

My initial idea

Coasters 0 MC Escher


Originally I wanted to make coasters that fitted together similar to the MC Escher bird-fish intricate tessellated design but being a bit of a noob, I hugely underestimated the challenge.

Fearing for Mac’s heart and not having a spare month, we together planned a design which was pleasing, tessellated and could be manufactured on the machines available (e.g. no jigsaws).

Serendipitously while planning I coloured-in alternating tiles to get a better idea of the outline and realised a two-colour set would look great!

Coasters 1

So we got to work with some Jarrah and She Oak offcuts, using bench circular saw, thicknesser / bench plane, a beautiful old bandsaw, several sanding machines, and a 7m belt sander.

Coasters 2 Coasters 2b Coasters 2c Coasters 2d

> See the full sequence with descriptions on my Flickr album “Tessellated Coasters”…

TLDR; These are the finished coasters, waxed and drying.

Coasters 3

Here are some of the interesting patterns and visual illusions we discovered you could make, over a gin of course!

Coasters 4

Coasters 6

Coasters 5

Coasters 7

> See the full story with descriptions on my Flickr album “Tessellated Coasters”…



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