Yin Yang Coasters


(Adam Albert) #1

I saw the images below online, and thought I’d try to gain experience engraving a design with my Shapeoko 3 and then painting it. Since the images were round, I thought that coasters would be the perfect project to attempt.

After converting these images into vectors (using Inkscape’s Trace Bitmap function), I engraved and then cut out two 4-inch coasters out of red oak [the vector images are 3.75 inches wide]:

For the Geckos, my little helper and I painted the recessed areas with acrylic paint. We made sure to get it thoroughly covered, which meant that we also got paint on the top surface.

Once that dried, we used some 220 grit sandpaper to sand the surface. This sanded away all the dried paint off of the top surface, revealing the natural wood underneath. After a quick hit with a can of air to remove all sawdust, I sealed it with a few coats of lacquer spray. I just have to attach cork to the bottom and it is all finished.


For the Roses, I tried using wood stain. After that dried (a few days), I painted the recessed areas with black acrylic paint. Again, I was liberal with the paint and got paint on the stained surface as well. This time, however, when I sanded off the dried paint, it started taking the stain with it. It looks horrible to me, as I had a goal in mind that I didn’t achieve. Someone else told me that I made it look like distressed wood, and they kind of liked it. I haven’t sealed it with lacquer yet, but I might just finish it out. I am chalking this one up to a learning experience (stain plus paint doesn’t work for this approach). I am trying to stain another piece before I cut it out on my SO3 to see what a stain/natural wood color combination looks like. Anyway, sorry that I don’t have any interim pictures, but here is the ‘distressed’ Rose coaster:


(William Adams) #2

While it’s great that the machine and modern tracing software allows us to duplicate pretty much anything we can get a clean image of, in this case, the artist put these files up at:

and wants to be paid for them.

I trust you at least bought a couple of images, and worked out licensing and got permission to use this artist’s work?

Legitimate sources for free imagery to use:


(Adam Albert) #3

Hi Will,

I completely respect the work that Jeff Bartels has done; he is an incredibly talented artist. I even made sure that the first images I posted left his watermarked name on them to ensure that people saw that. Full props to Jeff!

I made these coasters as a learning experience for me. I have not proposed selling these, or making money off of them in any way, and you’ll notice that I didn’t post the vector images, nor did I post the g-code for cutting the coasters. I fully support Jeff making money off of his own designs, and I don’t promote infringing on that.


(Carl Hilinski) #4

Suggested process. Sand the raw stock and stain it. Apply several (4+) coats of topcoat. Rout the pattern. Slop in the paint. Sand. The paint will be on top of the topcoat and you can sand it all away and the topcoat will protect the stain beneath.


(Adam Albert) #5

Thanks Carl. That sounds like a good approach.