Our Largest Order – 81 Sets of Custom Coasters
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Our Largest Order – 81 Sets of Custom Coasters

81 Custom laser printed coasters

We recently had our largest order to date. One order with two delivery dates, 26 sets of custom coaster in the Spring and 55 sets of custom coasters in the Fall. Through another business of mine, [Netnotic Marketing], we do a lot of work with hunting outfitters and fishing lodges, especially here in Saskatchewan. One of these customers, [Chaparral Hunting Adventures] decided that custom coaster sets for all their clients was a good idea. We agreed! That meant going into batch production mode especially with the laser vs our traditional coaster by coaster mode we would use for an order for a single set of coasters. All the work in preparation for the laser printing stage was done by hand, as always. Cutting coasters one by one. Sanding coasters one by one.


Then after the laser printing, hand finish oiling the coasters one by one. What we did learn was to be a little more efficient, especially with space. When you are custom making one coaster set, space to layout the work in progress is not an issue. Four coasters fit anywhere, on the edge of the workbench, on a side table, just about anywhere. But when needing space for 26 sets of coasters, that's a bit more room to allot. Plus, it was important to keep each set of coasters together. There are slight variations in each piece of wood we used, such as grain pattern. Each set was kept together through cutting, sanding, printing and oiling. It was pretty easy for the first three steps as we simply made piles of four coasters. But, when we moved to the oiling stage, where all coasters needed to be laid out to dry, we needed to position each set of coasters so they were rotated differently than any coasters they were laying next to as they dried.


Becoming more efficient is not what you think about primarily when making custom wood work pieces, but when making 26 (or 55 for the Fall portion of the order) sets, efficiency becomes essential. Changing out each coaster for each print job, Chaparral logo on the front, and S3 Woodworks logo on the back, was an efficiency killer. We have the laser and the laptop running the laser set up in the garage with doors slightly open for ventilation. The changeover time meant setting a timer and going from the office in the house, out to the garage, change, hit print, and repeat. Then we got a better idea, we edited the print files to be 4 logos wide, spaced just perfecly to position the logo in the correct spot on 4 coasters laying side by side by side by side, using a jig cut from scrap wood the ensure the exact same starting position each time. That meant we could start the print job for a set at a time, slightly longer that 4 times as long as printing one set (to allow the laser to travel between), but only one quarter of the changeovers, so we could spend less time going in and out and more time getting other work done, like working on our website, or cutting the lawn, or responding to a custom order request by another outfitter customer.

We are thrilled by the order, thrilled by the opportunity to test our production methods, and equally thrilled by spending a couple days in the woods and on the water with our customer, [Chaparral Hunting Adventures] as we combined the delivery of the first 26 coaster sets with an opportunity to interview their clients and staff and help out with their operation as we gathered content for their upcoming Marketing programs. Thanks, Greg, for the order and we are already working on the next.