learn to make this novelty
Welcome to this tutorial of creating this coin in a block of wood novelty, or gift.
You may be really excited about making this novelty, or after hearing how it is made, you may be torn by the method used to create such a novelty, I have seen both.
If you are the latter you will not have invested much to find that to your chagrin, you don't have the heart to make this creation. I on the other hand am not torn, for to create this novelty, you have to kill a tree.
I remove trees all the time for the sunlight they block from my garden and the energy they rob from my house, but either way they are used to create this novelty, or to provide heat during a real cold spell.
The method I settled on after a number of tries, b/c initially I want to try to make some money, was to use one tree with close to 40 coins and see how many turned into a final project.
So let me here state that if I were to try to do this again for the first time, it would have been more prudent to have a plan as to which is the best reason to choose which coin. I figured the more expensive the useable coin, the greater the value to have after it was set magically in wood, I started using 90% well dated circulated silver coins, of all sorts.
The first batch was a draw, I didn't drill into the live tree deep enough and the healing growth froze the coin in place. Another consideration that proved relevant was the final look, and that depended on first weather you wanted a bark look on the face or not, so the choice of woods to use is a second consideration, as well is the tools one has at their disposal.
So once the tree is chosen, you use the correct size Forstner drill bit to drill into the live tree greater than one inch, but less than 2", now here is another tricky point, at this point I put the coin into the tree for I have no one passing through my woods. But if I did, they might have been able to remove the silver coin and at the end of the day I would have nothing after 2 years of waiting. But at some point the tree will heal the wound closed and you must be able to insert the coin before the tree makes it impossible to install one.
In addition what I began doing was to drill up and down the tree like 10 holes, and then on the opposite side drill 10 more, then repeat the process with a 90 turn on the tree if it is large enough to accommodate the size and number of holes.
Now after the two years, and don't wait 3 or unknown things can and will occur, you cut down the tree and as soon as possible I began slicing with chainsaw first and then my chop saw, the sections of wood containing the 4 coins surrounding the one big block of wood.
With a small hand ax and a mallet I chopped the one big block into 4 smaller ones like 4 pieces of pie, the opening being on the wide crust side, then trimmed the tip of the pie to be the back of the novelty, as you can see in this photo
The ring is the depth of the hole, and you can see the two growth rings after the drilling of the hole, if you look closely.
Some I would trim nicely on the chop saw after clamping or holding them with my hand, yes I'm that good, you may not be. Or some like this one I just chopped to size with my small hand ax and mallet and it had that complete hand made look.
Now to the opening, this was a challenge, not doing it so mush, but finding the right tools, at the time like an inch size drill bit was the largest I could find basically anywhere w/o killing the cost of it all, so that is why the final display profile opening was made with a router bit on a router table, no matter how big the coin, the opening could only be this wide (and it was rather frightening but did the job).
Most of the time, (b/c the wood had to be the right wood to use the bit method), I just carved out the opening wider with a knife as seen in the middle coin.
Now some I put a finish on, some I left alone, but most all I cut an angled bottom profile so the block would tilt upward if place on a desk so as for the coin to be more easily seen if sitting at a chair.
One final comment and really the best way to approach this is by either coin choice, or coin by year choice, I finished with nickels and a wide assortment of years always concentrating on targeted range birth years, liberty nickels went to buffalo and now most people with money were born during the Jefferson years so this was my approach.
Or perhaps a church project of 40 coins in one tree and bring your own coin to church, and in 2 years harvest and have the tradesman chop out the blocks and trim them to suit the clients.
There are many options to choose, but which ever one you decide on, I wish you the best results with your coin in a block of wood project(s).