Beware of the LED Dog

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Project by KnickKnack posted 01-19-2012 06:17 PM 1480 views 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
Beware of the LED Dog
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I don’t claim this to be a great piece of woodworkery. It obviously isn’t. But I thought it was a kinda interesting idea, and I learnt some things along the way that might help anyone who fancies the idea avoid some pitfalls.

I’ve made 3 “Beware of the dog” signs – one for us, one for some friends, and one where I spelt “Cuidado” wrongly!
The neighbours have a new dog – ferocious thing it is too – they’re scared of it, and rightly, and I think it’ll have to go, but I digress.
They wanted me to make a “Beware of the dog” sign. I didn’t want to do the “freehand route” version yet again, and this popped into my head – an “LED” sign.

I first tried this using stain in the holes. I’d actually done this a while ago with ash, and it worked fine, but on the pine capillary action pulls the stain way way into the sides of the holes and you can’t sand down enough to get rid of the bleed out…

Water-based was the problem, so I thought I’d try hammerite. Of course, I wanted red, but didn’t have any, so I went with silver…

On the left is an 8mm drill bit on a 12mm grid. On the right 6mm bit on 9mm grid.
We decided (wife and I, dogs didn’t have an opinion) 9mm was a little too big, so we settled on an 8mm grid.
Stage 1 is to print the grid, lay it on the target wood, and use a pointy tool (don’t know what it’s called – it was a euro in the “clearout” bin at the DIY shop) to make indentations where you’re going to need holes…

You can find lots of “LED” font pictures on the web (get them while they’re hot – see the SOPA/PIPA thread to see if you’ll still be able to next week), with varying dot densities etc etc. I used this one…

Now you have wood with marks …

...that you can take to your trusty drill press. It’s trusty, but it was ancient when I got it 30 years ago and it doesn’t half wobble!...

In a while, you have a sign…

As it says above, I used silver hammerite, but we think oil paint, enamel, or a host of other things would work too – as long as it’s “gooey” enough to not run inside the wood. I just dropped it in with a wooden stick – we’re going to sand the top so you don’t need to be right careful…

When it’s well dry, sand or scrape, or plane to get rid of the spillage, and you have a sign…

The project picture above is finished with varnish for some weather protection.

I think with care, a proper drill press, possibly smaller and more dots, and a brighter colour, this could turn out pretty well.

Enjoy and feel free to comment at will!

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

1 comment so far

View a1Jim's profile


117236 posts in 3724 days

#1 posted 01-20-2012 08:29 AM

Interesting project well done.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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