|Project by elbarneso||posted 01-07-2013 04:12 PM||2038 views||14 times favorited||6 comments|
My wife asked for me to do a scrabble wall art project for her for Christmas. 3 word to be used – FAMILY / LOVE / BARNES (Barnes being our last name). This totals 14 letters, given that 2 overlap – each tile would be approximately 12” x 12”.
For the design / prototyping stage, I had to:
1) Determine material – this wound up being walnut plywood due to my wife liking the way other projects in the house resulted from the same. She also like the exposed edges instead of covering with walnut veneer edging.
2) Modeling the letters – I have a DIY CNC that is fairly sturdy for an MDF-based router, so I decided to use that instead of looking for stencils / lettering templates. I did all the “CAD” work using CAMBAM’s 2D tools, generating stick fonts for each letter / number. This allowed each pass to be quick / clean, and equal to the width of my router bit (3/4” for the letter, 1/4” for numbers).
For construction, some pictures are attached below. My full process was:
1) Cut out a 3/4” thick MDF template of the tile on my CNC – this gave me perfect dimensions and rounded corners
2) 2 coats of Sealcoat followed by Gel Satin poly on 1 side of the walnut plywood – this gave me a smooth surface for the paint mask to stick and also stops paint bleeding
3) Rough cut the walnut plywood to just a little bigger than the template size
4) Avery Paint Mask applied to each plywood tile blank
5) Screw the template onto the back of each tile blank
6) Flush trim each tile blank to the template on the router table (1/2” flush bit)
7) Screw each tile onto CNC table from underneath (using same holes from template attachment) and cut letters / numbers
8) Wood filler on any edge voids – then lightly sand edges
9) Spray edges and letters with primer+paint combo (black for all letters except the heart)
10) Remove paint mask
Overall, I was pretty happy with the project (more importantly, the wife was as well). I learned a few tips and tricks from the sign-maker professionals, and got to use my CNC for more than making parts for a new CNC.