As usual, I was presented with a last minute Christmas gift creation this year. When a family of 6 is passionate about their Chicago Blackhawks, what do you get them for Christmas? Autographed pictures? Hockey pucks from scoring a goal? Season tickets? I guess that stuff is too clichè, which is why she came to me for ideas. So I came up with this…..a 12”x24” custom personalized plaque made of plywood. Letters and Blackhawk head are separate elements that are somewhat recessed into the plywood. Take a look!
Concept images created in Cinema 4D.
Rustoleum’s “Poppy Red” spray paint on plywood.
The back side of the 3/4″ plywood blank has a 45º bevel.
1/2″ plywood laminated with 1/8″ styrene is the base for the characters.
Characters are cut using a 1/8″ endmill router bit on the CNC.
Using the same 1/8″ router bit, I cut a profile path for the characters that were previously cut.
The profile cut of each character is set to 0.25″.
I cut the outside profile of each character deeper than the rest because I’ve found that it minimizes tearout in the plywood. It also gives a little bit more depth to the cavity behind each character.
At this point, I’ve applied paint mask over the red surface so that I protect it from the black paint that is applied to each character cavity.
Sooooo at some point, I must have dropped something right in the middle of the work piece….it looks worse than it actually is but it’ll still require a little bit of work to fix….
A little bit of wet sanding and more paint and we’ll be good as new!
The stripes at the bottom of the plaque have been painted and we’re just about finished!
The Blackhawk head is a custom sticker that I created just for this project.
Hmmm…..why didn’t I just paint the entire cavity black?…..
I positioned pieces of tape in the character cavities as a mask to keep spray paint out. Because I glued the characters to the sign blank, I wanted to make sure that I had a nice, secure hold onto an unpainted surface.
Those who know me best claim that my side projects always revolve around cars. My latest certainly does not! Since the Chicago Blackhawks are a vey well-liked hockey team here in the Chicago area, it was only fitting that I show some pride for my home team….even though I’ll always stay true to my beloved team, Ferrari. What we’ve got here is a 24″ x 24″ x 2.25″ backlit wall sign featuring the infamous Chicago Blackhawks logo. A grand total of 201 cool white LEDs illuminate this sign using a single 12V power supply and it weights just shy of 20 lbs. The main shell of the sign and the removable back panel are both made of ½” plywood. Black paint is regular spray paint from Home Depot and the front face is gloss black RPET. The actual Blackhawk colored graphic is printed on backlight film and protected with a clear PVC over lam. This one is the first of three that I’m making, so hopefully they get a little bit easier by the third one! HA! Check out the progress pics below as well as a couple finals of the project. Enjoy!
I was recently asked by Rockler Woodworking to give in-store demonstrations of their CNC Shark machines. Currently, there’s a big push by many manufacturers to get benchtop CNC machines into workshops around the world. CNC machines and 3D printers are all around us today, showcasing their ease of use and endless possibilities. Entry level CNC machines, such as the ones sold at Rockler, are enticing to a lot of potential buyers because of their size and affordability. As a demonstrator, I wanted to come up with a couple simple things that viewers and potential buyers could easily relate to, in regards to an easy first-time project. For a lot of people, they see things everyday that they like and wonder how it’s done. While making these wall signs is fairly simplistic to me, I know that there are others who may perceive them to be complicated. Part of my job as a demonstrator is to demonstrate the ease of use of one of their CNC Shark machine models. Now, while part of the using the CNC is manipulating the CNC itself, the other part relies intensively on the individual. For users who are otherwise computer illiterate, learning to use one of these machines can be a daunting task. The basic software packages provided with these machines is what I focus on primarily. We leave the advanced stuff for after-store hours! Anyways, take a look below at some of the samples created while focusing on basic techniques achieved using the basic software package. Enjoy!
Here’s a collection of child stools that I’ve made for friends and family. The stools are made with solid red oak and the painted seat pieces are made from solid poplar. Each stool part has it’s own jig that I created to make multiple pieces at a time. They were all designed on the computer and cut with CNC. Wood blanks with specific measurements are placed into the jig and are then cut on a router table. The addition of painted graphics always shows a nice contrast against the natural beauty of red oak. Take a look at the gallery below. Enjoy!