Chicago Blackhawks Fan Sign

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!

 

Chicago Blackhawk Backlit LED Sign

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!

 

 

Home Center Merchandisers & Displays

At the time of this project, Dremel Power Tools, a division of Bosch Power Tools, was achieving great success with the launch of their newest tool, the Multi-Max. This tool performed such operations as cutting, sanding, and scraping by using oscillation, a very fast vibration. It didn’t have spinning or reciprocating movements, so it was impressive to most people. This type of tool was currently on the market and produced by another manufacturer, but its starting price of $300 made it an unreasonable purchase to the average consumer. So Dremel came out with this tool for $99. However, the price tag alone was not going to sell the tool. This was the kind of tool that needed to get into the hands of the consumer, in order for it to sell. I was asked to develop several designs of in-store demonstration merchandisers to be used at The Home Depot. The merchandisers would not only serve as a demo station, but they would also stock the tools and accessories. These merchandisers were going to be used as examples for the sales staff to build right there in the store, so the materials included needed to be available in the store.

Signs Made Easy with CNC

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!

Ferrari Logo Lightbox for Bookshelf

One day over the summer I got a call from one of my local Ferrari enthusiasts. Her current everyday vehicle was a 1999 Ferrari F355 Spider and she had several miniature die cast collectibles and books that she was looking to display. She had purchased a bookshelf from some high-end furniture store and wanted to modify it by adding a back-lit logo display on the top. I asked her if she could send me a picture of it….she said she could do better and brought it over within 30 minutes of our conversation. After seeing some of my work, she told me to “just make it look cool.” The bookshelf featured a black, “weathered” oak wood-grain texture and she wanted to maintain this same appearance in the logo display so that it didn’t look like an “add-on.” So the challenge for me was to duplicate the same style onto the logo display. No problem….