Wood Sign

Router-carved signs are a common sight at fairs or even in pop up shops at the mall. I’ve been watching a bunch of Dave Rhoten’s videos on YouTube and finally I decided it was time to try it for myself. I purchased a Dewalt DWP611 along with two special router bits and a nice base plate from Dave’s store.

I bought 1×8 select pine from Home Depot (mostly knot free) and put on a couple coats of shellac. Then I used the laser cutter at work to draw the letters that I wanted to cut. That made the layout portion of the project very easy!

The next step was the most time consuming. I used a very narrow V-bit to carefully cut around the outside of every letter. Then I put in a bigger 90 degree V-bit to draw the big cloud around the outside and cut out everything between the cloud edge and the edge of the letters.

After a little cleanup with some chisels to remove any remaining high spots, I covered the whole piece in black spray paint. When it was dry, I sanded the top which removed the paint from the letters and the part outside the cloud leaving the indented part black. The shellac coating helped to keep the paint from bleeding too deep into the wood on the parts where I didn’t want it to stick.

Finally I used my keyhole bit to cut a slot in the back for a screw or nail so it could be easily hung on the wall.

This was a gift for Don’s brother and his wife in Montana as a thank you for letting us stay with them. And since I was making one, I decided to make two and give one to Don as well. It’s a fun and relatively quick project, but it takes patience!

Happy Birthday Tyla!

Happy birthday Tyla! On Saturday she chose to spend some time down by the river in Monroe, Sunday afternoon was spent eating fried chicken with her family and playing board games, and then tonight we are going out for Thai food. That should do a pretty good job at filling up her love cup.

I was happy to finally share a project I made a few weeks back. I laser cut a tree out of a piece of cherry plywood and then dug a mortise out of a block of walnut to hold the tree. The idea is that this can sit on her dresser and hold small jewelry. I used a random scrap of walnut and it had some beautiful grain in it that was perfect for this project.

I didn’t invent this so if you’re interested you can see lots of variations of this idea on Etsy and various craft sites.

Cutting Board

Cutting boards are a staple of many woodworkers, but I’ve only made a few and they were all gifts. I decided it was time to have one in our house, and instead of waiting to make “the perfect cutting board”, I just grabbed some scraps and threw one together. I’m really happy with the end result! It’s made of walnut, cherry and maple and then a bunch of mineral oil. I had originally intended it to be longer but there was a void in the walnut when I cut it to size. So instead of filling with epoxy or something like that, I just kept cutting shorter until I got past the void.

Laser Cut Decorations

If you talk to Elijah, the first thing you’ll probably hear is that he is four now. For his birthday, Tyla came up with the idea of a Winnie the Pooh theme because that’s pretty much the only thing that Elijah watches or listens to these days. He had a Tigger shirt, a cake with all the characters on it and decorations around the house. Thanks to Tyla for putting that all together!

She also had the idea of having him hold a large 4 and posing for some pictures. Instead of buying one, I decided to cut it out on the laser. I did two of them with the top one also having his name cut out. I painted the top piece yellow, painted the bottom piece black, and then glued them together. The hardest part of the idea was getting a four year old to smile and look at the camera!

Magnetic Coasters

Ever since Bob Clagett made a set of magnetic hexagon coasters on his I Like To Make Stuff YouTube channel, I’ve had it on my list of projects to attempt. Father’s Day seemed like a good excuse.

I decided to use up some scraps of 8/4 maple and walnut. I resawed them down to thinner pieces, jointed and planed them flat and then glued them together. The two pieces of wood together were somewhere a little more more than 1/4″ thick.

I basically followed the instructions directly from Bob’s video so I won’t repeat them all here. I did take a little different approach to cutting the hexagons though. Instead of drawing it on each coaster, I made some marks on my sacrificial miter gauge fence and used those to make all the right cuts. That worked very well and they came out very close to identical.

Honestly the hardest part of the whole thing was remembering to alternate the magnets when I put them in. They were such a tight fit that I really couldn’t get them out once they were in. At first I was using a bit of CA glue to hold them in, but in the end, I skipped it. I think the friction will hold them just fine and with the extra time to put the glue in each hole, I kept forgetting which way to put the next magnet in. By the end I had a good system down though. Dad, if those magnets start falling out, I’ll fix them on my next trip out there.

I finished up with five or six coats of spray lacquer on each side. After some really long projects, it’s fun to watch a project come together relatively quickly!