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David - Machinist in wood
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Next Sunday evening our Young At Heart choir is doing the musical, Evidence of Grace. I was asked a couple of weeks ago to cut the 'Grace' logo out of wood and stain it dark so it can be set on the Lord's Supper table during the musical. The specs I was given were simple - about 4' long, letters about 12" high, stain dark like Walnut, and has to be self standing.

So I grabbed the image online rather than scan the book cover, brought it into CorelDraw, stripped away everything I didn't need, traced the image, took away the fill color, and exported it as an svg file to be imported into Fusion 360. Now all of that sounds like a lot but it's a fairly straightforward process that took all of 10 minutes.

Once into Fusion 360 I sized the svg import, rotated it 90°, extruded the letters to 0.750", and generated a toolpath. I'll use a 1/4" two-flute, spiral, downcut but running at 18,000 rpm. My feed will be 200 ipm and depth of cut for each pass will be 0.09375". This will be the first time I've cut with a 1/4" bit at 200 ipm so that's one reason I'm only taking a 3/32" depth of cut with each pass - I don't want to break the bit. The wood is fairly soft, at least relative to what I normally work with, so I'm thinking this will be an acceptable speed/feed rate for that bit.

The wood is 12" x 48" Lodgepole Pine - glued, flat, true and ready to use from Lowe's for about $16. I can't really buy the wood and make the panel for that and since this isn't a 'fine woodworking' project this will suffice. No milling or glue up time involved is sometimes the best approach, especially for a one-time use prop for a musical.

Here's the book cover -


Toolpath as generated by Fusion 360 -


Board set on the CNC table and testing for location. Since the machine cuts 50" in the Y direction and the board is 48" I have a little leeway but not a lot. Also, I ran the file with the bit about an inch above the surface so I could get placement for the hold-downs. I thought about using drywall screws in the void areas but I think the hold-downs will work just fine.


This is as far as I got after church tonight so I'll cut this tomorrow and report back. I did have to take the Pecan slice off for now but I'll get back on that after this is finished.

More tomorrow!
David
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Got it cut, now have to pull it off the CNC to stain and shoot some lacquer on it before Sunday evening. Also have to make some sort of stand for it but that won't be much of a task.



David
 

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Mike
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One step closer.

That wood is a good choice, it has character.
 
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David - Machinist in wood
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
One step closer.

That wood is a good choice, it has character.
Thanks, Mike!

The wood was a bit of a humorous choice for me; the lady directing the Young at Heart choir is my best friend's mom and I've known her since about 1963. The other day when she told me what wood she wanted she pointed at the cross we just built and said, 'That dark wood looks nice, use that.' I asked her if she's using this 'Grace' prop again and the answer was 'no'. I said, 'You know I love you and I'll do about anything for you but ain't no way I'm using Walnut on a one-time semi throw away prop! You'll get Pine and I'll put a Walnut stain on it.' She just laughed and said use whatever you want. So a $16 board is what I wanted - LOL!
 

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Those Lodgepole pine panels are great - - and save a lot of time. You just gotta look at em all and take the best ones.

I buy those all the time. Got it down where I can break one down into all the sizes I need with virtually no waste, except for the screw ups on my part. Saves a lot of prep time. The 48" can be divided into most any size and the project can be resized to fit the blank. That size is great for laying out either a big cut or nesting a bunch of smaller cuts and cutting them all at once.

Menards has those panels up to 36" wide and up to 6' long and a true 1 1/8 thick in pine and spruce, as well is round blanks up to 36" in diameter.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Made a little progress today, I'll try to shoot some sealer on these tomorrow, may get to the lacquer topcoat.

Letters out -


Sanded, ready to stain -


Stained dark Walnut with a hint of red Mahogany -
 

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Mike
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I like that stain and it adds even more character to the letters. The clear coat should brighten them right up.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Today I milled a 2x4 to make square edges and faces, then cut both the letters and base for #0 biscuits. Once I shoot the final coat of lacquer I'll paint the back of the letters and the base black. I made aluminum brackets for to secure the letters to the base and ensure they remain in the proper plane. I don't know if we'll ever use this 'Grace' sign again but these will certainly break easily so all they have to do is remove a few screws and then store it flat.

Biscuit slots cut -


Testing for placement and plane, looks right nice like it is! But I'll still put some lacquer on it -


Aluminum brackets made of 1/2" aluminum angle from Lowe's -




One coat of sealer, then I'll sand lightly and shoot a coat of gloss after church tonight, may follow that with a coat of semi-gloss tomorrow -


I know this isn't a big or complicated project but I want y'all to think I'm really busy in the shop... LOL!

David
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Finished but no really good place to take a photo. When I take it to the church I'll shoot a couple of shots there. One coat of sealer, one coat of gloss, and one coat of semi-gloss. The backs of the letters and the base are flat black.



Until I take it to church this is all - thanks for looking at this simple little project!

David
 

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Mike
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David I think the choir will be very happy with the prop and thankful for all your help.
 
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David - Machinist in wood
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Finished, delivered, and decoration in place - it came out pretty nice.

Grace with the cross -


Grace on Lord's Supper table -


Thanks for checking this out!
David
 
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