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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Word of my Polish Eagles has spread across state lines. The Polish American Community of Toledo wanted a good sized wall hanging (and not painted poster) for their new HQ. So they called the Polish Eagle King of SE Michigan. lol Sure, I can do it! ----------- I don't have a clue what to do. How much fire pit am I going to make trying, and if I can even pull it off. This is going to involve some real woodworking and finishing skills too. Now I'm really "concerned".

I had some select 5/4 x 6 pine from Menards that I had got for a past bright idea that never came to pass. Wasn't cheap, and was marked from New Zealand. Is their pine better than our pine? I know it carves pretty good if using a sharp bit. This could get expensive if there's a screw up. Not an uncommon occurrence in my shop. Anyway, I calculated and recalculated what lengths I would need to make this work. Really, I just made the pattern on aspire and drew the boards on the file and took the measurements from there. Started by gluing up 2 boards 4 times each, and then glued the 2 board pieces together to make 2 halves.



Then the 2 halves got glued together. Made sure the halves were in the right order. Those 4 foot clamps don't get used often, but they are handy when needed.




Put the glued up piece on the bed, clamped it good and left it for a while to straighten out a little.




Used a new (sharpened) 1/4" end mill for the finish cut that cut pretty smooth. Skimmed the outer border where the text will go. Eliminated any sanding and made for a smooth, level surface.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Cut the text and outside border. It's nice to be able to cut perfect circles and just knock a few tabs off.



Didn't have anyplace big enough to lay it down to finish so the CNC bed did double duty. Shellacked the area around the letters and painted them. Almost felt like Scottart for a few minutes.



Paint dried and the ROS went to work. Used a round over bit on the edges.



Golden Oak stain and 5 coats of semi gloss poly. Measures 37" in diameter. Hope they like it!!!! I know I just let out a big sigh of relief.


 

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Wow, that is a great looking piece! You have carved out a particular market segment and word is spreading. That's really good marketing in action. I wonder if there are Polish clubs and organizations elsewhere across the country? I'd consider searching out every facebook group that's for Polish members, joining and posting pictures of your projects whenever you do a new one. Don't write an advertisement, share a little about your Polish background, where your family once lived, any other information you can glean. And add a picture. People who want something like this will contact you by PM. Sometimes you can just ask for people, say, who lived in your parents home village, if they have pictures of the place then or now. Participate just for fun and watch out for opportunities to go to Polish gatherings, where you can exhibit or just go and have some fun and good food. Man, you've really done this well. You can be as busy as you want, charge more for commercial signs. Maybe train someone to operate your CNC so you don't have to wear yourself out. I love it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Wow, that is a great looking piece! You have carved out a particular market segment and word is spreading. That's really good marketing in action. I wonder if there are Polish clubs and organizations elsewhere across the country? I'd consider searching out every facebook group that's for Polish members, joining and posting pictures of your projects whenever you do a new one. Don't write an advertisement, share a little about your Polish background, where your family once lived, any other information you can glean. And add a picture. People who want something like this will contact you by PM. Sometimes you can just ask for people, say, who lived in your parents home village, if they have pictures of the place then or now. Participate just for fun and watch out for opportunities to go to Polish gatherings, where you can exhibit or just go and have some fun and good food. Man, you've really done this well. You can be as busy as you want, charge more for commercial signs. Maybe train someone to operate your CNC so you don't have to wear yourself out. I love it.
Desert Rat Tom





Dr T ............ Appreciate the kind words. But I'm not even Polish. Not one bit. My neighbor is and had me make him one, and said they would sell. Didn't believe him, but tried it. I've been told more than once to get a Facebook something or other. I know I should, but really don't know how to go about it. I don't want a personal FB page. A shop one would be ok, I guess.

And yes, there are Polish organizations in most major cities across the country. During the holidays, I ship more to the east coast than anywhere else.

Guess it's a matter of how involved I want to get doing this. We do the 2 biggest Polish festivals locally and a couple of the bigger arts and crafts shows. That's about all I care to do. It would be nice to do a few orders a week, but it never happens that way. Either I get snowed under with orders, or nothing. Of course, that gives me time to restock some things.

Wife says no more employees or outside space or company vehicles. You get the idea. She hated the hassle when we did have the old company. Besides, I'm supposed to be retired.
 

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She hated the hassle when did have the old company. Besides, I'm supposed to be retired.
I understand that. My wife has practically ordered me to retire, but my business mind just won't shut down. I built a full system for operating a pediatric practice, but can't count on my voice working anymore, so I'm going to try to market our system (8 volumes of documentation, a computer program, about 800 digital files and instructional videos, plus 4 hourse of phone support) into a do it yourself package for about $5K per pack. My daughter can do the support, I'll manage with emails. If I sold 3-4 per year, I'd be a happy camper. I've been enjoying contributing stuff to local theater and a church. The income will give me the ability to expand that and build a sizable pool of cash my wife can use when I pass (or the reverse). Don't think I can handle more than that in my present condition.
 

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Beautiful work. You don't need to worry about anyone not liking it. It's awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I understand that. My wife has practically ordered me to retire, but my business mind just won't shut down.
I know the feeling all too well. lol
 

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David
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Very nice work, John, very nice! I like your step by step presentation of this project, too. Seeing your sign really makes me wish we had room for a 4x4 machine. The biggest circle I can cut is 26".

How long did it take to cut?

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Very nice work, John, very nice! I like your step by step presentation of this project, too. Seeing your sign really makes me wish we had room for a 4x4 machine. The biggest circle I can cut is 26".

How long did it take to cut?

David
All total, around 4 hours actual cutting time, using the CNCRP machine. Could have cut that down even more with increased speeds and a couple bigger bits, but 180-200 ipm is my comfort zone right now using what bits I have on hand. Increased the rough cut depth to 1/4" - only took 2 passes. Now.......the set up and prep time added to that, but could have been reduced if I used a pre-made 36" panel. But they can have quality problems and have to be picked pretty carefully. If you notice there isn't knot one in this piece. And I want something above average if it's going to hang in a high traffic area. It might even sneak in a pic or two when they do their publicity shoots.
 

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Looks great John.

So l guess you are getting used to the new machine. Good choice on doing the glue-up for the blank, looks like it cut pretty clean.

You should not even worry about if they will like it, they will. Great job!
 

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I think I found one thing to disagree about with John. I’m pretty sure he’s honorary Polish, by now. :) If you wanna shoot for honorary Irish, I bet you could come up with a whole bunch of ideas incorporating Shamrocks, and Claddagh symbols. Fine line between being retired and busy, and retired and in business. Another museum quality job, John. You need a place to get rid of your trial Irish pieces, I could give you my address LOLOL.
 
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