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I had a question that hopefully someone will have an answer to. I have a high resolution picture on my computer that I want to duplicate on a piece of plywood. Now short of hand painting it on to wood, does anyone know any better method?

I was wondering if there was something like heat transfer paper or something similar to which I could print on, then align it up and iron it on and seal it with a lacquer.

Has anyone tried anything like this before?
 

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It's the age old art called decopage. Print out the picture, glue it on with a product called modge-podge available at craft stores.
 

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I will try a heat transfer this weekend onto wood. I think it requires using a laser print.
 

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I have used a laser printer to put patterns on wood. The image will print backwards so if the detail is such that it matters you will need to "flip" it before printing. If the laser has controls that allow you to put on more toner that helps as well. The smoother the surface you are going to put it on the better. I bought an old iron at a garage sale and use that..... no steam setting or other fancy features. I have a teflon iron pad I got at Wal-Mart for a couple of bucks to make it move smoother. If you get it too hot/keeping it in one place too long it can discolor the wood..... I would say give it a try and experment before working on the real thing.

Ed
 

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We have a color laser printer at the office that uses a waxy toner, instead of the typical dry powdery stuff.

When I first got my first fixed base a couple years ago, I tried tracing the lines of the image onto wood with carbon paper. While this worked well, I then tried tracing the transfered lines with a 60 degree signmaking bit. I had a challenging time with that, especially when it came to a sweeping arc, straight lines, or going at a angle that crosses grains.

The image I'm using is pretty much line art, verse photo realistic. I would have thought I would have had better luck with the router than I did. Keeping in mind that I was doing this on a small 4"x6" piece of wood at the time, sizing up to say 20"x30" might be a bit more forgiving for a slightly shakey hand. *laughs*

I look forward to hearing the results of the heat transfer test!
 

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You are aware you can get a pantograph for transfering drawings for under $20? You can adjust the image size by how you set up the tool. Look for it at Woodcraft. Another thought might be to make full sized patterns by glueing your printed picture onto Masonite, cutting it to size and using it as a template. That would be sure to give you a smooth edge.
 

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Hmm, that's an interesting idea. I'd have to make several templates though, wouldn't I? Doing just the outside would require one template because it would be a complete closed 'loop'. The details on the inside would likely require several more templates. I'll have to consider it if I plan on replicating the design on more than one final piece. Would I trace it out onto the hardboard first, then cut it with a sabersaw, or try and router it out?

Re pantographs, do they really work all that well with the weight of a router? I would've thought that it wouldn't be a very smooth movement. I looked at that option as well, but I don't have the experience to know what it's limitations might be.

Thanks for the ideas!
 

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When I was in the Military, I met a guy that used to take a picture, and put it on wood, then spread some (two part), epoxy on it, that was clear... Beautiful pictures and wonderful work.

The epoxy was mixed, then poured on the picture and wood, thus sealing in the picture to the wood. I believe in the 70s, they used to do this with professional pictures, because my Mother had one of my brothers and myself made, and to this day they are clear. So you might try this as an alternative.

I dont know what the two part epoxy is, but you could probably go to Ace Hardware, or a True Value Hardware store or some place that deals with that, and inquire...Jesse
 

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The pantograph I mentioned would be used only for doing a layout. Ed might be able to answer about the duplicator with a router attached. Seems like he mentioned one in a post.
 

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aniceone2hold said:
The pantograph I mentioned would be used only for doing a layout. Ed might be able to answer about the duplicator with a router attached. Seems like he mentioned one in a post.
Hi,

Yes somewhere sitting on top an old kitchen cabinet now a garage shelf was my old ****** sorry I can't use the name as this is now a part of the "What is it?" game going on.

How these work is that you mount it to a work area. Then you mount the workpiece using a cleat and wedges (other ways might work as well). You tape the pattern (size is limited but you can use several patterns and several relocations of the work piece for bigger things. I found the relocation hard to line up.... like doing lettering. I also slipped my pattern in a plastic sleave to protect it.

You hold the router and use the router to make the pointer "trace" the pattern. At the time I got this I did not have a plunge router so that also made it a little harder then it might be using a plunge router.... haven't tried ??????. A few other things were mentioned at:

http://www.routerforums.com/showthread.php?t=842

Ed
 

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Transfer images to wood

Cubbie said:
I had a question that hopefully someone will have an answer to. I have a high resolution picture on my computer that I want to duplicate on a piece of plywood. Now short of hand painting it on to wood, does anyone know any better method?

I was wondering if there was something like heat transfer paper or something similar to which I could print on, then align it up and iron it on and seal it with a lacquer.

Has anyone tried anything like this before?
Cubbie I do this all the time. I am also a pyrographer(woodburner). When I want to transfer images or patterns to wood, I go to OfficeMax and copy the image I want on a copier that uses toner. It will not transfer with inkjet ink. I have a small heat transfer tool with a round disk on the end and turn the image with the printing facing the wood and pressing tool on the paper in circles making sure I have transfered the whole design. For real large images you can use an iron. The tool is available at Woodcraft or any craft store that sells woodburning supplies.

g-man
 

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Useful source. Remember to use distilled water rather than tap water. It avoids the milky look caused by salts in the water crystalizing out under the decal.

Cheers

Peter
 

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I do heat transfers to *metal* all the time using laser-printed patterns. It is not as straightforward as many of the references on the web make it out to be. I have never tried it on wood but would expect that the same principles will apply and I see that g-man has already confimed that.

There is another techinque I heard of but cannot find the reference right now: Paint the wood with Damar varnish, allow to nearly dry, then put the laser-printed pattern on it face dwon and gently soak the paper with acetone. The pattern is supposed to come off and stick to the Damar.

I tried it once adapting it to my circumstances but without much success. Doing it on wood might be easier.

If you google it you might find the details of the method. It was on one of the art forums.
 

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I have a pet-peeve with most woodworking magazines. They print out a nicely scaled drawing, but never even advertise or link to a pantograph for sale or to build. So I went on the hunt and came up with some nice ones:

This is one heck of a nice one, but the plans are easy enough to follow to make it for larger needs:
Peter’s Articles: How to Build a Pantograph

This one is from an old, post copyright piece in a book from the 1920s:
Pantograph for Enlarging and Reducing Drawings

But this file is the original instructions to build it:
http://www.green-trust.org/junkyardprojects/FreeMiscellaneousPlans/Pantograph.pdf

Just rename it if you download the one that follows:

And the plan on this post was already posted elsewhere on our site, (http://www.routerforums.com/jigs-fixtures/29165-pantograph.html) but the link was bad (had commas and spaces in the link), so here's a real piece of ingenuity. (Why is it that people who work with their hands build real solutions, and people who come up with theoretical solutions invent problems? :confused:) :D

http://www.pipemakersforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=4569&p=38335&hilit=pantograph#p38335
 
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