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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been approached to make a wall badge (a Polish Eagle, of course) for the Polish American Community of Toledo's HQ. It will be round and somewhere around 36-40 inches in diameter. The ready made blanks in that size are not thick enough. I need at least 1 1/4" thick piece of stock. So I'll have to glue one up. Now, is it better to use 5/8 x 18 x 36 panels, 5/4 x 6 boards, 1 1/2" strips glued edge side up, or ??????. This will be predominately displayed so it's got to have limited warpage and no future cracks. What's the best way to go?
 
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The most stable would be the 1-1/2" strips, but it would also be the worst look. But that depends on the grain, species, and finish.

The 5/8 x 18 x 36 panels would be the worst choice. I think you'd have a hard time getting them clamped, and you'd see the glue line or even a gap if you cut more than 5/8" deep.

If it's hardwood, you'd need 6/4 thick material. 5/4 is roughly 1-1/4" in it's rough sawn state, and finishes closer to 1".

I'd go with the 1-1/4" thick, 4"-6" wide. Narrower is better. Quartersawn is best.
 

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How deep will the cutting be? I ask because there will be edge showing if it goes deeper than the thinnest top piece. To get something that thick you will have to ether go with strips or several layers of wood. I don't think the layers will work unless you stsrt with a large flat panel like MDF. With something that large it will be difficult to make sure that there are no voids in the middle which will show when carved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Looks like I'm going to try and glue up 5/4 ( a full 1.25"). I've got some knot free select grade pine in both 4 and 6 inch widths that carves pretty good. I can make the model a little thinner and use a dish layout and still have it look good.
 

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That will be the best way to go, glue up 4" to 6" wide by 1.25" to 1.50" thick wood. 36" to 40" diameter is a decent size so the thicker the better. Remember to alternate grain direction in the glue-up to keep cupping to a minimum.

The thicker you make it the more detail you can have in the model and if you use a flat bottom dish you can get the most detail.

I would consider using a hardwood like oak, maple or walnut, instead of the pine, it might cut cleaner and leave less cleanup. You could submit 2 bids, one for pine and one for hardwood, and let them decide.
 
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