Elves on shelves are old hat, but tonight’s project was for my wife. In one of their exam rooms at her animal hospital they have a tree painted on the wall (painted by one of the staff).
They want some “cat perches” in the tree branches. So she asked me to make some wooden perches.
First I modeled it in OnShape with a parametric design. I realized I probably wouldn’t have enough proof grade maple on hand, so made it totally parametric with thickness as a parameter. I luckily had ordered a big pack of 12x24 1/8" birch ply from amazon and it came last night.
I used the Laser Joint feature script to create the tabs/slots. Worked great, and when I changed from 1/4" to 1/8" (because that’s what I had) it all compensated perfectly. I just exported the faces as DXF rather than going through Kiri.Moto for slicing, as it’s only 7 faces.
Stacked them up in AI into 2 cut sheets, and off I went. Now I was a little nervous that the slots/tabs wouldn’t match, so while I had really nice surface engraves, I chose to do a 2 stage build. Step 1 do all the cuts, and if it worked mechanically do engraving.
Amazingly with one tiny exception worked perfectly (noted the front panel needed a small slot for the ends of the angle braces, so quick apply of the script and reexport, and a 3 minute cut.
I noted the wood had a reasonable amount of flashback since I hadn’t masked it, but instead of worrying, I decided to own it since I was going to put some sort of leafy motif, I would just incorporate that level of noise.
I found some nice cat paw prints and a really nice wood/tree/vine motif that would go well with the wall tree, AI auto-trace, and so put the pieces back in and engraved.
So I only blue-taped it together as I am going to check the fit on the wall at her hospital, and if it is good, will then sand and finish it, so didn’t want to glue it up yet. She wants at least one more now that she’s seen it, which will be much easier as I will engrave and cut in one step, so less moving/repositioning…