I have a 1/2" thick rectangular sign that is 20". My customer would like shiplap lines. I should have said I can’t do that…but I thought I could make it work…
My first plan was to score it in two parts, left side, right side. I had the sign raised up enough to focus, and pressed against some materials to keep it straight. I scored the right side and then carefully scooted it over. I used the lightest scoring possible and it seemed to line up and meet in the middle. But when I tried the official darker score to match the other side, it didn’t actually line up. (See pic. Sorry, it’s not great lighting in my office right now.) It is subtle, but I can see it…I just know my customer will see it.
How do I save this? The only thing I can think of is to now engrave over it and SOMEHOW nail the line-up…but I think it would be even harder to line up an engrave? Any genius ideas? I can’t trash this board…I had to outsource it because it’s contoured to the design.
The only practical way (using the GF) to recover is to thicken the line, engrave it wider, but If you’ve already removed the material from the machine and did not use a jig, then re-alignment will be a challenge.
Shiplap is more of a job for a CNC router (or routing by hand).
The step-to-step resolution of the GF is measured in 1000ths of an inch. There’s no way you can move anything by hand and guarantee maintaining alignment. You are nowhere near as precise as the GF. I think the basic idea of what you’re trying to do is infeasible.
If you want to try the GF again, I’d sand the engraved face down to remove the existing marks first, or you may only make things worse. If you can’t sand it, I’d mask it and paint the lines on.
Except she will still have the same problem. She’ll have to shade 1/2 of the board and then slide it over to get the other half. The two separate passes won’t align at the top where the gradient is darkest, and the problem will still remain.
I did think of another idea, though. If the line wasn’t completely smooth, if it had some “roughness” to it, the discontinuity at the center would probably just blend right in.
I’d try changing the line so it was a little jagged (high frequency low amplitude). Might look a little more “natural” that way, too, since there are no straight lines in nature.
And definitely grab any old scrap of wood to try it out, don’t go back to the final workpiece until you’ve got it figured out.