A friend of mine saw a photo of the Security Police Badge I made for my dad, and asked if I’d make a replica of her Florida medical examiner’s badge for her coworker who is retiring.
NOTE: I think it’s probably safe for me to share this here, but if you happen to know any FL medical examiners who are retiring in the next couple of weeks, please don’t tell, 'cause it’s a surprise!
It was a lot of work, because I had to start from this and make my own vector drawing:
I finally got it finished today. I used the actual Florida state seal instead of the dumbed-down one required for enameling. It’s layered, not inlaid – the base is Baltic birch ply, with the (maple ply) eagle and (cherry ply) shield mounted on that, then layers of maple, walnut, and cherry ply on top of that, The top layer, the state seal, attaches with magnets, because she wanted the option of adding a clock movement, so there’s one with a hole and one without.
I have a clock on my office wall that’s impossible to get back on the hook once you take it down, because you can’t see where the hole is while you’re trying to hang it. I tried to prevent such problems with this design by making the back spacer such that it will guide the nail / hook right into the keyhole slot when you slide it down the wall. Now I want to make myself a clock with the same sort of back design! (It won’t be a medical examiner badge, though…)
I have to cut one more of these (she wants one for herself, too), and THEN maybe I can finally play with my snapmarks!
The retiree will no doubt be pleased, it is wonderful. Well done.
turned out amazing -beautiful work
Oh, very nice indeed! Did you make an alternate center with the kindergarten drawn version?
That is really awesome. Love the layering of different woods and the unique way that you simplified hanging it. Will be cherished.
This is great! Especially the vector recreation of the eagle at the top!
one thing that looked a tiny little bit off to me was the spacing of the words “medical examiner”. It looks as if theres a lot more space under the text than above it, but this just might be the shadows and photo angle playing tricks on me.
Other than that it looks amazing, especially the replacement seal =)
Wow, another amazing badge from you, and the interchangeable fronts is a great idea! I really like the easy-hang back too, I’d like to apply that to a bunch of old stuff I’ve got hanging on my walls.
Stunning work! and the clock movement swap out is genius!
OK, I wanted to mention your guide on the back for hanging. I really like the idea and think we should make that a law or something for all clocks, pictures, anything hanging on a wall.
I’m going to go all engineer on you for a second:
- Did you just cut a slot or is it more of a keyhole made in the piece you cut out? It’s hard to tell with the shadow on the pic, but I think you just cut a slot. Keyhole better
- Also, you should probably cut a slight arc into the long sections that will be along the wall. Since this looks like a single square cut out of some board perhaps an engrave to remove some material on each long run. It will help it rest on the wall straighter with just 4 points of contact. A Triangle and 3 points would be better still.
I am very much stealing this for my next clock project.
Wow! Fantastic work! You’ve done such a great job with the vector drawing. What a wonderful, personalized gift.
You had me worried for a minute, there, since I’ve already shipped it to the customer! I found a pre-assembly photo without the center pieces, though, and it looks like the shadows were tricking both of us. Whew!
It’s a keyhole. I purposely scaled down the back photo to obscure the inscription with the recipient’s name in it, so I guess that didn’t show as well.
Wait…you mean they don’t make walls FLAT? What is WRONG with them? (Seriously, though, good suggestion, I’ll remember it next time!)
Absolutely awesome, love the clean look outstanding.
What process did you use when converting into the vector drawing? I have a logo I’d like to do the same and scale it up to be displayed on a wall.
I just stuck the image into my file, locked its layer, and started drawing lines on top of it. At first I was kind of lost…do I score all the lines? Make shapes to engrave? Both? Where do I put them to make it look good? It took a few false starts, but I settled on closed shapes for everything; I’d make one (like for the eagle’s feathers), then duplicate and stretch this way or that so they didn’t look too uniform. Once I quit trying to make everything exactly precisely perfect and just relaxed and let it happen, it got easier.
For the shield part (I think of it as a “ruffle”) I did one side and then duplicated and flipped it so it would be symmetrical, since it was kind of tilted to n the photo, then stuck a circle in the middle and shifted things until they fit it correctly, then deleted one half and duplicated and flipped it again to make sure it was still symmetrical, until I eventually got it to look the way I wanted it.
The little borders on the two lettered circles were tedious. And I was really surprised at how many things on the actual badge weren’t quite level or lined up right, when I started drawing on top of them.
I was kind of amazed when I just started sort of tracing weird blotchy shapes on the eagle, and it actually came out looking like an eagle…I did a lot of drawing little bits and blobs and then merging them into bigger bits and blobs, and suddenly, BOOM, there was an eagle. I think your brain kind of WANTS it to be an eagle, so it takes whatever blobs are there, and makes you think you’re looking at an eagle.
It’s brain magic.
Pro tip: It helps a lot if you have ankle surgery first, too, so you’re forced to sit still for long periods of time with nothing else to do. But don’t try to start on it until you’re off the pain meds. Trust me.
Thank you for the explanation of process, perfect in assisting me in where to start. Just need to wait to damage my ankle next and will be good to go…
Hope the ankle is on the mend