Need Material Recommendations for Custom Project

I’m making some custom hook rails for a friend’s son to hang all of his superhero & dress up clothes in his bedroom. The design will be a negative-space cutout with LED backlighting. It will need to hold a little bit of weight, but not a ton of weight. Finished size will be approx 24"Wx5"H and will be cut on my GF Pro.

Since I’m still extremely new to this, I thought it would be a good idea to get some expert advice regarding what type of material I should use for this project. Should I go for a hardwood or plywood? What thickness seems appropriate? What wood species would cut the best for this application?



you could use a hardwood backing, and then use your GF to cut the words out and then just drill some holes for the backlight.

what other tools do you have at your disposal?

1 Like

Yeah that’s my plan. I’m just not sure what type of hardwood to order. The backlight will be battery powered LED strips that I’ll attach with adhesive & maybe a couple tacks.

I don’t have many other tools yet. Just basic hand tools, so I need to order pre-cut boards & don’t have a ton of wiggle room in my budget to do more than a couple tests.

Since this project uses the pass-through, the face will be cut from thinner material (like Medium proofgrade hardwood) , and the mounting screws for the hooks will likely need more depth than the thin material provides. I personally would not trust medium proofgrade ply on it’s own to handle weight-bearing fasteners over time.

if I were making this, I would probably build a frame to sit behind the face. This would allow a pocket for the led/battery/wiring so that the whole thing mounts flush to a wall, and also give some extra material for the hooks to screw down into (and would also give room for some mounting considerations).


Yes! Thank you! This is so helpful. I hadn’t considered the passthrough limitations, as I haven’t even used it yet. This makes material sourcing a bit easier, too.
I’ll head down this path & will definitely update once the piece is finished!

1 Like