Sign making

OK so not a Glowforge make, but I have made trail signs at the barn before on the Glowforge in Red Oak which still look fantastic. So one of the former instructors at the barn had started her own breeding farm, and asked if I could make her a sign. So given the size she wanted it was going to be a very large tile-job of red-oak. As I started to lay it out the work got to be stupid, and I decided that the X-Carve that had been sitting unused and essentially serving as a supply table needed to be used. So a bit of elbow grease and I got it up and working. So here are 2 signs I have churned out this week. The big sign (the purple with fake-gold leaf) was done in birch ply with a layer of outdoor primer and then the purple stain (all the other signs for her barn are purple/white acrylic I’ve done on the Glowforge). This sign is 36" tall and 30" wide. It weighs a ton (3 layers of 3/4" ply) so it won’t blow around during bad MA winter storms. It then has a layer of waterproofing I applied with an airless sprayer. The border is oak stained black. The carving was done with a V-carve 90 degree pattern (sort of the CNC equivalent of scoring on the Glowforge but it varies the depth to keep the path width correct)

The second sign is for our lab at Tufts (well duh) vet school where I am also faculty. My plan is to add side lighting with blue LED strips to highlight the edges (blue is the tuft’s color). This was done with 2 end-mills (a 1/16" and an 1/32" for details) regular milling (the carves are straight edged). That sign is 36" wide and 11.5" tall (note it is just a Home Depot Pine stair). At first I thought the mill had somehow burned the “e” and “n” but then realized on closer inspection that’s the inside of a knot. The gray stain was supposed to produce a distressed pattern.

Now the one Glowforge link here is the 3D printed all-black dust shoe was annoying (you can’t see through it when the Z-axis is down) so I remade it in :proofgrade: thick clear acrylic. The 4 medium sized holes are for magnets to locate the dust shoe but I use the M5 bolt to really secure it (otherwise it is too easily knocked off). The brush border is from McMaster, it has an internal wire that stiffens it and gets shoved into the slot. The Shoe is based on the design by the New Brit Workshop.


Always enjoy your posts! Never know what you’ll be up to next! Love the sign for the horses. I keep telling myself… you don’t need a CNC, you don’t need a CNC.


I just told my wife that he can’t possibly sleep, he’s too darned productive.
@henryhbk Nice work, as @ptodd said, I always enjoy your posts too.


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