The Wood Project

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On and off I’ve been talking about a wood project I’d be working on with my laser. Well, today was the day. I finally had all my supplies so it was time to get to work.

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The time of delivery kept moving around so Zucca and I just waited patiently outside in the work area. She managed to find a paper bag to mess around with for a bit of entertainment. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of that. I do have a video though so that’ll show up on YouTube at some point.

Things arrived around 4:30-5:00pm.

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The bottom two boxes are all my wood. The top two contained some faerie lights, vellum, and cellophane. I hope to incorporate the lights while the vellum and cellophane were more “I might need these” purchases.

Here’s everything opened up:

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Quick look at the faerie lights. I hope to use these along the back wall of the shadowbox. We’ll see how that ultimately pans out because the strands are fairly long. I may yet look into LED strips, but these seemed like a nice replacement for my original “Star” idea.

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Seven pieces of 1/8″ Birch ply sanded and ready to go into the machine. I was originally going to make an 8″x10″ piece but upon reflection, that was much too large and way too inefficient for a design test. I ended up reducing the artwork to 5″x7″ so two panels could fit on each sheet. This drastically reduced material usage.

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This was about the half-way point. There are four pieces involved at this point. The back, two buffers and the first layer with “art” on it. As you can see, the laser left a lot of marks. Don’t worry, everything gets sanded again!

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Here was the completed idea. Obviously, it’s still very rough in this picture and needs sanding, but it looks pretty much how I wanted it to.

Why sand it twice? I’ve heard the first sand actually makes cutting easier on the laser. I’m not sure that’s really the case, but I’m willing to take the time just in case it is.

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Here it is after the clean-up sand. I’m not sure you can tell, but the corners are very messy (besides the dust stuck in them). The design was originally much more ornate, but at this size, it didn’t translate well so there’s bits of lumps and knobs where there was more design. I tried manually cleaning them out, but it didn’t work so I went back and cleaned up the corner designs.

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And here is the final revised version. In case you’re wondering, this image is based on a screenshot I took of my Final Fantasy XIV character. I’ve wanted to do something with him for a while and I figured this would be a lot of fun and add a bit more depth to a piece of fanart!

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I stained three of the pieces: The back, the front, and the larger bit of “art”. I’m not sure you can tell, but when I went over the art part again to sand it, it got damaged so I’ll be redoing it. There are actually three different stains here even though its hard to tell. The back is a dark red, the middle is a lighter brown, and the top is a very light coating that barely affects the natural color of the wood.

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The stain isn’t dry and it isn’t technically put together yet, but here’s what it’ll look like stacked up. The faerie lights will be dotted across that back panel and will hopefully add a bit more depth to the entire thing, but for now, there it is, a manifestation of a design that was weeks in the making. Ultimately, I’m very happy with it. I think it’s going to come out very much how I imagined. If I have to go back a version for the “stars” there’ll be one more panel in there, but we’ll see. I rather like how it is now but since it’s not together yet I have plenty of time to play around.

I’ll add another update tomorrow once I’ve completed everything. I had a lot of fun making this and it reminded me of how much I truly enjoy making wooden stuff on the laser. You can expect more stuff like this in the future!

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