My mother has a lot of trouble with her eyes. Lately she has found a really good eye doctor that she just loves. She wanted to have something made for him, so she asked me to make him a name plate, on my CNC router, for his desk. After thinking about it for a bit, and routing through my scrap pile, I decided to make the main body out of walnut, but Veneer a thick layer of maple on it, then cut the name through the veneer to highlight the letters.
I haven’t done lettering on the CNC yet, so I spent some time fooling with the program until I found something that I hoped would work.
After I trimmed the veneer to match my block of walnut, I loaded the block of wood in, and let the program run. I used a condensed font to try to get everything to fit on an 8″ wide area. I used the 1/16″ ball-nose carving bit, thinking that would give the details the best result.
When the program was complete, the name was readable, but didn’t look quite the way I had hoped.
After cleaning out the fuzzy bits, I noticed that the really thin bits, like the centers of the “A” and points of the “E” were chewed up or missing.
Clamping a new piece of veneer to the opposite side of the block, I went back to the computer and tried something different. Instead of using the program’s text tool, I drew the text in another CAD program and imported it as lines. That enabled me to use a 60 degree Vee bit instead.
I also made the text 10″ wide and a bit taller. I was a lot more pleased with the outcome the second time around.
To angle the plate back a bit, I changed the angle of my table saw blade to 30 degrees, then cut the bottom back.
I rotated the block to sit on the angled surface and angled the back as well. Next I placed a 45 degree chamfer bit in my router table and beveled the edges around the face.
I think it turned out pretty nice. At least it turned out the way I envisioned.
The last thing to do is give it a coat of Polyurethane. I will sand it down tomorrow and give it a second coat to finish it up.
I just want to point out that this project did not need to be done on the CNC. I have made dozens of signs over the years by using the router freehand. A router template or panagraph could also be used to make a similar project. It was requested that this one be done on the CNC, so I took the opportunity to learn a couple of new ways to create text.