I posted the build and the plans for this about a year ago, when I built one for a co-worker. It has, by far, been my most popular post. I had over 270 downloads of the plan. The plan was designed to be printed out full scale, on an 11″x17″ “ledger” size piece of paper. The thickness of the wood pieces are more important than the shape of the plaque, so don’t fret if you can’t print something that large, just draw your own shape.
My co-worker asked me to make another one, so this time I decided to refine my techniques a bit. I have learned a few tricks since the last one and I managed to build this one in about three hours.
This is a great project to make from scraps, and you can use whatever wood you like. I pulled a few scraps of walnut off the rack and planed them down to the desired thickness.
This chunk was left over from my son’s bed (8 years ago). I never throw away walnut, if looks even remotely usable… I cut it in half and joined it back together. Since it all came from the same piece, it nearly has a perfect book-matched appearance.
While the piece for the back plate dried, I applied double-sided carpet tape to the other two pieces and attached the patterns for the front and middle sections.
I cut them out on the band saw, staying just outside the line.
It is a rough cut, as you can see from the lay-up below.
I peeled off the patterns, then applied glue to the small, middle piece. I used 1-1/4″ brad nails to hold it in place, then match-sanded both pieces on the spindle sander.
Since they are now permanently attached, they match perfectly when sanded.
The final step for this part is a 3/8″ round-over, done face-down, on my router table.
After about an hour of drying, I sliced off the glue squeeze-out while it was still pliable.
Next I used a card scraper to blend together the slight elevation difference caused by the wood shifting a bit, during the clamping.
I applied the template and cut it out, just like the other two pieces.
This one was also sanded and rounded over as well.
I centered the front piece over the back plate and marked its location. Making sure to avoid my brad nails, I marked the location of the mounting holes and drilled clearance holes for the mounting screws. I then flipped the back plate over and counter-sunk the holes.
I also drilled an 11/64″ hole centered on the upper back for hanging it on the wall. You may have noticed the bubble wrap. I haven’t gotten around to building a table for my drill press yet, and the bubble wrap was handy. It keeps the cast iron drill table from scratching my wood, and is doesn’t seem to cause any problems, so I have been lazy and keep using it. (I don’t know why, but I kind of like it…)
I clamped the front to the back together and drilled pilot holes for the wood screws.
After attaching both pieces with two 1-1/4″ wood screws, I hung it on one of my wall hooks to make sure it hung centered.
I pulled everything apart and removed all the pencil marks with denatured alcohol.
I applied three coats of Tung oil over the course of several hours and let them dry over night.
It will definitely build up more gloss if I added another couple of coats, but I will be giving it to my co-worker tomorrow, and he can add a few more if he desires.