Note: Before you begin, measure the thickness of each piece of material. The workpieces in the shared Easel project are set to the measured depth of my materials and may not match yours exactly.
Material: 1/8" walnut
Workpieces: “Front piece: 1st cut”, “Front piece: 2nd cut”
Clamp the first sheet of 6 × 12″, 1/8" walnut to the machine.
Carve the constellation lines, “Front piece: 1st cut” to begin, using a 1/32" downcut fish tail bit. I used the recommended settings for the 1/32" upcut bit. (2 minutes)
Leave the piece clamped.
Swap in the 1/8" downcut bit and carve the holes for the stars and the outline of the rabbit: “Front piece: 2nd cut”. (4 minutes)
Material: 1/8" walnut
Workpieces: “Back piece”
Using a fresh sheet of walnut, carve “Back piece” with the 1/8" downcut bit. I used settings for the 1/8" upcut bit.
Note: The circle located on the back leg of the rabbit is an exit hole for the light cord. If you’re using a different cord, you may need to modify the hole’s diameter.
Material: 3/4" walnut
Workpieces: “Inner body”
Secure the 3/4" thick walnut to the waste board.
Carve “Inner body” using the 1/8" straight, 2 flute bit. The resulting piece between the two cut paths will be used for the body of the light, holding the LEDs in between the front and back pieces.
Material: 1/8" frosted, cast acrylic in “Phantom”
Workpieces: “Inner light diffuser”
Clamp the first sheet of 1/8" frosted acrylic and install the 1/8" upcut fish tail bit.
Cut one copy of “Inner light diffuser”, then switch out the material for a fresh sheet of acrylic and carve a second copy. (4 minutes per copy)
Note: I carved and used 2 copies of the light diffuser piece to more effectively even out the light from the LEDs which will be installed inside. Depending on the exact type of acrylic and LEDs you use, a single sheet may be adequate. You might also be able to paint the inside of the light with reflective paint to bounce more light around.)
A small craft knife saw blade works well to cut away tabs. Definitely sand down any tabs remaining on the inside of the body piece. Tabs along the outside edges can be sanded down now or once the rabbit is assembled.
You will need about 1 yard of the flexible, self-adhesive LED strip lights. Unroll and cut off a piece which is a few inches longer than this.
Stack the body piece on top of the back piece, so the rabbit’s head is facing right.
Feed the cut end of the LED strip from the back through the hole in the rabbit’s leg.
Removing the backing paper as you go, stick the LED strip to the sides along the inner perimeter of the body piece. In order to leave clearance for the light diffusing pieces, try to keep the LED strip in the middle of the body or lower, closer to the back piece.
Note: It’s fine if you’re not be able to get the LED strip into the tightest corners—the tips of ears or feet. Just make sure the lights are placed so they’ll shine through the cutouts in the front piece.
See the image below to see how the pieces stack together.
Glue the back piece to the body piece with wood glue.
Add the light diffusing panels.
The light diffusing panels should fit snugly inside the body piece if the tolerances are right (they may differ slightly on your machine). Press fit each piece into the top of the body, with the frosted/matte sides facing up. If the fit is too loose, you can glue the two pieces to each other and then to the front piece.
Attach the front piece to the body with wood glue.
Sand and coat with the finish of your choice. I used mineral oil, but a wax-and-oil combination would also look great.
Enjoy the celestial hare in the daylight and by the glow of the stars at night!
Thank you to the Northbrook Public Library Collaboratory and Westmont Public Library Makery for providing tools (Carvey!), space, and staff assistance.