Just in every other project, the first step is your initial idea or in some cases a problem that needs to be solved. For me it was that my shop needed a sign. I first took my logo and figured out a design where I could use both my traditional (POWER) woodworking tools and my CNC (Shapeoko 2/X-Carve). Since the sign was going to be larger than my CNC could handle I chose to cut out the saw blade and letters with my CNC and then glue them to a 5″×62″ Red Oak Board.
I used a section of rough cut Red Oak that I had purchased from a local saw mill and jointed and then planed it down to final dimension. I then cut it to final width on the table saw and cut it to length on the miter saw. If you don’t have these tools available you can purchase to lumber already milled at most hardware or home improvement stores. Most of these businesses will also cut the board to length for you.
Since my logo has a circular saw blade similar to whats found in table saws and many other power tools, I found a image online to my liking and imported the file into Easel. I then cut out the saw blade out of 1/4 inch plywood on my X-Carve. Once the saw blade was cut out I sanded it and then painted it with silver spray paint.
My shop sign that I made had my business name on it “MERZKE CUSTOM WOODWORKING” and I used Easel to design and then cut out the letters on my X-Carve. I once again used 1/4 inch plywood for this step. I cut down the sheet of plywood into smaller panels that would fit within the cutting area of my X-Carve and then arranged the letters in Easel to maximize the use of the plywood and minimize waste. Once the letters were all cut out I sanded them and then spray painted them black.
As I was laying out the letters in my logo I noticed that the ones that were over the saw blade were going to set higher than the other letters in the sign because of the thickness of the saw blade. To solve this issue I used black spray paint on some 1/4 inch wooden dowel that I had laying around the shop and then cut them to 1/4 inch lengths. I then used these small sections of dowel to lift the letters off the board and bring them all to the same level as the letters that were on the saw blade. I then glued all the letters and saw blade to the board making sure to equally space the letters.
Once the glue was set I sprayed a couple coats of satin lacquer over the entire sign. To hang the sign on the wall of my shop I made some small brackets that could attach to the french cleats on my shop wall. This weekend project produced a custom shop sign that not only displayed my business logo but also showed just a small taste of what can be produced from a combination of traditional woodworking tools and the X-Carve.