Introduction: 3D Burned/carved Wooden Minecraft Logo
This is not for the complete novice, but someone with a moderate amount of knowledge in geometry and power tools and a little carving can make this in about 6 hours.
NOTE: If you do not have wood burning tools, I list a alternative method to the burning in step #5
NOTE #2: You can apply this method to many other types of designs and get a nice finished product!
Tool list :
Wood (preferably 1 x 6 in. by at least 38 inch)
Carpenters square (big and small type helps, but the small type and a good straight edge will do)
Jigsaw or bandsaw or scrollsaw
Circular saw (optional but will save mass time and make a nice straight line for taking off horizontal excess)
woodburning / pyrography source (optionally a solder gun)
wood chisels or Dremel or * maybe razor blades if your risky (be extremely careful if you use razor blades)
Sandpaper / palm sander
Black spray paint (quality of paint isn't really a issue, I opted for the cheap dollar store stuff)
Cardboard (preferably as long as your piece)
Sorry for the lack of extensive photo documentation of every step here. I did not think do to a instructable until after completion, I did however photo document the general steps so that helps a lot, you should be able to get the gist of what I did here.
Step 1: Mapping Out the Image
First I sought a official looking logo off of a Google image search. Then I mapped a scaled version of the logo on a sheet of grid paper. Over all this was rather easy given the pixelated style off Minecraft related items. The only place you might experience any trouble here is the creeper face in the letter "A" some of the lines fall on half pixel marks, you should be able to see it pretty easy in the picture.
Step 2: Transfering the Image to the Wood
This is a little harder when your freehand redrawing a non pixelated image, but luckily the image I used was cake. First we want to start by using a carpenters square to mark out a grid pattern on the wood. The size of your squares will vary depending on the size of logo you want to make, I used a 1x6 piece of pine, my grid squares were 1/2 in. by 1/2 in. if you are using salvaged wood make sure to inset your first line a little in case the left edge is not straight! Now lay your square on the wood and mark every 1/2 in. point, do this about every 10 inches, then use a straight edge to connect all the marks to make a horizontal grid. Now on the second line mark out every half inch from left to right, then repeat this on the second to bottom line, now use your straight edge and pencil to connect these marks and make your vertical grid lines! Try to go light to some degree in your pencil markings, because you will sand these grid lines off later in the project, but do them dark enough you will be able to see them throughout the project.
Now that we have created a grid on the wood redraw the image of the logo onto the grid like you did on your graph paper. I did this by lightly darkening right behind the border lines of the letters, that way the lines remained clear/defined so I would be able to see them easily later when I began to cut out the voids/negative space of the design.
Step 3: Cutting Out the Negative Spaces
(The picture here is a little misleading, because I forgot to take a picture of the piece before I inset it.)
This is likely the most pain staking and timely part of the project!
So now that you have your general logo marked out on the grid pattern, you need to XxX mark out XxX and put some cat scratch in the voids so you know where to cut when you are removing the void spaces. Also pay special attention to the fact I didn't remove certain areas I could have, this was to to ensure the strength / integrity of the piece. You can modify this if you want but I personally recommend against it, unless you are doing a larger scale piece!
You will want to gently inline the voids with a colored pencil. Notice I said *IN line and not outline, you want to keep your marks inside the void area as to avoid confusion and help keep your lines visible and straight when you begin cutting the void spaces out. You may also want to mark the inset areas with a different color to avoid confusion!
If you used a 1x6 inch board like I did you might want to take your extra space off the bottom using a circular saw to avoid having to cut a long and straight line with smaller hand tools or using a bandsaw!
Now that you have all your neg space defined/marked out use your drill to make pilot holes in the negative space areas to allow for the insertion of a jigsaw blade or passing through of a bandsaw or scrollsaw blade. You may have to make two holes right beside each other and then ream them out / into one hole using the drill to make them connect.
Take special care to avoid getting to close to the edges or corners whenever possible while drilling or reaming the pilot holes, you want to be able to ease into the pattern from your pilot hole and not be right on it, this assures you have a proper blade alignment when you do meet into the pattern marks, keeps everything nice and smooth, will help to avoid excessive filing later!
Now that you have your pilot holes drilled out go ahead and cut out your negative space, occasional stopping, taking note of paying attention to your edges/boundary marks, it would really suck to have to waste the progress thus far because of one bad cut!
After you cut out all of your negative spaces you may want to file/sand out some of the rough spots and mainly corners to keep everything looking nice and squared, also if you use a jigsaw, being that a jig saw blade will lean sometimes, you may want to even / touch things up a little from the backside to keep your cuts looking even from the front to back!
Step 4: Carving / Insetting / Recessing the Voids
Certain parts of the wood that are not part of the logo must remain in tact to some degree but be less noticeable than the logo itself in order to help maintain the strength of the design. Most of these look alright on this piece, however I was a little annoyed by the piece between the bottom of the F and the T at first, before I got it finished, but I didn't want the T to snap off if by chance the item was dropped or knock ed off the wall.
The way I inset my pieces is by using a razor blade, you can use any number of carving tools, or a Dremel, or a shallow router. I start by going around all my edges to mark them out, make them more easily visible to the eye it also creates a breaking point for chips to stop and not exceed their boundaries when you start removing material. I then carefully carve gently towards the edges, from the inside areas that will be removed paying close mind to where my hands are, and not to exceed the boundaries.
NOTE: this is very dangerous I HIGHLY recommend using a small chisel and not using a razor blade like I do!
For the face of the creeper that is inside the letter A, after I scored out the edges, I made many vertical and horizontal scores / lines inside the boundaries of the face to make it easier to remove chips as I went seeing how there is no edges here. This part is rather hard, I stress you should use a small chisel for safety reasons and to avoid exceeding the boundary marks accidentally.
Step 5: Woodburning/defining the Insets
This is where I chose to define the insets, you could also do the crack texture at this point to or wait until before you stain, or do it all before you stain its just a matter of preference from here on out.
The reason I personally did this part now as opposed to later in the project, was because instead of using a standard wood burning tool, I used a larger older model ("Benchtop" brand) solder iron with a long flat tip flipped upside down to burn this part, as it tends to burn quicker darker and covers more area at once! Then later I used the regular wood burner to do the cracks, I also removed/carved out heavy voids of the cracks before I burned them out to save time, as the standard cheapo wood burners take a while to burn enough to remove significant amounts of material. Later in the project after I sanded the grid off I did have to re-burn a few spots where the power sander had over lapped, but no fret it was a easy fix.
Alternatively method of inset and crack definition :
Carve out all your areas you would want detailed (insets and cracks) and instead of using a wood burner to define them, spray the whole face with a coat of black spray paint, then carefully sand the paint off of the face of the logo, if you made your insets and cracks deep enough, the face will become re-exposed and the cracks and insets will still have paint in them!
Try to use a minimal amount of paint when using this method, because when you sand it off it really gums up the sanding medium, you will go through a lot more paper removing paint, because it sticks to the paper, as compared to wood dust that would mostly blow away!
Step 6: Burning Out the Cracks
I did this part with a regular cheapo soldering iron as it allowed more detail then the old solder iron and it allows for some positioning error correction before it really lays a burn, seeing how they take a few seconds before they really start burning a nice black carbon color! I personally carved out some of the larger areas of the cracks to assure a nice depth effect and to save time / avoid having to burn out so much material!
Sorry, I didn't take any pictures of the the crack burns before I stained.
Step 7: Shadowing, Adding Some Contrast to the Edges
To add some contrast and give it a little more aged look I shadowed the inner edges of my piece, not a requirement, but it does set off the color of the front a little better. I recommend using a piece of cardboard bigger than your piece to avoid spray paint getting onto the face side of your work!
Lay your piece face down on the cardboard, then lightly spray around the edges and inner edges, do this from all 4 sides if needed to make sure you don't have any areas that lack paint when your finished. If you plan on hanging your piece on a wall you don't really have to waste paint painting the whole back side. I also signed mine so before I painted it to avoid having my signature painted over I covered that area with a piece of mailing tape so I could remove the tape after the paint dried and my signature would still be visible.
Step 8: Sanding Off the Grid
This is pretty self explanatory, but some points here are to try your best to avoid overlapping on the areas you have burnt, although inevitably it is somewhat impossible, you will likely have to re-burn some of the areas or touch up painted areas with some paint using a brush. I used a electric palm sander with emery paper, seemed to do the trick pretty well! You may want to go over any of the sides you cut as well at this point to smooth them out.
Step 9: Drilling the Hanging Hole
We want the piece to hang evenly so we will have to determine a balancing point. If this piece was perfectly even / symmetrical we could just use geometry to find / center out a balance point for hanging, but since it is not, finding a center point of balance will be a little more tricky! I personally did this by balancing the whole piece on a drumstick, then when it balanced I marked that point with a little poke from a thumbtack on the top edge, then made a corresponding mark on the back of the piece that was lined up with that point.
You will want to make sure you do not drill all the way through the wood when you drill a hanger hole, this is done by marking the drill bit with a piece of masking tape, making sure that piece of tape on your bit is significantly less than the depth of your wood! Look at the picture to get a better idea of what I'm talking about here.
Once I made my mark for the hanging hole I drilled straight in about a 16th of a inch to make sure the bit was set, then shifted the drill to a *upward angle pointing towards the *top of the logo until I hit the depth mark tape on my drill bit. This makes for a easy hang, you can now hang the whole piece with one small nail, if you drilled your angle right this will help assure that it doesn't fall off during times of vibrations or minor tremors ect..
Step 10: Stain / Finish
The way you choose to finish is up to you have fun with it!
You could go a few routes here, I opted for a lighter stain, applied with a scrap piece of cloth and no sealant seeing how I plan on keeping this piece indoors.
There is a lot of free range and exploration to be had with stains and finishing in general. If you opt to experiment I suggest using a scrap of the same wood you made your piece from to test you methods before applying those methods to your meticulously prepared piece! If the results of your experimental methods are desirable (you may not want to judge the results as final until everything dries, the dry appearance may differ slightly from the wet) you can then apply them to your actual piece with confidence knowing that the results will be far more predictable than just winging through it!
You can make homemade stains from organic materials, you can do different layers of different stains for different tones. Certain types of stain seem to grab on to different grains and layers of the wood so sometimes using multiple stains can produce some very interesting final effects! You can experiment with back stripping (using thinner to leach some of the stain back out) after you stain, or in between layers. You may also opt to seal it with mineral spirits or a clear coat spray or a spar urethane.
You may also want to experiment with aging/hue effects using a heat source like a heat gun or blowtorch from about 10-12 inches back to lightly burn/sear the wood before of after you stain, this can create different looks, bring out new details sometimes. There is a lot more possibilities with wood finishing then most people realize, once you start finishing, some of the details can really surprise you!
Once you get your stain or chosen finish on, let it dry then hang it up, sit back and admire your work :)
If you make one of these post a picture of it in the comments, I would love to see your work!
Retrospective : After observing the logo on my shelf for awhile I noticed one significant mistake, The "T" is one unit of measurement, or "pixel" so to speak not wide enough. Looking through the pictures I see I drew this right on my graph paper, but not paying close enough attention I made the slight mistake when I was re drawing the image on the grid of the board, live and learn, I suppose!
Typically to prevent these kinds of mistake I like to observe the drawn out design for a day or two on the board before I make the first cut, but being in a hurry to have the piece done, I overlooked the slight flaw, never even flinched until the whole project was done.
Moral of the story, always take your time, observe your work step for step to ensure proper ratios are met!
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