I would like to share with all of you my process of creating laser engraved chests! This specific chest was commissioned as a non-profit project by Fox NFL Sports. The concept was to create an eye-appealing and creative solution to the construction of a chest for the 50th Anniversary Superbowl. The whole idea behind having this created is to use it in a video production which will reveal the winner of the Superbowl. This video will then be released throughout their networks and social media accounts.
The chest features the new 50th Anniversary logo on top of the football field with the competing teams names: The Panthers & Broncos. Each side is designated to a specific team and their helmet design. In the center we have the NFL logo as a focal point when examining the chest. Inside there is a beautiful green felt reflecting the field. All copyrighted images belong to their respective owners.
So without further ado, lets get into how I build my laser engraved chests!
-Box Cutter/ Xacto
Step 1: Materials & Planning
So for this chest I was approached with an idea and had to come up with a creative solution to their problem. They were interested in having a chest fabricated for a promotional video. The materials I usually use for my chest includes pine, hardboard, and birch plywood. I use a slab of pine to engrave the walls of the chest and the birch plywood is used as top of the chest. Usually I use the same material for the top and bottom of my chest; however for this specific chest I ended up using hardboard for the bottom which doesn't make any difference.
Once we have all the material in our possession we are ready to move onto the next step in the process of creating this laser engraved chest.
Step 2: Designing & Engraving
When it comes to making these types of chests its really all about the design. This design for the Superbowl was all developed through the use of Photoshop and Illustrator. I used Photoshop to be able to take images of the helmets and the new 50th Anniversary Superbowl logo and turn them into easily readable vectors for illustrator.
First things you need to figure out is how large you want this chest to be. The thing I choose first is the size of the top of the chest which designates each size of the sides. The top is 9.25" x 6.75" ; thus each side will be those said lengths. Now I will choose the height of chest and how large I want the bottom have versus the top half. For these measurements I decided the a total of 2.75" for the height which I distributed to the top and bottom side walls. The top was .85" tall and the bottom 1.90" tall.
So to put this all together we have
2x - 9.25" x 6.75" ( Top & Bottom Cut outs)
2x - 6.75" x .85" ( Top Side Walls)
2x - 9.25" x .85" (Top Front & Back Walls)
2x - 6.75" x 1.90" (Bottom Side Walls)
2x - 9.25" x 1.90" (Bottom Front & Back Walls)
After we have all the measurements ready to go we can began designing within them and how they will work together. On the top of the chest I decided to include the new logo on top of a football field vector with a simple border which related back to the game of football and the NFL logo. On the sides I repeat this type of border design and also include the Broncos and Panthers helmet illustration.
We can now start engraving. I went ahead and put my large slab of pine into the engraved and set up my file to engrave the walls of the chest. The settings I use are similar to my other work where I have (Power 100% Speed 100% PPI 500) and an Image Density of 6. *I use these same setting for the top engravings on Birch Plywood
For this specific chest I went ahead and told the laser to cut the pine out for me so I wouldn't have to use the band saw. Usually I use the band saw because of burning on the edges but this time it worked out pretty nicely. The settings I used for the cuts was (Power 100% Speed 1.5% PPI 500). For the cuts on the Birch Plywood I increase the speed to 6%.
After all the wood is engraved and cut out is is time for assembly.
Step 3: Assembly of the Chest
Since I had the laser cut the pine out for me I went straight to the miter saw and cut 45 degree angles in the ends of all the walls. From here I got out the brad gun and wood glue and connected all the bottom walls together and the top walls together. After that I am able to attached the top engraving to the top walls with wood glue and brads. Then I do the same to the bottom walls and the bottom cut out.
The assembly of the chest has been complete, all the needs to be done in the wood shop would be to route out the hinge spacing on the top and bottom back wall. After the routing we can take a power drill and attach the hinges on the top and bottom of the chest.
A very simple assembly.. now to just add the finishing touches.
Step 4: Final Touch-ups & Conclusion
After the assembly I coated the chest with a couple layers of gold spray paint in our paint booth. It then dried and was ready for the inlaid felt. In order to get proper measurements of the felt I line the felt up with the edge I need and mark the length. You can do this with a ruler. After I cut off the excess amount I can slide it into that wall and mark off the extruding material. I then have a final cut with precise measurement to attach to that side of the chest. You can do this process on all sides of the chest.
In conclusion I really loved how this chest ended up, the design was minimalist and quite suiting for the Superbowl! The one thing that really made it a successful piece was probably the choice of green felt which helped reflect that of the football field.
I hope you all enjoyed this instructable on how I go about creating my laser engraved chests.