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Apartment sized sideboard with koi veneer pictorial inlay - CNC and Laser

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Picture of Apartment sized sideboard with koi veneer pictorial inlay - CNC and Laser
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Most sideboards are fairly large beasts. I had a request to construct a scaled down sideboard that would fit in an apartment or small dining area.  We were also going for a dramatic accent piece.  The pictorial inlays were created with a laser cutter by rastering out a pocket in the door and then vector cutting the inlay out of veneer.

I was shooting for some asian cues in an overall modern design, which required some dramatic curves in the bottom rails, so I decided to cut the entire piece on the CNC router, although most of the piece could have been easily cut with a table saw.

I think the fish in the pictorial are more like  mullet, but koi is what everyone else sees.  I like mullet.  I attempted  to  achieve the 3d/2d view you get when looking at fish from above the surface.

I made it at Techshop
www.techshop.ws
 
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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials
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Tools:

- CNC router with 1/4 inch compression bit
-Laser Cutter
- Pocket screw kit (jig, drill driver)
- Clothes iron (for edge banding)
- Edge band trimmer
- hand dill or drill press
-Forstner bit for euro hinge
screwdriver (electric)
- 6 foot bar clamps (4)
- 3 foot bar clamps (2)
- Paint brushes
- Finish sander

Software:
vector drawing software for inlays - i used Inkscape and Corel draw
2d cad/cam software for CNC -  I did it all  in Vcarve-pro

Materials:

- 3/4 plywood  2 4x8 sheets. (veneer faced - I used maple)
- 1/4 plywood - 1 sheet - for back cover (I used Luan 6mm)
- Veneer edge banding 40 ft.  (veneer to match plywood)
- paper backed veneer for inlay  - about 18x24 inches
- Euro hinges- frameless full overlay - 4 pieces
- Euro hinges - frameless half overlay - 2 pieces
- pocket screws mostly 1 1/4 and some  1 inch
- 220/350 grit sandpaper
- furniture finish (I used water based polyurethane)

Nice design.very smooth!
bennelson1 year ago
So pretty!

I love Koi. I have a few in my 210 gallon aquarium......
poofrabbit1 year ago
This is so very cool! I love the inlay, nicely done!
That is beautiful with the inlay!
triumphman1 year ago
I do scrimshaw and inlay and inlay work on my mountain man gear. I know how difficult it is by hand. You are so lucky to be able to do such precision work. Love the Koi too! I have three , that are hibernating through the winter in their garden tub. Thanks for sharing your expertise!
flavrt1 year ago
A stunning and practical work of art. Congratulations, this is one of the nicest pieces of furniture on Instructables. The inlay is bold, but not too much.

I don't understand how the laser and router work, but I can appreciate the suspense in passively watching the machines cut your project. I think it would be extremely valuable to develop a method using a standard pattern to test the machines. Then you could dial in kerf allowances with confidence.