Introduction: CNC Typography

In this Instructable, I will try and show you how I made a Typography word art sign, using my X-Carve CNC Router, for the ones that like Videos, instead of pictures. I have included the video I made while making this.

I am a big Mustang and Ford guy, so I came up with a Ford Mustang theme for my Typography sign. All the words in the sign are related to the Mustang.

If you don't have a CNC machine, you could do the same thing, using vinyl cut letters or by painting them.

Step 1: What's Needed

You will need the following:

CNC router ( I used the X-Carve)

Cam/Cad program ( I used Vectric Aspire)

a piece of Cabinet Grade Plywood ( I used Pine 15" x 25")

Minwax Prestain wood conditioner

Minwax Ipswich Pine stain

Rustoleum Clear Gloss finish

Paint brushes

Clean rags

Black Craft paint

Orbital Sander with 220 grit sandpaper

90* CNC V-bit

Step 2: Design

I open up Vectric Aspire, you could probably do this in other Cad/Cam programs.

First we need to setup Job size, I had a piece of Cabinet grade Pine plywood, 15" x 25" x .720 thick. So I entered my dimensions into the program as shown in the first picture.

Next I made a Rectangle 14" x 24" and then made another 13 7/8" x 23 3/4". Used the align tool to center the objects.

Now for the text, this is the tricky part, they are no easy ways of doing this. Come up with the words that you want to use, just start placing them into the rectangle. Remember to leave space in between words and borders. I first started with the center words and then added words in other direction. I's also a good idea to vary font sizes.

Once you have the words that you want to carve, now we need to setup the toolpaths, I used a 90* V-bit for the lettering. If you noticed in the pictures I set it to start .031" . This is to allow for sanding after the carving is done.

I also made a V-carve toolpath for the border

Now that you have got your toolpaths and are satisfied with the previews. Now is the time to export the toolpaths for your CNC machine..

Step 3: CNC

Now that we have the files, I uploaded them to USG ( Universal G-Code Sender) to send the data to my X-Carve CNC router. I carved all the letters first, using a 90* V-bit, then carved the border with the same bit.

Note when I first carved, some of the lettering was very faint, so I added an extra .031 to the carving of the letters. Also added .063 to the border.

Step 4: Sand

After I carve the letters, I folded a piece of sandpaper and sand in between some of the v-carving, sanding the fuzzies. Also took my Orbital Sander with 220 grit sandpaper and sanded the top real good.

Step 5: Prestain

I blew the lettering out real good with a air hose, and clean rag. Then I applied a coat of Minwax Prestain wood conditioner. Let this set for about 10 to 15 minutes. Wipe off excess, if any.

Step 6: Stain

Now for the stain, I applied a good coat of Minwax Ipswich Pine stain, I let this set for about 15 minutes, then wipe off the excess.

Note be sure and get inside the lettering when wiping off.

Step 7: Finish

After letting the stain dry overnight, I lightly sprayed a coat of Clear gloss finish.

Step 8: Paint Lettering

After letting the clear dry for a few hours, I painted inside the letters with Black craft paint. Be sure and get paint in all the letters real good. Let this dry for a few hours and double check that you covered all the lettering.

Note don't worry about getting outside of the lines, that's why we sprayed the clear coat.

Step 9: Sand Again

When the paint for the lettering has dried, use your orbital sander with 220 grit sandpaper to level off the excess paint. Then take a air hose and rag to clean the saw dust off, be sure and get all the saw dust off before the next step.

Step 10: Finish Again

Now we need to finish the project again, I sprayed a good coat of the clear again.

Note for a better finish, wait until this drys, then sand with 320 or 400 grit sandpaper, and spray another coat of finish.

Step 11: Enjoy

Now enjoy the piece of art work that you have created, this would look good in a Garage or Mancave.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my Instructable, I hope this encourages somebody to think outside the box, we are only limited by our imagination. Thanks again

Comments

author
blainebryson (author)2016-07-14

Have you considered painting the board before doing the milling so that you don't have to hand paint all of the letters. This would work if you sand all of the excess off and use the clear coat.

author

But I wanted the lettering to be black, if I paintd before v-carving, the wood would be black and the lettering would be unstained plywood.

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Bio: Hi my name is David, I have been working with wood since I was a teenager. I like to build things, also like to take ... More »
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