Materials you'll need:
wood (either 2 types, or 1 pale wood + wood stain) 3/4" thick
3/4" brass round
jb weld or epoxy
sand paper (rough and fine grit)
Tools I used:
Milling machine (drill press or hand held drill will also work)
Step 1: Prepare Your Files
1 - queen bee
3 - grasshoppers
3 - soldier ants
2 - spiders
2 - beetles
Designing your graphics within a vector based program will allow you to easily send the files to a laser cutter for engraving. Draw a regular hexagon that is approximately 1.5" wide. The exact size doesn't matter as much as all the pieces being the same. Then go ahead and draw out your insects. Have fun! These can look any way you'd like them to.
Step 2: Laser and Metal Cutting
Adding a brass disk into the back of your pieces gives them a nice hefty weight (also brass and walnut look lovely together). Using a horizontal bandsaw made quick work of cutting my 3/4" brass round into pieces 1/2" long. Afterwards you'll probably want to use a file to knock off any sharp edges caused by cutting.
Step 3: Drilling and Sanding
With your pieces laser cut there may be some residue or slight burning, but that's easily handled with some sanding. Because small pieces can be a pain to sand, I put mine back into the piece of wood they were cut from, which helped hold them in place while I ran a sander over them a couple times.
After your pieces are cleaned up you can take an aggressive sand paper (60 or 80 grit) and a sanding block to knock down the sharp edges by hand. Finally go over all your surfaces with a find grit paper (220) until everything feels nice and smooth.
Step 4: Glueing and Finishing
To finish everything up apply a little oil or varnish to make everything extra beautiful.