We are going to make a Darth Vader and Star Wars sign on the X-Carve CNC router.
You will need:
CNC Router( I have a X-Carve CNC Router)
Cad/Cam program like Vectric Aspire or equivalent
Cabinet grade plywood 15" wide by 26" Long
1/8" Router endmill bit
60* Router V-bit
3/8" Radius Router bit
Table router or handheld router
Step 1: Get Picture
Download picture of Darth from the Internet, import picture into Aspire and use Trace function. Now you have the vectors to do the carving. Adjust the size of your vectors to fit your board and center it up. You can leave vectors like that are or do some adjusting.
Note I wish I had done some adjusting before cutting. Some of the letters didn't carve as good.
Step 2: Add Toolpaths
Now we need to add Star Wars, choose font or download new font. Then we need to add Toolpaths and export them to gcode for your machine. Saved the toolpaths to a location of your choice.
Step 3: Start Carving
Now place your plywood in your CNC Router and clamp down. Install a 1/8" endmill bit first and carve all the flat areas first. Then change out bit, with a 60* V-Bit and carve where the 1/8" endmill can't reach.
I used Universal Gcode sender to send the commands to the router.
Step 4: Table Router
Now take your plywood to your Table router or use a handheld router. Use a 3/8" Radius bit on all 4 edges on the face side. Adjust the height of your router bit to the correct height, use a test piece to check height.
Step 5: Paint
You might have to do a little hand sanding to insides where Star Wars and Darth is before painting.
Now we are painting, paint the Star Wars letters Golden Sunset, I am using Craft Paint. Then paint Darth with Black Craft paint. Don't worry if you get some on the face, we will sand it last
Note do not Sand the face until after paint is dried, just in case you get some on top edge.
Step 6: Sand
After paint has dried over night, sand the face of the board with 220 grit sandpaper.
Note try not to sand where the paint is, we only want to sand where we are going to stain.
Step 7: Stain
Wipe off your piece real good, use a air hose and a clean rag. Then apply Prestain wood conditioner, let it set for recommended time on the can. Then apply stain, brush the stain in the direction of the grain. Allow to set for a few minutes, the longer it sets the darker the finish. Wipe off the access, apply a second coat if necessary.
I used Ipswich Pine stain, but if you want a darker look, try Walnut.
Allow the Stain to dry at least 24 hours or longer, then apply some clear coat sealer