Instructables
Picture of Laser Cutter / Engraver - Large wooden letter
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a

A big letter a - almost 18"x24"

Made of wood.

Etched with laser engraver, but you could draw it out.
Cut with scroll, coping, or jig saw
finish sand and seal or decorate.

 
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Step 1: Design The Letter

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Make a large letter the size of your wood.
The cutting surface of the Epilog Helix Laser I used was 18"x24"
I cut a sheet of 1/2" Plywood to 18"x24" to fit.

you could also draw the letter directly on your wood if you like

Step 2: Print the letter

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I used the laser to trace the letter on the wood.
Depending on the wood you use and the power of the laser, you can use it to trace or cut the image into the wood.
My 1/2' plywood was too thick for this laser, so the image was burnt in and used as a cutting guide.

Step 3: Cut wood letter out

Picture of Cut wood letter out
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Take the letter to your wood shop and get out the scroll saw.
A coping saw or jigsaw will also work if you prefer.

Cut the letter out along the outline.

Drill a hole in the inner waste area to open a space for your saw blade.

Step 4: Finish sand the letter

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Sand the edges to clean up laser burns or saw marks.
I used the belt sander for the outside edges and hand sanded the inner areas.
Finish sand the face with a block or finishing sander.

Step 5: Decorate your letter

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Decorate your letter with paint, collage, wine corks, or leave it plain. I used a clear glaze to protect the wood.  Since this is a gift, we may decorate it in the future.

Step 6: Add hanging hardware

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Find the center of gravity on the letter. This is the spot where it will hang balanced and not look crooked.  Add a picture hook or drill a hole to hang letter from a nail.
I chose to drill a hole at an angle so it would grab a nail head and hang flush with the wall.
Be sure not to drill too deep and cut through the front!

Step 7: Enjoy your new letter

Enjoy your new letter!

I made this project at the Tech Shop in Menlo Park.
http://www.techshop.ws/