Huh...not like a love story at all. It sounded a lot better in the original write-up. Whatever. Anyway, after sadly turning in my keys at the end of the semester, I thought I'd never play with volatile laser beams again...at least until next year. BUT! My school has a Design, Build, Fly (DBF) team - although we always managed to catastrophically crash just before the competition...go figure - and a team member wants to get an early jump on manufacturing procedures in an attempt to revitalize the project. So whaddaya know, I'm now the go-to guy for lasers. Booya.
So it's time for a new saga! For years we've had these old central air supply and return vents in our hallway and garage. They're old-fashioned, impossible to clean, and bent up from years of hallway soccer and such games with four kids in the family. In short, they're ugly now, and too old to find a direct replacement. Custom or even stock metal covers are pricey...and mostly hideous. So what is the solution? Drab to fab and all that jazz - laser cut a new one out of wood!
The leading image is the final product for our garage vent cover. The second image shows a before-and-after for the hallway vent. Still a bit of work to do on that one - cleaning up the wall around the edges and such - but not too shabby overall. All of this work was done at the cost of materials and a bit of time on a CAD system, totaling perhaps $20 - because my usual wood shop was out of the size stock I needed, so I had to go to an art supply store, where they charge double. Figures.