Instructables
Picture of Laser Etch a Wooden Sign
This sign is in the Palo Alto Demonstration Garden and honors a Master Gardener who was an inspiration to many of us and one of the founders of the garden.
 
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Step 1: Create the design layout in Adobe Illustrator.

Picture of Create the design layout in Adobe Illustrator.
The sign is a 17 1/2 wood circle. I created type on curves (hint use "type>create outlines" to convert the time to a vector shape). The interior floral element is clip art.

Step 2: Etch the design onto wood

Picture of Etch the design onto wood
I used a scrap piece of pine and etched the design on the TechShop laser cutter at 600 dpi (it took almost 1 1/2 hours to complete!)

Step 3: Cut circle edges of wood

Picture of Cut circle edges of wood
I used the band saw at TechShop to cut the circle from the wood using the etched line as a guide. The cut circle edges were sanded for a smooth edge finish.

Step 4: Protect the wood

Picture of Protect the wood
Five coats of polyurethane were applied to both sides and edges of the circle to protect and preserve it from outside elements.

Step 5: Put Circle in the Garden

Picture of Put Circle in the Garden
The completed wood circle was attached to a metal post with screws and placed in the garden. It looks great! I made it at Tech Shop in Menlo Park!