Instructables
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This instructable goes into the process and preparation of a wooden panel cut from an Epilog Laser Cutter. Wooden panels are a superb alternative to canvas panels.If there is access to a laser-cutter, it is an effective way to make cheap , custom canvases of varying sizes and shapes.
 
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Step 1:

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Using Illustrator, or CorelDraw, select the rectangle tool. Create your vector on your preference of size and shape. For this instructable, I will be using the Rounded Rectangle Tool. This is a good option for artists who want to skip sanding any sharp edges later on in the process.

Step 2:

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After customizing your shape, the Epilog's Engraving Properties differ on variables. Choices consist veneer, plywood, solid wood, and whether or not if that wood is defined as a soft or hard wood.You only need to have the Vector setting chosen, and although the speed and power are variables, have the Frequency setting set to 500Hz. For this piece of plywood,I set the Speed as 35% and Power as 85%.

Step 3:

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After the plywood is cut out, using Pva keeps the paint applied from soaking into the wood. Using gesso is also an option, but using an acrylic paint  as a gesso can cause corrosion.

Step 4:

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Applying the gesso is best applied with a large,foam brush, rather than a regular painting brush. This diminishes uneven coating and ridges. As for toning, apply your color to the gesso, or, if you've applied a layer or two of PVA, apply the tint directly to your prepped panel.