I wanted to make a really cool unique sign for my cottage in Rondeau Park Ontario. I made it from plywood and acrylic at the Tech Shop in Detroit using a laser cutter.
Step 1: Design and Laser Cut the pieces
I designed the sign in Corel Draw. Then cut the front and back from 1/4 inch birch plywood and the center piece from 1/4 inch orange acrylic. Note the extra lumps on the frame pieces to allow for glue surface.
Step 2: Assemble the pieces
Assemble the pieces. I glued the wood together using the extra landing zones for extra strength. Note how there is a gap between the acrylic and the lowest wooden piece to allow water to run out. The acrylic is not glued, just held in place by the wooden frame.
Step 3: Glue
I glued it together in various steps using all the clamps I could find at the Tech Shop. Some members thought it was over-designed, but I think it came out great.
Step 4: Stain and Varnish
I used marine-grade stain and varnish since it will be hanging outside at the cottage year round.
Step 5: Learn from the real world
I hung it up in October. Then came superstorm Sandy and 70mph winds. It took quite a beating smashing into the tree it hung from, but it survived the winter. You can see the damage in these pictures. The bottom broke off all together. The glue turned out not to be up to the task - too water soluble.
Step 6: Repair
So now I've screwed it together from the backside since hardly anyone will see that part. I put the screws in all the places where there was extra surface for gluing. I recreated the tail using small diamond shaped pieces hanging from monofilament. Hopefully it will bend l like a blade of grass rather than breaking like the original design did.