I'm a big fan of The Godfather movie so I thought what better project than recreating The Godfather movie poster in wood. I hope you are inspired to give it a go for yourself.
If you would like to see how how I made it I have a video here:
- Self Adhesive Paper
- Black Acrylic Paint
- Mirror Hanger
Step 1: Router, Bit & Template
The router I use is a very cheap but very impressive router. Its a 1/4 inch trim router and can be bought for around £40. Its a great router and you really cant go wrong for the money. Its especially great for these kinds of signs and art pieces.
I also made a custom base for it to make it easier to control.
The bit I use for the fine detail is a Whiteside SC-50 bit. It has a very narrow taper which enables you to get some very fine detail.
The template is printed onto self adhesive paper and then stuck onto the redwood. Self adhesive paper is relatively inexpensive and is great to use for templates like this.
Step 2: Route the Design
I set the bit to around 3mm deep. At this depth the point is very fine and I can get some fine detail. Of course the deeper the cut the wider the line so choose a depth which works best for your design.
The black areas of the design is what I want to remove. So I start the bit in that area and slowly bring it in towards my line. Carve around the letter and other areas of the design first. Also remove the black areas that are tight to get to. I also created a buffer zone around those areas to make removing the bulk easier later.
I find cutting towards my self is a lot easier. Its easier to see your line and its a much smoother action. Cutting away from yourself often hides the line and there is a lot of guesswork involved. With a little practice you will get a feel for how the bit reacts the the grain of the wood and you can compensate for it. At this depth of cut the pull is very minor but you can feel it.
With the fine detailed carved now its time to remove the bulk. I changed bits to a straight bit to make the job quicker. Set to the same 3mm depth I remove the black areas that are left. Make sure you work from the middle out. This way you have material left to support the router. You don't want to route yourself into a corner so to speak and have to remove material that is also supporting the router.
Step 3: Remove the Template & Cut Out
Using a heat gun to remove the self adhesive paper works really well. A hairdryer set to hot can work too. With the heat applied the paper peels right off.
I used a bandsaw to cut out my design. It isnt exact by any mean but it got the job done. Of course depending on your design a different method may be better to cut out the piece.
Step 4: Paint, Sand, Dye, Spray, DONE!
After a little light sanding by hand, its time to paint. I use cheap black acrylic paint because it doesn't bleed and covers the wood with one coat easily. Make sure to get into all the tight areas. Don't worry about getting paint on the surface of the raised sections, that will be sanded off later. Leave the paint to fully dry for a couple of hours before sanding.
To sand the paint off the raised surface of course a powered sander would make quick work of the job but for small areas like this I prefer to sand by hand. As you can see in the pictures once its sanded the design really shines through.
I routed a section out of the back using the straight bit. Then I added a keyhole mirror hanger. This will allow me to hang it on my wall.
I want the rose to be red so I used some red wood dye. Food colouring and even watered down paint works well too. I want to still be able to see the grain that's why I didn't use a solid paint for the rose.
To finish the piece I used some gloss spray lacquer. Giving it 3 coats all over and the piece is done.
I hope you are inspired to give it a go for yourselves.