Introduction: Sign for Jimmy DiResta

It's probably safe to say a large majority of us are here because of Jimmy DiResta. He is the epitome of a maker and a role model in making for most of us.

In February, I invited him to the school I work at, and he came by and spent the day making with us. It was an awesome day and great to learn some skills from a very sincere and talented craftsman.

I made him a gift prior to his visit.

It was made from 200-yr-old reclaimed black walnut and some 6061-T6 Aluminum plate.

I began by cutting out a nice chunk of walnut on a large Do-ALL Vertical Bandsaw and then sanding the edges smooth on a JET Belt/Disc Sander.

Then I threw the walnut on the Tormach mill and cut out a 0.145" deep pocket with a 1/4" dia. 2-fluted square endmill.

I got DiResta's logo off Google, ran it through Convertio to make the jpeg into a dxf file. Then I post-processed the file Powerstation software to engrave the logo with a 1/8" ballnose endmill.

I fixtured the 1/8" thick aluminum plate to a scrap 2x4 with some drywall screws, got it loaded up, zero'd everything out on the mill, and got cutting.

Once the logo was complete, I chamfered the corners on the belt sander, checked with a radius gauge, and inserted the plaque into the walnut pocket using some 3M spray glue and some clamps.

After it dried overnight, I removed the clamps, steel-wooled the entire piece, acetone'd the aluminum to remove any residue, and then filled in the engraving with black permanent marker. Once dried, I gave the sign 3 coats of poly during the day, and followed up with a sprayed-on clear coat the following day to protect from scratches.

As part of the "gift package", I also engraved a welder logo on a flask using the Tormach and a spring-loaded diamond bit drag engraver.

Needless to say, he was grateful for the gifts, but the pleasure was all ours.

Thank you for letting me share,


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