In this Instructable i will show you how I made some Custom Scrabble letters on my CNC.
I have also included a video, that might be more helpful.
What you will need:
CNC Router ( I am using X-Carve CNC )
Cam/Cad Software ( I am using Vectric Aspire )
Plywood or Solid wood ( I am using Cabinet Grade Plywood for mine ) Solid wood is better
1/8" Endmill for CNC
Keyhole slot cutter ( optional )
Sandpaper and Sander
Black Craft Paint
Matte or Gloss Clear Sealer
Window Screen clips
Phillips Head Screw Driver
Step 1: Design Placeholder for CNC
I had some old Plywood doors that was just laying around, I used these for the placeholder. I first squared them up on the Tablesaw. Mine was 26 7/8" Long by 14 3/8" Wide and 3/4" thick.
Note you can change these dimension, according to the size of your machine.
Next I drew a Square about 1/32" over the size of wood that I was going to use, mine was 5.619 x 5.619. You want the pieces to come out easy, that's why I went a little larger.
My Board would accommodate 8 total squares, so I space them out evenly. Next I made some smaller Rectangles, which I will pocket, to make it easier lifting the blocks of wood. Then I drill and made some relief pocket in the corners, for the Window Screen clips.
Step 2: Placeholder
Then I install the board into the CNC and cutout the squares, Pocketed the rectangles and drill holes.
Note I made a arrow with a Marker for a Reference mark, this way I can reinstall in my machine and use this template over and over.
Install the Window Screen clip with screws, note you just need 2 per Scrabble letter.
Step 3: Rip Squares
I had some left over Cabinet grade Plywood on hand, so I ripped my squares from it. I ripped my squares 5 17/32" wide, both ways.
Note after ripping, take one to your template and see if it fits, if not adjust it to fit.
Step 4: Design Letters
Now I made some more squares to fit inside the placeholder squares for the letters and numbers. Then choose the font that you want to use, my friend like the Copperplate font, so that's what I used. For the numbers, I used a single line Helvetica IL font.
Next we need to make some Toolpaths, for the lettering I used a 1/8" Endmill and pockted .063 inch, which is 1/16" deep. i also used the same 1/8" Endmill for the numbers, but used the Profile Toolpath, with On the vectors for the selection. Also 1/16" deep.
Note last picture shows the preview, make sure it looks right in this picture before you continue. Then export toolpaths and begin to carve.
Step 5: Machine Letters
Now install the squares into the Template and fasten down with the Window Screen clips. Then begin to carve.
Note I first made some Keyhole slots on the back side for hanging, then flipped them over.
Also note when installing the squares, put the grain of wood the same for all.
I put my Grain going Up and Down
Step 6: Sand
After you take your Scrabble letters out, I sanded them on Belt sander, if you don't have a Belt sander, just use what you have. Also l had to lightly hand sand the lettering to remove some fuzzies.
Note after sanding blow off any left over dust, or wipe off. Before going to next step.
Step 7: Stain and Seal
Then I Stain my letters with Minwax Natural Wood stain, but you could stain the letters with any stain.
After letting the stain to dry overnight, I sprayed a coat of Matte Clear sealer. Then let it dry for a few hours.
Step 8: Paint Lettering
Then I painted the lettering with Black Craft paint, note you can paint yours with different colors.
Note you may have to paint more than 1 coat to get your desire finish.
Step 9: Resand and Finish
Once the paint from the lettering has dried, lightly sand over the top of the lettering, removing any black paint. Blow off and wipe down with clean paper towel, then recoat with Clear Gloss Finish.
I used 220 Grit sandpaper for this.
Step 10: Finish
Once they are finish, hang them up and enjoy. Note I made some others a little different. The Orange Vols, I painted the squares first, and sealed the paint with Gloss Clear finish, before carving. The Love letters, I just substituted the black with Red craft paint.
Thanks for checking out my Instructable, I hope this helps somebody that has a CNC, and wants to make Scrabble letters.