Laser Etch a Wooden Sign

This sign is in the Palo Alto Demonstration Garden and honors a Master Gardener who was an inspiration to many of us and one of the founders of the garden.

Step 1: Create the Design Layout in Adobe Illustrator.

The sign is a 17 1/2 wood circle. I created type on curves (hint use "type>create outlines" to convert the time to a vector shape). The interior floral element is clip art.

Step 2: Etch the Design Onto Wood

I used a scrap piece of pine and etched the design on the TechShop laser cutter at 600 dpi (it took almost 1 1/2 hours to complete!)

Step 3: Cut Circle Edges of Wood

I used the band saw at TechShop to cut the circle from the wood using the etched line as a guide. The cut circle edges were sanded for a smooth edge finish.

Step 4: Protect the Wood

Five coats of polyurethane were applied to both sides and edges of the circle to protect and preserve it from outside elements.

Step 5: Put Circle in the Garden

The completed wood circle was attached to a metal post with screws and placed in the garden. It looks great! I made it at Tech Shop in Menlo Park!



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