Music Plaque

In order to complete this project, you will need the following items and machines,

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Measuring Tool
  • Jointer
  • Wood Ripper(or Jigsaw)
  • Table Saw(or Jigsaw)
  • Planer
  • Wood Glue
  • Clamps
  • Sander
  • A program called Mastercam X
  • CNC Router
  • Polyurethan(optional)
  • Wood Stains(optional)

Step 1: Planning It Out

I chose this design for my Plaque as a gift to an orchestra teacher but this project could be used to make anything on a plaque, you would only need to carefully choose your designs and dimensions differently. I first started out with how big I wanted this to be. I played around with a few different sizes but, in order for me to get the best results, I went with 18" x 10" with a thickness of 1/4". I liked the way it looked so then it was time to decide what type of wood I wanted to use, its important that you choose your wood carefully as some types of wood can be a bit more expensive than others. I decided that pine was a good wood choice as this plaque was going to hang inside and wouldn't be damaged that much. Once you have your final dimensions and designs then the next step is to make the first cuts.

Step 2: Cutting Rough Dimensions

Now that you have your dimensions all planned out you need to get yourself your type of wood I was able to get a couple of planks of pine wood from Home Depot it's up to you where you get your wood from but make sure that you get planks at least about 5 - 6 in wide and 20 - 25 in long and the thickness at least 3/4" or 1". Longer, thicker, and wider are ok as well you will just have more scrap left over. The first thing I did was bring them both over to the planner and get them to the same thickness of 1/2 if they are different thicknesses then this will make your project a lot more difficult. After that, I brought them over to the jointer and used the best side of the piece of wood and put it through the jointer until it was smoothed out. Then, I brought them to the shop where I measured roughly 20" and cut both pieces of wood this way. I then went over to the wood ripper and cut roughly 6" and cut both pieces of wood this way. The reason they were cut not in their final dimensions is that we needed to cut it out and smooth it out before we could even glue it together.

Step 3: Gluing

Once you have your roughly cut pieces you need to then glue them together. This is the easiest step but this will take the most time. You need to first set it on a table with something under it preferably newspaper or cardboard. Then decide which side of your both of your pieces looks the best and make them the front of the project. They will be connected the long way so be sure that you have your sides right. Put a line of glue on both edges of the pieces, and set both pieces on the table with curves going opposite of each other which means one will point down and one will point up and squeeze them together. Then, get at least three clamps and put them on the piece and tighten the clamp while trying your best to keep the front surface as flat as possible. Then leave it in a dry ventilated area and wait 24 hours for the glue to dry. It is important that you DO NOT mess with the piece once you have glued and clamped it, wait for it to completely dry and then come back to it.

Step 4: Making Final Dimensions and Sanding

Once the glue has dried you can now proceed to make final cuts and get started on the design. Unclamp your piece and then get ready to use the planer, now that you have everything glued its not only time to cut final dimensions but also time to get rid of any glue on your piece. Be sure to get both sides of your piece as the glue will most likely be on both sides. Plane it down to your desired thickness for me it was 1/2" and I got everything looking nice and neat. Then, go over to your table saw and cut your desired length I cut it down to 18". Finally, head over to the wood ripper and rip it to desired height mine was to 10". Once your piece is cut its time to sand down your wood. grab your sander and begin with low sandpaper and slowly work your way up or until you feel you're satisfied with your results.

Step 5: Making the Design in MasterCamX

Now that you have your design finalized as well as your wood cut to its final dimensions, you can start on creating your design in master cam. If you have never used master cam attached are some videos showing the basics on how to use it. Once you have your program done its time to bring it over to the CNC Router and start up the program, after that, you simply start your program and let the machine do its job.

Step 6: Finishing Touches

Once the machine was finished I decided that I wanted to pray it with Polyurethane a coat that protects the wood from water and is mostly used on tables as it protects the wood from bacteria such as food being dropped on it. Give it a good spray and coat it about three times for the best results. Once my three coats were dry I then decided to stain it dark walnut in the inside and golden chestnut on the outside to have the symbols really pop out, but the stains are completely up to you and how you want to design it. The burn on it was done by a friend of mine so I can't really show you how to add that on but regardless I hope you enjoy the new plaque that you have.

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