In this Instructable you will learn how to make a TO DO chalkboard using a laser cutter. I used the laser cutters at TechShop in San Francisco to make this happen.
Things you will need:
a vector of stencil letters
.25 inch thick MDF with a pre finished chalkboard surface (18" x 24")
a "D" hook
Gorilla Super Glue (www.gorillatough.com)
a measuring device
optional: laytex gloves for applying super glue
a nail and hammer to hang up
and some chalk!
Step 1: Preparing Your Vector File
First you will create the shape of your chalkboard.
I chose a Rounded Rectangle that was 23"x17".
I decided on that size because the bed in the laser cutter is 24"x18". And I found it to be easiest to just make my cut slightly smaller than the dimensions of my material.
Next you can include your text in a stencil font: TO DO
Step 2: Create Outlines
Be sure to go to Type and Create Outlines of your text.
This allows your text to turn into a cuttable vector.
Step 3: Rotate and Scale Vector
Rotate your text upright and scale it to the size you like most.
(we must make sure that the design is directionally correct, because the orientation of the bed is 24" wide and 18" tall).
You will need to change your line stroke from 1 pt. to .0001 because that is what the Epilog (the brand of laser cutter) software will understand to cut as a vector.
Place your material in the laser cutter and make your cuts.
You will need to take a Safety and Basic Use (SBU) class at Techshop in order to be able to use this machine.
Because every laser cutter I have ever used is slightly different I recommend doing test cuts and adjusting your settlings accordingly.
Step 5: Put "D" Hook On
Using a measuring device make a mark in the middle of the back of the board and use that as a reference point as you place your "D" hook.
I glued the "D" hook plate about an inch below from the top of the board.
(Wear gloves so that your skin does not make contact with super glue or just be super careful).
To do that, I dabbed a small amount of Gorilla Super Glue on the backside of plate of the "D" hook and carefully pressed onto the MDF.
Some super glue will smear out from under the plate and that's okay because it will quickly set and you won't be able to see that little mess once it's hung.
Once it has dried (which usually takes 10-30 seconds but I allow for a slightly longer time) you can hang it up!