Driver for LEDs
Saw (any will do)
Scrollsaw or jigsaw
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Step 1: Build Video
Step 2: Making a Stencil
For this guide I’m using the venom face logo but this could be done with any logo. Find the image you want to use on google and upload it to https://rasterbator.net/ on here you can choose how many sheets of paper you want your image split across. I went with 1.2 pages, which I think is right for the size I want this to be but you can make yours bigger or smaller. This site will export a pdf to you to download and then print out. You will need to stick the template together with tape and trim off any bits of the boarder that get in the way with a knife or scissors. After doing this with all the pages you will have a nice template to use.
Step 3: Gathering the Wood
One of the first thing to do after making the stencil is to find a pallet, your local industry estate will have loads hanging around the bins. Make sure you ask before taking any, When choosing a pallet make sure it’s safe to use. Your looking for HT Mark and don’t use it if it has the MB Mark. Also I wouldn’t take it if it’s looks like something had been spilt on it. You have no idea what it is. There is some very good guides to pallet safety on here.
Now you have got your pallet home, it’s time to break it up. There is also loads of methods you could use to break it apart. I normally use a crowbar and hammer to get under a slat and then pull to pop it off. Check out here and YouTube for other technique for breaking down a pallet. After you have pulled all the slats of the pallet, you will need to remove the nails by hammering them out backwards. You have now got your wood ready to use.
Step 4: Preparing the Wood
Now you have worked out how big you want your template, you need to work out how big the signs going to be and how much wood you need to complete this.
For this project I ended up using only 3 slats from a pallet which I cut in half.
Step 5: Attaching the Stencil and Cutting the Face Out
To attach the stencil to the wood I used spray adhesive, I sprayed all over the back of the stencil and lined it up on the wood and pushed down and let it sit there for 10/15 mins.
Before we can start cutting the face out we need to drill some holes so we can get a blade in there to be able to cut the stencil out.
Step 6: Attaching the Support Beams
Now the venom face template is cut out, it time to add some support beams to the back to help keep the wood flat after torching, the normally tends to bend after its been torched. This step should help with keeping it flat and gives you abit more room for the LEDs that are being fitted to the back.
Step 7: Torching
You have to be careful not to over torch the wood around the template cutout as you might loose some of the finer detail corners/points.
When torching make sure you have got bucket of water and a water spray bottle. The bucket is there just incase something goes wrong and the spray bottle is there to help cool the wood down, if it gets too hot or catches fire.
I would start by torching the inside edges of your cut out, if your having issues getting them to torch, you can alway use abit of black paint to darken the down if needed.
When torching the rest of the sign go backward and forwards with the grain until you get a even burn and too the darkness you are after. I’m going full gator burn with this one and the wood should start to blister and look like the skin of a alligator.
Step 8: Attaching Picture Frame Hook
You need to make sure you measure the full width on the sign not the top piece of wood. After finding the middle add your hook and make sure if straight.
Step 9: Sealing the Char
You have to make sure you do this bit otherwise the sign will leave marks on anything it touches. You can use spray varnish on this if you like but for this one I used a brush on finish. Make sure the finish get into every little nook and cranny.
I wished I used a spray varnish as I didn’t get the shine I was looking for and I added some wax that didn’t make much difference. If using a spray varnish I would do a couple of light coats.
Step 10: Wiring
I used led strips and a driver I had laying around, I think using a battery powered light would be easier and would look better. As this one uses mains power and means you have a wire hanging out the bottom of the sign.
I cut 2 strips of led strip with same length as the 2 support beams. I solder the driver on the end of one strip and test that it lights up ok. Then solder 2 pieces of wire to the end of the other strip and then solder that onto the other end of the strip that has the driver attached. Make sure you don’t solder the strip backwards. After making sure everything works fine it’s time the stick the strips to the 2 support beams you added earlier. The driver I had was abit big so I had to drill and chisel out some space in the back of the sign so the driver would sit lower than the support beams.
Step 11: Enjoy
Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy your new creation.
This is an entry in the
Halloween Contest 2019