Wooden Neighborhood Map

Introduction: Wooden Neighborhood Map

About: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at supamoto.co. You'll like it.
This wooden map of San Francisco is all made out of one piece of plywood and shows all of the neighborhoods of the city thanks to different types of wood stain.

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Step 1: Supplies

What was used in the making of this map
 - 1/4" plywood
 - laser cutter (or coping saw)
 - 5 different types of wood stain
 - Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Glue

Step 2: Cut!

OK, so I have access to a laser cutter. It makes this job as easy as pushing a file to the laser cutter and watching it go for about 10 minutes. It's awesome. I wished I owned it, but will make do with access to it. 

You can also do this with a coping saw and a drill and a LOT of time. If you do, you are a fantastically wonderful human being and I admire your patience.

Step 3: Stain Map

Before applying stain, print out the neighborhood map on paper and use a pencil to plan out where all of the different types of stain are going to go so that you don't have two pieces of the same stain touching each other.

Step 4: Stain All the Pieces

With your number chart handy, pull out all of the pieces and carefully stain all of them according to your chart.

Step 5: Glue Back In

With a couple coats of stain on all the pieces, it's time to glue everything to a backing pieces of plywood so that it stays put. Here, I coated the entire backing piece with lots and lots of Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Glue.

Then put all of the pieces back in and cover it with another piece of plywood. Clamp the corners and put a heavy weight in the middle of it all. Let it dry for a while before taking everything off.

Step 6: Hang and Enjoy

That's it! It's done! Now it's just time to ind some place to put it and enjoy it.

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    7 Discussions


    4 years ago

    You could put a bit of Velcro on the the back of the cutouts and the board. Art and puzzle at the same time. Or magnets...


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Looks great! I made one just like this of Portugal for a friend. Mine wasn't glued down and she can do the puzzle.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Not sure I'd have the patience to make this without access to a laser cutter, but the detail is incredible (must have been fun to watch the machine in action). It would make a great puzzle for someone to put together. (Maybe a job for a new intern). ;-)

    Nicely done.

    fungus amungus
    fungus amungus

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, it's a huge difference in cutting time. I've seen several hours of cutting so the magic isn't there for me any more. I just keep staring at it wishing it could go faster still.

    The puzzle idea is definitely good. I've been looking into that for a future project.