While cleaning a dam of dead leaves and branches in our creek, I pulled out the coolest old board. No idea where this came from, or how long it had been there (probably a couple years). It looks like the quintessential ‘rustic barn wood’ and was perfect for my next sign. I have been searching for the perfect board to make a sign for my Aunt and Uncle for their cottage in Michigan, which they named “Merrily”. Perfect opportunity to brush the dust off the CNC and get to work.
I carefully cleaned the creek muck off the wood, then torched it with a large propane weed burner. This gave the board a more distressed rustic look and hopefully killed any bacteria that may be growing on it. I was having too much fun burning it and forgot to take a photo of this part.
It didn’t take long to mock up a design on my X-Carve using Easel. The board was too long to mount horizontally, so I designed it vertically on the CNC and mounted it with some 3D printed mounts. I used a new technique of finding the center of the board, and homing the X-Carve at that position. This saves a few minutes of calculations to offset. I’m surprised this isn’t a feature in Easel. Starting a cut at 0,0 is always lower left of the material. This isn’t always convenient.
The cut took about 45 minutes, using a 90 degree engraving bit. I used the fill setting, and must have cut at too high speed, as it wasn’t very smooth. Although, this added to the rustic look.
I used some white primer and some tiny brushes to paint in the lettering. I applied a very thin coat, allowing the wood grain to show through. My goal was to make it look like this sign was found in the aftermath of a 200 year old barn fire.
I roughly hand painted the “Est. 2018” lettering as it felt a little empty. The finished sign still looks grungy and dried out. Next, to add some lacquer to it, to gloss it up a bit.