Yin Yang centerpiece / serving boards #1: template creation

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Blog entry by BillGo posted 01-17-2021 02:42 AM 819 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Yin Yang centerpiece / serving boards series Part 2: flush trim failures »

I have a friend that asked for help making a Yin Yang centerpiece. The ask was for two pieces made from light and dark wood that fit together to make a centerpiece 20” in diameter, with two 4” holes that hold candle jars. They want two separate pieces that can be used as wood serving boards, so they need to have a food safe finish.

I am thinking walnut and maple, as those are good for serving boards with their tight grains, so they are easy to clean and not susceptible to bacteria.

I want the two pieces to fit together well, and I am worried about the long smooth curve. I have access to a band saw, but don’t have confidence that I could make the curve look nice. I settled on making a template that I plan to make using the laser cutter at the maker space, and then use a router and a flush trim bit to transfer the shape to the final wood. I have been thinking about trying this approach for past projects, but ended up using other options. I was thinking about using acrylic for the template, but it turned out to be very expensive, so I settled on a coated MDF that I found at Lowes. It is advertised as whiteboard/blackboard. I like the material, but I would like something thicker as it looks like it will be a challenge to get the router bits to align to it.

Cutting the template:
The maker space has a 60w laser cutter that has a 4’ square table. The shape was pretty easy to draw in the control app, and the cut went smooth:

Of course there was no way those long tails are going to work, so I trimmed them down, and ended up with a more truncated version:

-- Bill - in New Hampshire

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