Printing on Wood!

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Project by jim C posted 08-14-2011 03:10 PM 4918 views 8 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Printing on Wood!
Printing on Wood! No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
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Lacking any skills whatsoever in carving, I have been playing around trying to make designs on wood with inkjet T-shirt transfers. A disaster at best.
I read somewhere where a guy sent a piece of wood through his printer with success.
My first thoughts were to pull apart an ink jet printer and modify it to accept thicker wood. (Wishful thinking)

I looked up wood veneer and found it at Woodcraft. They carry .010 thick by 2’x8’ coils in oak, cherry and maple. I bought a roll of oak for $46.00 and continued my experiment.

I checked the flexibility and found it to flex the easiest perpendicular to the grain (the way it was packaged. So I cut a paper sized piece with the 11” length parallel to the grain.

I laid out a sign in photoshop, grabbed a line-art cartoon and inserted it.

Now I was ready to watch my printer explode all over the room.
I have 2 different printers. A rear feed epson (90 degree feed) and a front feed Kodak (180 degree feed)
Logic says use the epson for the least bending resistance.
Not a chance. The epson sensors rejected it.

So, upstairs to the kitchen and the unsuspecting Kodak.

I put the oak in, stuck my fingers in my ear, had my safety glasses on, got the women and children out of the way, said a prayer and hit the dreaded PRINT button.


The printer quietly and flawlessly printed the sign.
I glued the veneer to a substate of 1/2” plywood and here is the result.

I have since printed a pic of pelicans on a shack in Florida and the effect is of a charcoal or wood burned display.

More examples to come later when I can fool the Kodak into different modes. It has automatic paper sensing and I think it’s sensing “plain paper”
I have to fool it into “photo quality”

Try it. The printer is no worse for wear, and it adds another dimension for endless ideas and personalized artwork to your projects.

17 comments so far

View uutank's profile


79 posts in 4155 days

#1 posted 08-14-2011 03:42 PM

wow I love it! Great idea.

-- Ray,VA

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 3642 days

#2 posted 08-14-2011 03:51 PM

I might add that it’s impervious to clear finishes.
I might stain the oak first and see what happens.
Lots of experimentation to go. HA!

View wiswood2's profile


1138 posts in 4240 days

#3 posted 08-14-2011 03:57 PM

That is a great idea.I would like to know how the others come out. Good luck.

-- Chuck, wiswood2

View MasterSergeant's profile


1421 posts in 3232 days

#4 posted 08-14-2011 05:07 PM

Awesome, necessity is the mother of invention after all!

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View StumpyNubs's profile


7781 posts in 3344 days

#5 posted 08-14-2011 05:31 PM

Great idea!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View WilsonCreations's profile


105 posts in 3075 days

#6 posted 08-15-2011 01:02 AM

I wonder if you put a band of photo quaity paper on the leading edge if that might fool it?

-- Wilson

View rance's profile


4271 posts in 3704 days

#7 posted 08-15-2011 01:30 AM

Nice job on stretching the envelope of thinking.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 3184 days

#8 posted 08-15-2011 02:12 AM

Cool ! I have Kodak printers and am glad to hear they can handle this chore. Thanks.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View chrisstef's profile


17975 posts in 3550 days

#9 posted 08-15-2011 02:35 AM

Im goin for it .. with the price of ink they have basically made the printer a disposable item. The wifes gonna love this one ….

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 3642 days

#10 posted 08-15-2011 03:15 AM

My exact idea of a strip of photo quality paper.
Great minds think alike! HA!
That’s my chore for tomorrow.
If you guys come up with unique ideas based on this, submit them and keep the thread going.
I’m just started with the possibilities of this.

View clieb91's profile


3668 posts in 4479 days

#11 posted 08-15-2011 03:47 AM

Certainly will continue to watch this thread. I have had the best luck in printing with a Laser printer then ironing it on to the wood. I like the idea of printing directly on the veneer though.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 3184 days

#12 posted 08-15-2011 06:20 AM

I could see using this to make a clock face…

Also, have you tried the photo quality (even the 3D) on the veneer ? I’m wondering how well the veneer can capture those type things ?

Please update as you experiment.



-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View Sodabowski's profile


2388 posts in 3377 days

#13 posted 08-15-2011 12:43 PM

Wow, dude, that’s daring. I will definately give it a try.

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View thelt's profile


668 posts in 3923 days

#14 posted 08-15-2011 01:11 PM

Terrific idea. I’m gonna try it with my Cannon rear feed. Keep us updated.

-- When asked what I did to make life worthwhile in my lifetime....I can respond with a great deal of pride and satisfaction, "I served a career in the United States Navy."

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3410 days

#15 posted 08-15-2011 01:15 PM

You might want to take a look at screen printing as well. You can easily build a screen printer and the screens are not that difficult to make.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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