Tigerwood License Plate Frame

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Project by brianadams posted 10-26-2013 12:13 AM 8016 views 11 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had the idea to make a wooden license plate frame for a little while now and finally had the perfect opportunity to. I went ahead and used some Brazilian tigerwood for a few reasons: I have it on hand, it looks awesome, it goes very well with black, and since it’s typically used as a choice wood for decks, figured it was the perfect combo for a first try! I’m very pleased with how it turned out. It really was a quick project that can help utilize thin scraps you may have. It also appeals to the car enthusiast.

I decided to give another transfer method on this as well. The business name “West Coast Woods” was applied in a matter of seconds. Turns out this process is super quick and actually does work! All you need is a laser printer and lacquer thinner. Ill post a few more pictures of that process in the comments. Basically all you do is print what you want, but flip the image horizontally first. Then place face down, and rub lacquer thinner along the back of the paper. That simple!

Comments and concerns are appreciated! Thanks for looking!


15 comments so far

View brianadams's profile


183 posts in 3246 days

#1 posted 10-26-2013 12:16 AM

shows the words printed after horizontally flipping the image

shows how when placed face down, the letters are correctly oriented

shows after rubbing lacquer thinner and peeling the paper off minutes later!


View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23740 posts in 3708 days

#2 posted 10-26-2013 02:20 AM

That is really cool!!.............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 3084 days

#3 posted 10-26-2013 05:10 AM

Wonderful projects, it’s so very unique. Keep at it man, looking good.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View brianadams's profile


183 posts in 3246 days

#4 posted 10-26-2013 09:30 PM

Thanks Geoff! That means a lot to know someone is appreciating multiple things I make :)


View MrFid's profile


900 posts in 2506 days

#5 posted 10-26-2013 09:38 PM

Very cool! I’d love to steal your idea someday if you don’t mind. Don’t worry I’m on the other side of the country so no one will suspect a thing! Favorited for sure.
Did you glue up a panel then cut out the inside with a bandsaw or something? What did you finish with that will make it able to stand up to weather?
Really makes the car stand out!

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View Mip's profile


454 posts in 2680 days

#6 posted 10-27-2013 01:15 AM

You’re right, that wood really does go well with the color black. Looks so much better than the ones from the dealership. I’m going to have to figure out how to make one of these for my truck.

View brianadams's profile


183 posts in 3246 days

#7 posted 10-27-2013 03:08 PM

Bailey: thank you! Not a problem lol hope yours turn out well! Basically I had a scrap piece that I wanted to use it on so I cut basically just the bottom 1/3 of the frame. Then cut that in half thickness wise on the bandsaw. That gave me my top and bottom. Then you can see two small strips on the left and right that don’t quite match up cause those are just glued end to end to make it the right height. There was minimal wasted wood and seems to be strong enough for what it is. Then I rubbed boiled linseed oil, sprayed another coat of a different, and then finally sprayed this clear enamel. Should be weatherproof enough!

Mip: go for it! It was fun/quick/pretty easy and really cool to see it POP on your car :)


View becikeja's profile


1045 posts in 3415 days

#8 posted 10-27-2013 11:08 PM

Yep. This is perfect. And this is the reason I look at projects on LJ to find creative ideas. Nice job

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View brianadams's profile


183 posts in 3246 days

#9 posted 10-28-2013 12:42 AM

becikeja: thank you, that was one of the most rewarding comments I’ve ever received before :)


View Jason's profile


660 posts in 4110 days

#10 posted 10-29-2013 07:15 PM

I had the same idea, but haven’t got around to it. Thanks for giving me the confidence to pursue it.

-- Jason - Colorado Springs

View brianadams's profile


183 posts in 3246 days

#11 posted 10-29-2013 07:36 PM

Absolutely! One thing I’m definitely going to add is the two screw holes for the bottom of the frame as well. The first time you give your trunk or back door a good shut it’ll rattle the frame just enough to break the bottom half of the top two screw holders. It still holds just fine since it’s still got a good grip of the top half, but I’d rather not have it happen again. Wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to one of these!


View mbfunke's profile


76 posts in 3261 days

#12 posted 11-15-2013 12:53 AM

Making this. Thank you very much. Brilliant!

-- Mike Funke

View brianadams's profile


183 posts in 3246 days

#13 posted 11-15-2013 01:46 AM

Thank YOU Mike!


View rhonan's profile


9 posts in 1921 days

#14 posted 03-03-2015 09:35 AM

It is entirely a perfect brand name, it reflects the American ingenuity. Many vehicles seems to use this type of license plate, as almost every corner you can determine what is done by this company compared to those we mostly use. It is also good to have the plate a frame as added protection from tearing apart. Surely, if doing the same idea in the country I am right now, I still need to get regulatory permit from the transportation ministry, local government and many other involve authorities. Brand naming, I guess that would be easy with the help of some services like

View JoelS's profile


1 post in 1523 days

#15 posted 11-18-2015 04:27 PM

@brianadams – I love these license plate holders – but I am not a woodworker. Could I buy two of these from you?

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