Part I

"Maybe" because I'm just winging it here, no real decision on what to do with my experiments.

On to the story!

Among the first things I tried with the wife's laser was cutting veneer. I always wanted to try creating something, anything, in the style favored by the venerable EarlS.
I'm no Earl, but I do like experimenting and here was my chance.

Intertubes scoured for some simple design and I found one that was simple enough. Worth a try anyway.

Quick dig through the veneer boxes and I dug up some curly white oak, mahogany, maple and a few other mystery woods. Next time I'll know better :)

Cutting the oak:

Placed on a glass sheet so it stays flat. When the beam finishes cutting through, it will pass right through the glass and not scorch the underside of the veneer.

The laser work was all done with "LightBurn". Super versatile. I let it leave small "tabs" at several places around the cut so when finished, the parts stay attached until I push them free. Basically just press the "tab" button and it all gets done magically.

Wood Flooring Gas Rectangle Electrical tape


The design was drawn in MacDraft, a simple CAD program that can produce DXF files which are easy to export as to LightBurn and individual pieces to work with.

Rectangle Parallel Font Symmetry Slope


All the various bits for making four panels, set for one panel selected:
Wood Art Flooring Rectangle Font


I wanted some accent colors so I used TransTint dyes to color some of the maple parts. Left to soak for a few hours hoping to get 100% penetration (didn't quite happen).

These panels will be about 4" x 6" on 1/4" plywood. Back sides veneered with some dark mystery wood for structural balance.

I needed something to lay out on so I used my granite surface plate. Painters tape, sticky side up, keeps everything from moving around. I've since bought some shelf contact liner which should work much better.

The two 6" rulers are placed to act as a squaring jig.
Rectangle Wood Gas Flooring Font


Bit by bit everything is placed into position

Rectangle Wood Flooring Floor Gas

Rectangle Wood Creative arts Art Flooring



Since this was made before my "sunburst" , I had no compensation for the kerf created by the cuts. This left parts with a small gap around their perimeters. I'll deal with that later.


Into (and out of) the vacuum bag.

Wood Floor Flooring Wood stain Hardwood


Since there were the perimeter gaps mentioned before and the oak pores, I used some "Aqua Coat" to fill.

After a quick sand with 220, I see that the dye did not penetrate much. High spots had the dye partially removed, bummer. But hey, I learned something! :)
Brown Wood Rectangle Flooring Wood stain



The gaps bug, so I used a 1mm Rapidograph pen and India ink to draw lines, I think it also helps separate the parts visually since my wood choice was not all that ideal.

The ink was protected under a layer of sealer then top coated with pre-cat lacquer.

Wood Rectangle Wooden block Flooring Wood stain


Now what?.

I know, frames!

1/2" thick by 3/4" wide walnut, grooved to cover the panel edges.

My box joint blade is awesome for making smaller dados like these. Feather boards keep everything aligned

Office equipment Circuit component Gas Engineering Machine tool


Nice fit!
Wood Bumper Automotive tire Automotive exterior Rectangle


Cut to length and make stub tenons for strength.

Rectangle Table Wood Wood stain Floor


Ok, four framed panels done. Let them sit until they tell me what they want to be :D

Wood Art Triangle Rectangle Religious item


Part II

I liked the idea of turning these panels into a tissue box but alas the width dimensions were a tad small.

Either way, Onward!

Make this into the beginnings of some type of box

Ready things for the box miter bit.

I like these bits, strong corners and easy glue ups without the corners sliding around.

I use a guide board so I don't have a knife edge riding against the fence. I DS tape some hardboard of the exact same width to each board before routing

Wood Floor Art Wood stain Flooring

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Material property Flooring



Glue an clamp it up!
I do this on a surface plate so top/bottom are flush.
Still takes a few clamps, but it all stays square.

Wood Automotive tire Set tool Tool Machine


Worked well


Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Natural material


Nice fit too :D

Rectangle Wood Grey Flooring Hardwood



Decided it needs a bottom, but forgot to cut a rabbet. I used a small top-bearing straight bit and swapped out the bearing for a smaller diameter.

Window Wood Wood stain Rectangle Tints and shades


Sharp chisel squares up the corners.

Now I'm thinking that this could hold a small flower vase.

Legs needed (cherry), grafted to the corners.

Wood Gas Toy Machine Engineering


They are curved top to bottom. Used the laser to make a router template from hardboard. Sure beats trying to be smooth with a rasp, spoke shave, and sandpaper.

I'm at my photo limit so I'll continue elsewhere....

Chapter 2