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Old 9th September 2011, 03:31 PM   #1
fbx is offline fbx  France
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Question Wooden, carved front panel

Hi all,

getting closer to seeing the light for my custom tube headamp project,
I'd like to start thinking at a proper box.

Does anybody know if there's any service that can produce a
professional looking wooden front panel with the holes/engraves that I
would like to have? I can find such a service for aluminum/plexiglass, but
for wood... nothing.

Of course I could do one, but it would not look professional at all...


fbx
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Old 9th September 2011, 04:18 PM   #2
evanc is offline evanc  United States
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many well equipped cabinet shops have a cnc router. If a shop doesn't have a cnc machine then I bet they know someone who does.....
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Old 10th September 2011, 08:01 PM   #3
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Have you asked the places that do plexiglass if they would cut wood? Ask the right person, not the clerk at the counter.
(If the CNC mill or router uses flood coolant, they would not want it contaminated with organic materials like wood. But they might make exceptions or have a work-around...)
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Old 10th September 2011, 11:48 PM   #4
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do a search for "shopbot". they build small CNC routers for cheap ($7,000) that many people put in their garage. If you can find someone in your area it would do exactly what ya' need.
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Old 11th September 2011, 01:02 AM   #5
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Click the image to open in full size.

It sounds to me that you want laser engraving included on your front panel.

It is at home in this key hole:

Click the image to open in full size.

A local source did the laser work from files I provided. That may be one solution for the script/text and graphics. What carving do you require?

Last edited by Ed LaFontaine; 11th September 2011 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 11th September 2011, 01:12 AM   #6
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Ed,

That is nice work except one detail really really bothers me! Using rotary cut plywood inside and contrasted with a fine piece of hardwood!

ES
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Old 11th September 2011, 01:14 AM   #7
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The other material contrasting with the cherry is quartersawn sycamore. Shop made veneer, 1/4" thick......the key hole is lined with cherry. Those are lousy photos taken with my cell phone...
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Old 11th September 2011, 01:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed LaFontaine View Post
The other material contrasting with the cherry is quartersawn sycamore. Shop made veneer, 1/4" thick......the key hole is lined with cherry. Those are lousy photos taken with my cell phone...
Excuse me, really looked rotary, but that was one fast growing tree! It looks like it achieved better than an inch a year in girth!!!! Must have been all by itself on some really good dirt!

I'll sleep better tonight knowing you didn't do a terrible thing to some really nice wood!
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Old 11th September 2011, 01:39 PM   #9
fbx is offline fbx  France
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Hi all, and thank you very much for the responsiveness and all your ideas.
Ed, I agree with you, I'd really like the idea of laser engraving, at least for some labels.
Right now I am just in the realm of "what would I like?", and I have a few ideas. One of
them is to design something like a logo, or my signature written with a very bold pen,
and have that engraved 2millimeters into the wood. If done by a professional
it would just look cool.

From all your comments I think that I can see this common factor, i.e. "go around
in your place looking for some small professional that can do it, even if it's not his core
business". Not easy here, but I'll try. Maybe I'll have better luck than what I had
for the electronic components. Had to order everything from crazy places,
wasting money on packaging and import :-(

But, after all, the DIYers put a lot of their feeling and personality in what they do,
hence imo this should be reflected in how the thing looks like, especially if it's a
technically satisfying project. My thing should look "warm and precise", as I tried to
design it. Hence, there has to be some wood.

fbx
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Old 11th September 2011, 03:22 PM   #10
Fenris is offline Fenris  United States
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Most plaque or sign shops can laser cut/engrave up to about 3mm deep, depending on the species of wood. Any deeper runs the risk of charring/fire. I just had a plaque shop cut out letters for me out of 1/8" (3mm) oak. I've also had letters and graphics burned 1mm deep into birch and it turned out well, but with a laser you will have blackened edges and engraving. It contrasts well, but if you don't want the black, don't go with the laser.

Also, I've used a CarveWright CNC and it can do fantastic work if set up right. Their design software is free to download, but some of the advanced designs cost money. Maybe you could find someone who does piecemeal work over the internet and have them custom make you a piece? Design the panel and e-mail the file and have them send you the piece in the mail. I'm sure an internet search will pull up a number of people who do custom work like this.
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