A fun sign for a co-worker

So, I’ve got a co-worker that has a Keurig coffee maker in his cube. I’m a heavy user of it along with a lot of others looking for their daily fix of coffee. His name is Lou so we named his cube “LOUBUCKS”. Just some silly office coffee humor. So, then I whipped up a LOUBUCKS COFFEE sign, borrowing heavily from you know where, in Photoshop. I printed it out and stuck it on his cube wall. He loved it so much it’s been hanging there for months! Silly. =)

Now that I’ve got the X-carve running I figured I’d try some different things out as practice. A better LOUBUCKS sign came to mind.

I had deleted the original LOUBUCKS sign shortly after printing it out. I thought I’d never need it again since he’d just be throwing the print in the trash. If I only knew! So I created new art of it using Photoshop again. I imported it into Easel using the Image Trace app. I then went to work breaking up the different files I was going to need.

So far I’ve needed two Easel files for my project. One for the white lettering and graphic and one for the black background.

The white lettering was created by using “Dry Erase Board” from Home Depot. The black background was created using “Chalk Board” from Home Depot.

Here are the specs I used to cut the Dry Erase Board and the Chalk Board:

Bit: 0.12 in 2 flute carbide
Feed Rate: 55 in/min
Plunge Rate: 6 in/min
Depth per Pass: 0.03 in

I’ll post pics next…



The planned end result is to add an edge lit acrylic in front of the white graphics and then house the whole thing in a frame. That’s the plan anyway. =D

That looks great!

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Thats a cool idea and it looks good! Kudos

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Looks perfect! Is that painted MDF?

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Love it. Great job!

I knew a fellow with a nearly identical setup - his name was Mark so his little cubicle shop was branded “Marbucks”. When I left that contracting gig I whipped up some custom currency for him “Pass the Bucks”, sponsored by Marbucks. A tongue-in-cheek nod that everything gets blamed on the contractor a few weeks after they depart.

Man, I wish I would have been able to do something like this for him.

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I bought the material already coated at Home Depot. It’s their Dry Erase Board and Chalk Board.

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I don’t know why but I am somewhat surprised that the Dry erase board carved so well

looks great.

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Actually I’m surprised as well. I was a bit concerned about the white surfacing material. I’m not sure what it’s made of but it feels “hard”… harder than the “soft” MDF-like material that backs it. I think if the board didn’t have the hard white surface to hold it together that it may crumble… it seems that soft. Saying that though, the soft part machined very clean, cleaner than the same settings on regular MDF.


Wow, I never thought about using that material before. May have to reconsider after how well your sign came out. Thanks!

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This looks great! Nice work! :tada:

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Yeah, totally… I think it would work great for halftone V-carving. I need to get into that next.

BTW, the Chalk Board material has a nice surface “grain” to it. I made sure to have that align vertically on the sign. You can see the grain in the first image. I think that would look great with the halftone V-carve for sure. Give it a bit of a “rustic” feel if you will… more premium than just brushing black paint IMO.

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Here’s an update…

As some of you know I had some issues with the squareness of my bit (covered in another post) so I took some time out to fix that issue before engraving the cast acrylic piece.

Then I went through the process of creating a sacrificial waste board which I surfaced with a 0.5" bit to get it as flat as possible.

Not too shabby. I even installed some side shields to help with stray chips.

Then I got it all set up to cut the cast acrylic.

Please don’t tell my wife I used her weights. =)

Then, I went and cut the acrylic. Not happy with the result. The acrylic wasn’t flat enough so it didn’t fully cut. =(. I’ll work on leveling everything out better. I’m not sure how to get it any flatter though.

I’ll post pics of the results when I get a chance.

Oh, BTW, I’m still going to try and save the acrylic piece I’m having issues with. I’m creating a clean up file in Easel as we speak.

I’ve also been trying to sort out the electronics for the LED edge lighting. I think I have everything I need now. Here’s a shot of my test piece.

I still have to take measurements and create the base and frame for the sign.

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So, yeah, the acrylic engraving didn’t work out. In trying to reach the depth of the parts that didn’t carve the first and second time the third time was not a charm. =). Ended up gouging and heading off track. Oh well. Just another thing to figure out.

For now, just for time sake, I’ll just make little feet for the sign so it can be put into service on Lou’s desk next week. In the meantime I’ll keep trying to get the acrylic etching technique mastered.