Queen of Hearts

I was inspired by some other projects I’ve seen on this forum, and thought it would be a fun challenge to enlarge a playing card, as there are a lot of interesting intricacies. This was carved into hard maple and is 17"x24", using a 1/16" spiral upcut bit. I found the vector file on wikimedia, and edited it into different layers with illustrator. The black is an epoxy inlay. I sealed the epoxy cavities with shellac to prevent the epoxy from seeping into surrounding edges of the maple (although the maple fibers might be dense enough on its own to mitigate any unsightly epoxy seepage.) After the epoxy cured, I resurfaced the maple and wet sanded to 800 grit, and then applied oramask 813. I think it’s important to prep the piece to be as smooth/clean as possible before applying the masking film, so that it adheres tightly to the surface, and doesn’t peel away while the different layers are being carved. otherwise it has a tendency to lift up at the edges. Each subsequent layer/color was a separate carve and is 1/32" deeper than the next. The colors were hand painted with acrylic and tiny brushes/toothpicks. It was kind of a pain not to get the different paint colors smudged on each other, but I took my time to be careful. Once the masking layer was removed, I was surprised by how little clean up/sanding was needed. Fixed a few mistakes, and then finished with semi-gloss spray lacquer. Key take away from this project: surface prep! Anyway, I’m pleased with how this piece turned out. Keep the inspirations coming!


Nice work. Shows what can be done with a DIY machine.

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Outstanding!! Well thought out and executed

Thanks all :slight_smile: Also, in the second to last pic with the yellow paint, you’ll notice undulations in the carved wood of the “vest cavity”. Any ideas on what causes that, or suggestions on what I can do to avoid them in the future? Bit selection, feed rate, depth per pass? I had a difficult time trying to sand them down after the fact.

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Are you using the dust boot? if so be sure there is slack in the hose and keep the bristles about 1/8" above your material. I found over trial and error that was my biggest culprit.

Well done X carve at its best again.

How many actaul carves did you do?

Nope, didn’t use the dust boot on this one. Maybe I need to recalibrate, and verify my Z is square. Methinks it’s a bit off.

It’s a handful of carves:

  1. Resurfaced front/back side. (It’s 3 maple boards glued together, and had ended up a little cupped.)
  2. Black Epoxy pockets @ 3/16"
  3. Resurfaced again (after epoxy cured) just skimming the top
  4. Yellow @ 1/32"
  5. Blue @ 1/16"
  6. Red @ 3/32"
  7. Cut out.

I suppose I could have combined a few of the carves together, but it was easier for me to manage them separately. Just had to be careful not to lose that origin point.

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Wonderful work Theodore! :+1: Many wonderful works to have in the future.