We only had a short time to get a project planned and CNC’ed before it was time for me to leave so I decided to use a hack from the past as inspiration for the project. The Santa’s List hack (Hack of the Week No.28) was one that I have always felt would be a fun project to have on display during the holidays. The idea is to have an interactive decoration that could be easily customized to have the names of the kids, parents, grandparents or even pets and a way of showing if they are on the Naughty or Nice list. Making use of a dowel to indicate how the past year has gone would be perfect and could change from day to day depending on who is making the decision.
I used Vectric’s V-Carve Desktop to create the 11” x 13” layout. This hack only uses two models from two different projects so it took just a few minutes to get right.
- Diploma No.2 - Graduation Day No.1
- Candle Stick - Home for the Holidays No.1
- Santa’s List font – CreaChancery
- Names font – Book Antiqua
After digging through a pile of wood we found a piece of butcher’s block that we thought would look great up-cycled into a holiday decoration. We took a few measurements and then screwed it to the waste board on the CNC.
It was time to get the tooling created. This project would take 5 toolpaths using 3 different tools, so that meant 3 tool changes would need to happen.
- Roughing and Dowel Holes we used a .25” End Mill
- 3D Finishing would be done with .25” Ball Nose End Mill
- A 60 degree, 15mm V-Bit for the V-Carving
- We would finish off with the .25” End Mill for the profile cut.
Of course we previewed all of the tooling before we sent it to the machine to make sure it looked OK and we knew what to expect while the CNC was working.
I added about 30 minutes to that time in sanding and finishing. It would be good to keep in mind that if we chose to use a 1/8” Ball Nose End Mill for the finishing it would have added another 45min to the machining time but saved us a bit of time when I was prepping for the stain.
This particular layout really needed to have the letters darker than the rest of the piece. Instead of painting the lettering I decided to use a gel stain and do my best to leave the stain in the recesses and leave a shadow between the candle and the scroll.
This project would be a good start for those new to V-Carve Desktop or even the seasoned Aspire user!
In the end I am pretty happy with the finish and my kids are enjoying swapping the pegs and seeing if I notice! Mission accomplished!