Heath's Projects

I made this display plaque thingy for my dad’s “Louisiana Veterans Honor Medal.” The wood is red aromatic cedar. I used the laser on my MPCNC to engrave the text. I used the spindle to cut out a recess for the pin so it would sit flush and not sag and rare earth magnets. The magnets hold it securely, but it can still be easily removed.


Good stuff!

I had planned to upgrade my Burly to Primo when the C parts were released, but Hurricane Laura had other plans for me. She blew the roof completely off my shop. The paneling I had on the ceiling protected a lot of my stuff including the CNC - only the back right corner got a little water on it. But I had to move most of my shop stuff to storage, wait on insurance, wait on availability of materials and time, etc but I finally rebuilt the roof. Most of my stuff is still in storage and I still have a lot of work to do on the shop itself, but at least the CNC is back up and operational again.

I made my brother-in-law a “lake art” thingy for Christmas last year for Toledo Bend Reservoir. I changed and improved a lot of my processes and procedures and it came out great. But I forgot to take a picture of it. He and my sister own a convenience store and diner just off the lake and he hung it in the diner. My sister tells me all the time that people keep trying to buy it from them and I need to make more, but with everything going on I haven’t had a chance. I finally made one right before Hurricane Laura and she sold it pretty quickly. She took “deposits” for a couple more so that meant I needed to get on the ball and get them done.

I switched to a decent quality 1/8" ply instead of the crappy luan. I can’t find 1/8" or 3mm baltic birch locally, but found a cabinet shop that would sell me sheets of china birch and that seems to be good enough. I also use a stain for the lake coloring instead of paint. That allows the grain to still show which I like a lot better. Plus I can use the laser on the stained area. It may can be done on paint too, but I never tried it. When I had the stain mixed, I had intended for it to have a bit more green, but this will do.

Anyway, I’ve got a couple to take to her tomorrow and a couple more just needing to be finished.


Wow that looks good. That stain is so perfect.

Wow. What a mess. Glad most of your stuff was ok. I’m not sure I would want to try to figure out what everything in my shed is worth. There are so many things that are only valuable to me.

Nice work! What laser are you using? Grbl?

A 3.5w diode laser from Banggood. And I’m running Marlin. I tried and failed to get grbl working on my MKS GEN L.

@heath, that map is awesome. I have been starting done that road and you just gave me further inspiration. Do you mind sharing your process for getting the map data? I have been trying to use openstreetmaps put to get the area I want the files are bigger than what inkscape and illustrator can handle.

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I’ll have to re-familiarize myself with the process! I made that Toledo Bend file a little over a year ago.

I used Google Maps, but found a site that I could turn on and off specific map features. So I would zoom in or out until I had the amount of detail I wanted. Then used a Chrome plugin to take a screenshot that was larger than the visible window. So I took a series of screenshots, one with roads only, one with just water, one with city names, etc. Then Gimp for cleanup, whatever editing was necessary, cropping, and so on. Then import in to Inkscape to convert it all to vector. I made heavy use of layers in both Gimp and Inkscape. Then Estlcam to create gcode.

I’ll try to provide better instructions when I can.


The site that allows you to enable/disable certain map features of Google Maps is http://www.chengfolio.com/google_map_customizer

Find your location, adjust the “zoom” to get the features you want, set the dimensions so you get the area you want (this can potentially expand the window beyond the monitor boundaries), then turn features on and off taking screenshots. Be careful not to pan, scroll, zoom, or in any way move the map at all. Then all the screenshots will overlay and align perfectly in your image editing software (each screenshot on its own layer).

I used the Chrome plugin FireShot to capture the screenshots as it will capture the entire map if it extends beyond the monitor boundaries.