Hummingbird garden sign for my wife

My wife loves hummingbirds and gardening so I decided to make her a garden sign.

I bought a $20 stick of 5/4 x 6 cedar deck board from Lowes, edge jointed and glued two pieces together then planed it down to 3/4" thick.

For CAM work, I used several programs, starting with FreeCAD but got into trouble (not sure where I goofed, but got some reasonable image output to bring into inkscape for more work. Output SVG from there and into Estlecam for gcode generation. I made two files, one for the cutting work and one for the name engrave. I’m no artist, but the image may or may not have been influenced by an advertisement that popped up in my instagram client. :wink:

I use CNC.js and it worked great. Several firsts for me; Tool change and a cutout with holding tabs. Lessons learned are

  1. not so many holding tabs, the post-processing is a pain.
  2. try to put tabs on the outside of a curve for easier sanding
  3. make sure to have enough stickout to cut through the piece without scratching up the wood with the screws on the bottom of the router plate. Luckily the worst of it was in the waste and the rest sanded out easily.

The bottom left thin part where the flower attaches to the bottom part snapped while I was processing the tabs. I suspected that would be a weak spot and it turned out to be. I fixed it by drilling a hole through the bottom up into the flower stalk and gluing in a dowel. No harm, no foul. :slight_smile:

My dust collection works so awesome. The pic with the board still screwed down was right after it finished and shows all the chips that got left behind. Not much!

My wife loves it, so mission accomplished.


Very nice! I like your points. Just a thought: what about using painters tape and superglue as hold down method when through-cutting many fine details? Would that make finishing easier?


Thank you very much!

Yes, it certainly would, and I’ve done that before for other things I didn’t want to screw or clamp. I thought I’d have to be very generous with the glue to hit all the cutout spots on this project. I’ll consider that technique the next time I do something like this again :slightly_smiling_face:

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