I made this a while back on my 1000mm X-Carve, before I got my Workbee 1010. Pine treated with Min-Wax wood conditioner to prevent blotchiness when stain was applied. I then doused the pocket and all end grain areas with sanding sealer then a flat black primer. This prevents the (Sea foam Green) epoxy from getting sucked up into the end grain as well as stopping the release of oxygen from the wood grain during the exo-thermic reaction; creating excess bubbles you'd have to chase with the heat gun or torch. I painted the letter faces with a metallic gold paint after a very light sanding and applied gold leaf to the letter faces. Then, I hand brushed polyurethane over the letters / numbers (2 coats). This prevents the Gold fill from lifting as the clear coat of epoxy cures.
- Machine Type:
- Other Machine
- Other Controller
- Machine Time:
- 2 hrs
- Bit or Laser Size:
- 1/4" EM and 1/8" EM
Steps in order after the initial carve:
1. Wood conditioner
2. Stain border and back of plaque
3. Sanding sealer and then black primer for the 1/4" pocket and letters/numbers
4. Paint the Letters/Numbers with metallic gold water-based craft paint before Applying Gold leaf
5. Apply the Gold leaf and let adhesive dry well. I then used my blower nozzle to blow off over-hanging leaf but you can also sand the side-walls of the letters/numbers too. Any places the gold leaf did not adhere well I just painted a little adhesive onto the face of the letters and added more. The adhesive dries clear so no worries there. Then, take a clean cotton t-shirt rag (Paint rag) and finger-burnished the gold leaf.
6. Poured the Sea-green metal flake-ish epoxy into the pocket; flush with the border, letters and numbers and let cure.
7. Pour clear epoxy over the face, and brush the epoxy around the outside border.
8. Once the epoxy cures, I flipped it over and sanded the drip beads from the clear epoxy pour flush to the wood and hand-brushed clear epoxy all over the back. This seals the entire plaque in epoxy and bullet-proof's it from the environment. I used Total Boat epoxy w/ a UV inhibitor additive as it is an outside piece.
If your new to epoxy, have a torch or Heat gun handy to pop the bubbles that will be created by the exo-thermic reaction of the curing epoxy. Quick hits with the heat gun and move it away quick to prevent the epoxy from overheating, thereby accelerating the curing and creating even more bubbles- the very thing you are trying to get rid of!
This plaque has been mounted outside a friends home that lives on a canal off the Gulf of Mexico @ 2 yrs now and looks as good as it did the day I mounted it.