For my first few projects with the Shapeoko, I decided to buy some cork sheet and begin working with that. Cork is considered a renewable resource, and I figured it would make a good, cheap, and clean cutting material to experiment with. My first few attempts went ok, but I realized that I needed to work on my processing techniques to really bring out the designs being milled into the surface. So I came up with the following procedure:
Acrylic paint is cheap, and comes in any color imaginable. Without painting, the grainy cork would completely hide the detail possible with the 1/16″ end mill I’m using. So, by painting , and then facing off the top surface, the result is a colored relief effect with crisp, clean paint lines and a smooth top surface. Here are some of my designs:
I even made a custom set for my friend Joe PIEtras.
In a couple of other experiments, I made some guitar picks from laminated veneer:
And I also milled some aluminum into branding irons for a set of coasters that I gave to my friend Jon as a wedding present: