Working with new materials

October 2, 2013 CNC

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:

  • Setup the Shapeoko rig.

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:

More Coasters!

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:

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