Upcycling Project Idea – Laser Cut Wall Plates

For my up-cycling project I’m turning a piece of saved firewood into a set of light switch and outlet covers for my parents house in Vermont. The house is a sort of rustic chic farmhouse aesthetic and the wood panels are meant to match. The farmhouse aesthetic is defined by exposed wood and stone elements, and I think the touch of natural material for the light switch covers will add to the expression of the aesthetic. I saved the wood because it had “spalted”, or partially decayed, while it was stacked exposed on a hillside, giving the maple wood unique dark streaks along its natural grain.

Picture of the wood after I had taken off the bark and squared it with a band saw.

My next step is to slice it into thin strips (as thick as typical light switch covers) with a band saw, and then laser cut out the various covers I want. I will likely sand and possibly route the edges to remove most or all burn markings from the laser cutter and give the covers a nice smooth finished edge.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Cameron Sprenger
    February 8, 2023 6:11 pm

    Spalted maple is really beautiful. It’s amazing you were able to find the wood in such good condition.
    Does the spalting make it more difficult to work with since its partially decayed?

    I’m excited to see what the finished products look like.

    • Brewster Beck von Peccoz
      February 13, 2023 3:29 pm

      I was also surprised by how dry and usable the wood was considering it had been outside for at-least a year. You bring up a good point about the decay… I have yet to try laser cutting a piece of the wood but i’m hoping that as the decayed sections are quite thin the softer wood won’t pose a problem by either cutting much faster or combusting more readily than the rest of the wood. We will see!


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