For my Upcycle Project I made a set of wall plates for my parents house in Vermont. The plates are meant to match and further the modern farmhouse aesthetic already present in the home with its vaulted ceiling, exposed wooden rafters, and old farm and industrial equipment repurposed as household furniture.
I started this project with two spalted maple logs, after knocking the bark off I cut them down using a bandsaw with a large fence into sheets roughly 5″ wide and 1/4″ thick. Then, using a laser cutter I cut out the plates using the free dxf files available on McMaster-Carr.
If you don’t have access to a laser cutter and want to make these, you could print out the dxf files and glue them to your wood pieces, to be cut with a coping saw, band saw, or scroll saw. A drill or drill press is also handy. Because the wood I was using had widely varying density, with maple being a naturally hard wood and the decayed portions being softer and less dense, it took a few trials before I had good enough laser settings to cut the parts out completely without causing flare-ups and burning the top surface.
After cutting, I rounded all of the edges with a router table which effectively removed the burnt edges while increasing their aesthetic value. This also could be achieved by sanding but that would take much longer. Finally I took an orbital sander to the pieces to remove any darkening on their surfaces from the laser cutter and saw marks from the bandsaw and give them a smooth finish.
Before they are installed, I plan to let them rest under weights for a few weeks before I finish them with boiled linseed oil. The thin pieces have a tendency to warp when wet so I want to make sure the varnishing process doesn’t render them unusable. All in all, I’m really happy with how they turned out!