Today we’ll engrave and cut the State of California out of pallet craft wood that came with a new piece of equipment CNCROi.com has in the shop.
Pallets are all over the place, some of the wood is toxic and not to be worked with in the shop to be transformed into pallet craft but other stuff, like this piece, is just as good as anything equivalent found in the lumber store.
To show you just how rough and worn the pallet craft wood can be before production, I didn’t clean this up at all before jumping right into production.
To make larger planks in order to design and build tables, chairs and other items, pallet craft wood is great too, just add some glue and supports.
Other than cost, pallet craft wood is very easy to work with, it stains wonderfully and as you can see in this blog post, can be readily laser engraved and cut.
Sanding pallet craft wood is also a relatively easy process, if it’s pine like this one or whitewood, other times, the wood is something harder like oak.
Generally, pallet craft wood has a certain esthetic from being beaten-up over days, weeks and sometimes years of use.
Make no mistake though, this wood is a resource and CNCROi.com can make full use of its potential!
Keep in mind that unlike lumber bought at the store, pallet craft wood is FREE but requires extra work to “make things work” properly.
Where buying a piece of lumber can be used relatively quickly to jump right into production as I’ve done with this piece of pallet craft wood, generally, there is some planing, planning and finishing required before any work is done.
For instance, pallets require time to break down, they aren’t kept in the best of conditions both during use and after being discarded.
This isn’t the first time CNCROi.com has showcased what we can do with pallet craft wood, here’s another showcasing signage ideas using this same material.
As for the State of California, I wanted to do a simple fill that wasn’t lines or deep engraving, so adding a bunch of circles is a great way to add details without them “meaning anything”.
CNCROi.com could have used any shape, if you wanted little bear outlines instead of circles, something I though about after, it could have been done just as easily.
CNC laser engraving and cutting pallet craft wood is no different from other types of wood we work with here at CNCROi.com.
As for the shape of the State of California, it could have been done using any state, if you wanted this in the shape of Florida, Texas or New York or even a city like Los Angeles, that would have been just as easy for us.
As for the detail resolution, we have up to a thousand DPI, here’s a simple sign, that was made out of whitewood but could have just as easily been pallet craft wood.
As CNCROi.com makes everything on-demand, we can, quite literally, make an entire map of the USA with each state being unique in its own way.
Making things on-demand also allows us the flexibility in material, design and sizing.
So, if you wanted 10 identical “States of California” shapes but at different sizes, it’s no problem what-so-ever for us!
Something to keep in mind when working with custom pallet craft wood projects such as larger scale pieces is that this will not be perfect wood. It will have some flaws.
For instance, the surface may have pits, chips, deep scrapes and a host of other issues.
To a certain extent, we can lessen the amount of flaws using finishing and picking the best boards of the skid but this doesn’t negate that there will be surface issues.
This is why I refer to wood coming from skids as pallet craft wood, it has that nice worn esthetic that makes it unique and highly sought after.
The difference is that CNCROi.com can work with it to create just about anything, from full-sized furniture through to smaller coasters.
Now that the engraving of this pallet craft wood is finished, it’s time to cut it out.
Although this is thick pine wood, its density isn’t very high, which means that even at almost an inch thick, it’s still no problem and cuts incredibly well.
The reason I left the footprint on the pallet craft wood is for scale, right away, you know the size of the State of California in these photos and related engraving and cutting production video.
CNCROi.com can transform these smaller boards into larger ones in our shop, that’s how we create planks out of pieces and as such, able to grow things even bigger from there.
Here’s another smaller scale project made out of whitewood that could have just as easily been made using pallet craft wood.
When it comes to custom production, design through build, CNCROi.com can make just about anything for you, stainless steel through plastics and even wood as you see here.
Looking at the image below after our industrial wide-format Austrian laser engraved and cut out the State of California, you can see how little material was removed during the cutting process.
Edge to edge, less than a mm of material was vaporized, what’s really neat is that we can just as easily put it back into the space after finishing, which I’ll do later.
Other types of “imperfect” wood that we work with, which, to me, adds character, is live edge wood planks which we can also work with.
Wood is available in a wide variety of thicknesses, surface characteristics and edges.
For instance, CNCROi.com could have done this work using oak, maple, cedar, mahogany, basswood and an endless list of exotic woods.
Each wood has its plus and minus when it comes to production across costs, availability and density.
CNCROi.com offers infinite design options, shape through engraving details.
For instance, if you wanted hundreds of trees for made out of pallet craft wood for a Halloween party, we can make that for you, as well as the table to hold them, matching coasters, cutting boards and even model kits!
CNCROi.com works with you design wise, so if you don’t have the facilities to create something yourself, we can design it for you.
You don’t need to know anything about design, modeling, building and a bunch of other details relating to custom production.
If you are wondering what’s possible using wood with a custom design, here’s a wooden big wheels I designed and built using plywood but this could have just as easily been created using pallet craft wood if that was your desire.
As for varying engraving details relative to depth on a material such as wood, here’s a video I made showcasing the options.
Keep in mind that the deeper we go into wood engraving, the higher the cost involved as it takes longer to do the work.
Another issue with deep engraving is finishing, although there are a variety of ways of cleaning-up wood, deep engraving can’t really be sanded, it needs to be sand blasted clean, which causes pits in less dense woods.
Craft pallet wood, if we knew you wanted something deep, we’d make the project using oak, which itself costs more to engrave due to higher density but you gain in less instances of pitting.
This is a great example of what’s possible, both in very fine details and cleaning process for wood that works great where sanding paper and tools can’t be used.
Here’s what the pallet craft wood looks like immediately after CNC laser engraving.
I didn’t clean the surface ahead of time because I knew I’d have to sand this and I wanted to keep the footprint for sizing reference across these media files.
Most sanding is done in the CNCROi.com shop using our custom downdraft table, which, itself, was designed and laser cut just like this pallet craft wood but out of MDF.
Here’s what the pallet craft wood looks like right after sanding but before being cleaned-up.
CNCROi.com has a lot of different types of sanding equipment to handle boards in a variety of sizes, including furniture sized and bigger.
After cleaning-up the pallet craft wood, you can see how wonderful it looks, those little striations in the engraving are caused by the different densities in the wood grain.
Here’s an extreme of the results achieved across a variety of grain details while being CNC laser engraved.
Yes, pallet craft wood also has grain, like all wood, it has growth patterns, and knots but unlike most lumber, it also has nail holes and requires extra finishing.
Here’s what the finished State of California looks like after it’s been CNC laser engraved, cut, sanded and cleaned-up.
Having a variety of woodworking tools at CNCROi.com allows us to efficiently make really nice work even on what most people consider scrap.
In fact, most of the projects I showcase as demos on CNCROi.com’s blog are made from project scrap.
You can see the original pallet craft wood on the left and the finished State of California on the right.
The edge is nicely browned from the CNC laser cutting process, it really helps to highlight the front by providing contrast.
Sticking the State of California back into the hole cut out earlier, you can see how well it fits back together if you wanted CNCROi.com to make you an inlay or a reverse matching set of signs or other items.
Here’s yet another view of the State of California completely finished.
Amazing how something so nice can come out of something that’s generally discarded.
Do you want something custom? Contact CNCROi.com right now!