It’s amazing the diversity of projects we can easily handle here at CNCROi.com, today we’ll make a custom Egyptian coin bank that’s custom designed, engraved and CNC laser cut by us!
This is a huge post because I wanted to show the different steps that are required to get an idea of the work required to make these custom coin banks beyond, the designing is the easy part.
Normally I’d make something requiring this much depth out of solid 3/4 inch pine or oak but I had a board of whitewood lying around that fit the bill and the density is roughly that of pine but just not has “hard” thus, this custom coin bank was made out of that instead.
The whitewood used for the custom coin bank is masked first, you’ll see especially why later in this blog post, but it lessens the amount of sanding required after production as much of the soot and debris settles on the surface of the wood as it’s on the removable mask instead.
This was the original design of my custom coin bank, it has the coin slot as the first layer so you could see the money drop into the bank then disappear behind the frosted acrylic and then reflected through the back mirrored acrylic.
I ended up modifying the design after seeing a physical proof of this though for the custom coin bank, the reason was simple. I decided I wanted to now show the coin dropping in from the front and all the holes in this original design meant it wasn’t very solid.
You’ll also notice the charring on this whitewood is more extreme than the pine which we used for another project.
So, the front like this was still made, just the layer with the hole in the top was pushed back one layer on the custom coin bank and no longer required the engraving as only the first layer requires the laser engraving.
Once a design modification was done, it was time to cut the entire custom coin bank out, at least relative to the whitewood components of the design.
CNC laser engraving was only done on one of the layers of whitewood in the custom coin bank as the other layers are behind this, you’d never see it.
If you are curious, this is the set-up I use for filming the video production in the shop, it’s very much a physical shop, we moved out of the garage a long time ago!
After the CNC laser engraving is complete with our Austrian wide-format industrial laser, we then do another pass to darken the engraving followed by the cutting process on this custom coin bank.
There are a total of four layers of whitewood on this custom coin bank, all cut in one production process, if we had hundreds of these to make, then we’d have to do one entire board of engraving followed by entire boards of just laser cutting to speed-up production.
Our Austrian CNC laser has no trouble cutting through this 3/4 inch or 18.7 mm whiteboard. The custom coin bank is starting to take shape with the internal components being cut out before the outside so that nothing moves.
As we use our custom laser to cut wood, there is fire, it’s part of the deal and nothing to be concerned about, at least for us, as we have this laser hooked-up with lots of bells and whistles that make fires not last inside the closed environment of the platform.
The custom coin bank is now starting to get the whitewood components cut out after all the internals have been cut. You can see that whitewood is doing some serious charring, that’s part of the deal and it’s the same regardless of wood but as the density of whitewood is relatively low, we produce a lot more charring.
As you can see, the fire on this custom coin bank project goes straight down, you can see how the laser is slicing straight through the board and the fire underneath (there is ALWAYS A FIRE UNDERNEATH) is being shot downwards instead of upwards.
We have a heavy-duty air compressor and extraction system so the fire is shot away from the project.
All the whitewood components of the custom coin bank are now finished. The front always looks great as remember, the fire was shot “down” through the material rather than at top.
As a result, the underside of the custom coin bank is black with soot and now you know why we masked it! This stuff comes right off with the masking instead of staining the whitewood.
A quick fit test reveals everything is perfect with the custom coin bank, the design is sound and we are ready for the next production step.
Before the protective mask is removed from the custom coin bank, we manually clean the char off the sides, this removes some of the contrast but customers don’t want to have black hands like we do after handling such a magnificent piece of bank artistry.
I cleaned-up my hands before the photo but this black soot stays for a while, especially when mixed with resins and glues that occur naturally in the whitewood. This also gives you an idea of the depth that’s achieved on this bank, it will be able to hold tons of coinage!
The custom coin bank’s edges have now been cleaned, it’s time now to cut the other components, notably acrylic to keep the money in the bank and to hold it up!
What you see on the left if the back part of the custom coin bank being cut out of frosted acrylic, what you see on the right of the image is the F16 corporate award I designed to show customers what we can do in that area.
Here’s the video of the F16 if you are curious.
Back to our Egyptian inspired custom coin bank, what I really like about this frosted acrylic is that the further away it is from something, the more frosty it appears while being close-up produces an almost transparent result.
Now that the frosted acrylic is cut out for the front of the custom coin bank, it’s time to use mirrored acrylic in the back.
This mirrored acrylic finds its way in a lot of projects here at CNCROi.com, here’s a cake topper we made with the same material.
We’ll use the same process on this beetle, which is being laser engraved in the back and then will be paint filled.
Again, sparks, fire and other things you DON’T want happening in a CNC laser are no problem for us, we’ve got lots of bells and whistles in our machine to handle this no problem.
After the engraving process, it’s time to laser cut out the mirrored acrylic from the custom coin bank.
Looks great! There is still a protective mask on the mirrored acrylic. It won’t be removed until the final step to make sure it stays clean and scratch free on the custom coin bank.
It isn’t a completely transparent look but the paint filling will take care of that, giving it a brightness and a bit of a holographic look to the final custom coin bank.
The first step is putting the mirrored acrylic component of our custom coin bank on our custom downdraft table.
This is also a project that I designed and cut with our laser and it gets lots of use! Here’s how it was built.
This custom downdraft table is easily the most solid table we have in the shop, it’s heavy and doesn’t move which is perfect for a wide variety of custom applications we use it for!
After the paint filling is complete on the custom coin bank, the masking is removed from the clear acrylic, the clear acrylic is a quarter-inch or 6 mm thick while the back mirrored acrylic is one eight or 3 mm.
It looks completely transparent until you give a little distance and voila, frosted look!
A dry run to see how everything fits together on the custom coin bank. The acrylic protects the surface of the wood and gives it a nice shine without having to resort to a lot of coatings of stain and paint.
Looking at the frosted area with and without the mirrored backing, you can see how it lightens-up the entire custom coin bank.
It’s hard to photograph but the way the light hits the backing and interacts with the frosting gives it almost a 3D holographic look to the orange beetle in the back of the custom coin bank.
It’s now time to make the base of the custom coin bank, I measure it out so I know how large of a hole I need to make in the assembly.
I then cut it out of scrap MDF to test before moving onto the more expensive stuff. I can then reuse this for another application so it isn’t a waste. It’s great for custom name badge, engraving tests and a host of other applications here in the CNCROi.com shop.
This wasn’t masked as it didn’t matter, it can smoke and stain all it wants, it’s just to verify fit on the bank base.
My measurements were perfect for this custom coin bank, time to move to the expensive stuff!
I want to use clear white acrylic as the upper part of the base, it’s the same as the MDF sample produced earlier but a quarter-inch or 6 mm instead of one eighth or 3 mm like the MDF.
Again, fits perfect, the custom coin bank will now have something to rest on, it’s time to make the solid underneath base so that the bank doesn’t fall through.
I went with a semi-transparent black acrylic, same thickness as the white, so it looked like the bank was floating when set on a shelf.
That’s some beautiful flame polishing on this piece of acrylic! We spent lots of time honing our laser settings to produce this awesome edge quality that our customers around the world love!
Now you can see how the two fit together, to create a platform for the bank.
A little acrylic bonding and the two pieces will be permanently adhered to one another.
After a few minutes of drying, we now have a solid base for the bank, the bottom will not be able to “open up” and the elastic band on the top (can be anything) will keep the top from opening up so the entire custom coin bank is kept solid and closed without resorting to screws or glue.
You can compare the two designs I had for the internal slot, more surface area means more strength, if this was made out of solid oak, the design on the right would have been fine but as this was a softer wood, whitewood, the design on the right was what was required to keep the custom coin bank strong.
Applying the layers, you can see the slot the mirrored paint filled acrylic behind it.
And that’s how a custom coin bank that’s easy to gain access to is made. The design could have been anything and yes, we could have used screws and glue, but for me, this was fine for the application.
The design came out awesome!
Putting a bit of money into the custom coin bank, you can see how it reflects off the mirrored acrylic to make it seem like there is a lot more in there AND how the frosting works with it to make the amount of money a mystery yet still visible.
How do you go about getting your very own custom coin bank for personal, corporate, ornamental or fundraising?
Contact CNCROi.com and gives us your volume, budget and material preferences.
And we’ll make a custom bank in any quantity, size or thickness you want!