We needed some art for the living room and figured a deer head would be a suitable addition. I modified a design I found online and built it using the CNC machine and cut it out of old reclaimed subfloor that was removed during our bedroom renos.
It's always fascinating looking back on a project and seeing that there's a beautiful object hidden in the material, you just need to uncover it.
The plywood had 100's of screw holes and staples from the carpet and needed a lot of processing.
I modified the 3D model to work with the thickness of plywood.
When plotting the cuts I was mostly concerned about maximizing the material so I would have the least amount of waste. I however neglected to think about the grain orientation so now it's staggered, but it's really unnoticeable to me.
I had to do a lot of prep work on the plywood before even being able to cut it. I had to pull out a ton of staples and foam left over from the carpet.
I then used the table saw to rip the plywood to the size that is the maximum cutting area of my desktop CNC (Shapoeko XXL ) 32"x32".
I exported my drawings from Rhino into DXF and uploaded it into Carbide Create which is the CAM software that came with the machine. In Carbide Create I created the tool paths to cut out the pieces.
Then sit back, relax and watch the CNC go.
There was still a lot of cleaning up left to on all the wood. For the faces I used a random orbital sander going from 120 grit up to 220.
I sanded and rounded all the edges with a soft curve. I found clamping each piece in a vice helped secure it and to made it easier to sand.
I used Minwax Early American as a stain. Im not the biggest fan of how the stain came out as I'm not too keen on the high contrast of the grain; next time I would just keep it a natural finish.
I sealed each piece with two coats of spray on satin poly.
There is no glue, it's all held together with 4 screws in the back and everything else is notched in so it can be disassembled at anytime.
To hang it up I installed a french Cleat. This was definitely the best option; Its extremely strong and you can easily mico adjust its position, sliding along each cleat to find the perfect spot.
I find it a little profound that I used material that was removed from the house which would otherwise be waste and turned it into art. It's another step in its history as well as its purpose as a material, in the same house but with a new function. Overall we feel as though this deer head encompasses the essence of our home and is a great representation of our aesthetic.