Large plaques, large project - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-06-2019, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Large plaques, large project

For me, at least. The trophy shop I often do woodworking for asked me last year to make 15 large plaques out of Walnut. These are 17" x 28" with Roman Ogee edge and sprayed with Nitrocellulose lacquer. So I made five each week for three weeks and they said that's all they would 'ever' need. Well, the insurance company they provide these for bought some other companies and earlier this year the trophy shop said they needed five more plaques.

I delivered the five plaques and they said to make ten more. So I made ten more but this time they needed five 17" x 28" and five 24" x 28". I delivered those and they said to make another 25. About the time I got home they called and said to make it 35. I had already cleaned out my local sawmill of unsteamed Walnut and began shopping around for steamed Walnut (I don't care for steamed but it wasn't going to matter on these plaques).

After checking in with about 8 suppliers within 250 miles, which was about as far as I was willing to drive, I found a source who would actually deliver to a friend's cabinet shop. My friend not only ordered it on his account (he gets a discount) but was willing to store it for me and let me come get what I needed each week because we don't have room for that much of any kind of wood. By the time we placed the order the trophy shop had called and raised the number to 45 plaques so we ordered 200 bd. ft.

I began making five 17" x 28" and five 24" x 28" each week and a few weeks into the job the number rose to 70 plaques. So we ordered another 200 bd. ft. of Walnut...

Anyway, that's all I have been working on for the last 8 weeks is plaques and I finished them all on time with no rejects and a perfectly happy customer. It was a bit of a stretch for our small little shop in our two-car garage. There were times when Sandy would help at night and that really helped. And of course, we were still getting orders on Etsy for Longworth chucks so I had to squeeze those in. I think I cut about 12 in that 8 week period of doing the plaques.

Normally the dust collector bag needs to be emptied every 6 weeks or so. For this job I was having to empty the bag twice each week because of all the planing and sanding. I think I spent more time on the drum sander than I did on any other tool but I sure am glad we have it. The DeWalt 735 planer sure got a workout, as well.

So here are some photos of this project -

First load of Walnut -
Large plaques, large project-001-1st-load-walnut.jpg

Cut to length, had to buy $250 worth of new clamps
Large plaques, large project-002-cut-length-new-clamps.jpg

Since I was using the planer so much it stayed out and in the way for two months. Usually it's under the table saw extension.
Large plaques, large project-003-planer-out-way.jpg

Planed, jointed edges, ready for matching and sizing -
Large plaques, large project-004-planed-ready-match-up-size.jpg

Five small, five large, matched and ready for biscuit joining -
Large plaques, large project-005-matched-five-large-five-small.jpg

Biscuits for each joint. I know some folks don't like biscuits but they work just fine for me so I'm good with them -
Large plaques, large project-006-biscuits-alignment.jpg

Clamped and drying. These were stacked everywhere I could put them in the shop.
Large plaques, large project-007-clamped.jpg

Ready for the drum sander -
Large plaques, large project-008-ready-drum-sander.jpg

Quick dust collection rigged up and ready for cutting the edge profile -
Large plaques, large project-009-cutting-roman-ogee-edge.jpg

A quick pass with the ROS and 120 grit before spraying -
Large plaques, large project-010-quick-ros-pass.jpg

More in a minute -

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post #2 of 5 Old 08-06-2019, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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One coat of sealer, one coat of gloss -
Large plaques, large project-011-one-coat-sealer-one-gloss.jpg

Large plaques, large project-012-one-coat-sealer-one-gloss.jpg

Using the spare bedroom for woodworking purposes, storing small pieces, drying sprayed work, etc. -
Large plaques, large project-013-drying-spare-bedroom.jpg

The finished plaques look like this, so even though they specified Walnut they still covered about 90% of the wood. The smaller plaques used slide in plates that still covered about 80% of the board.
Large plaques, large project-014-finished-plaque.jpg

It was a good project for us and pointed out that I seriously need to convert the dust collector into a two-stage unit. I'll begin that in the next few days before I start other paying jobs.

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post #3 of 5 Old 08-07-2019, 08:17 AM
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Those look great. I like pith and knots as I think the contrast really increases the beauty.

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post #4 of 5 Old 08-14-2019, 11:07 AM
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That is cool Dave got to be nice to get work like that and biscuits totally appropriate.
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-14-2019, 02:49 PM
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wow - awesome score on the contract !!
I feel your pain on the never ending orders.
I got a contract for the US Navy and Marine Corps to
make command and squadron plaques 12x12" in lots of
a hundred each out of mahogany.
good money but it gets old really quick.


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