A friend’s puppy recently passed away, and I thought I’d make something for her since I know how much she cared for Luka. My mom started a laser engraving business when she retired, and I decided to engrave Luka’s photo into a piece of hard maple using her laser engraver. I don’t like using computers for creating things when possible, but it seemed like the best option in this case. I had to spend a decent amount of time in Photoshop trying to get rid of image scaling artifacts, but I think I found a way to hide the blocky scaling artifacts by adding a subtle random noise texture to the image.

Engraving

The final step involved French polishing the front of the plaque. French polishing takes quite a bit of time and patience, but I think the results are worth it. It’s a bit hard to see in the image, but the process produces a smooth mirror finish. My dad likes to finish things by brushing on a waterborne polyurethane these days, but I think I might have him convinced that French polishing can produce a better gloss finish. I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m insane for using such a labor intensive finishing technique.

French Polish

I always feel weird about giving people stuff I make, and 3/4 of the time the project becomes kindling. I hope I can resist that urge with this one.