Making Halloween Faces In Cedar Trying to hold flat

I have just started out making some Halloween light boxes out of Cedar Fence pickets.
They are cupped pretty bad and I am all over the place cutting the faces out. Some too deep other areas not going through. I also put tabs on the cutouts but that was creating more of a problem.

I had an idea to use some .025" chipboard underneath and reset my depth of cut lower.
Just trying to not have to go so low into my spoilboard since I plan on making quite a few of these.

I use a downcut 1/4" bit, any thoughts on cutting the chipboard and any problems I might encounter?

Any other thoughts clamping these down? I measure them and between the width of 5.5" they cup almost .1" on some. I have already spent way too much time at HD sorting the best I can.

And there is no way any painters tape is going to hold these.

I use cam lever clamps to hold a 2 X 3 grid in place.

Is my idea okay? Anyone have something to add please.

Chip board is wood chips and glue. So you may need to clean your bit after a few of the cuts. The glue used to hold chip board is pretty nasty so be sure to wear a dust mask or use dust extraction.

Nothing wrong with using chip board as long as you take precautions. Since you already have the cedar pickets use them but if you just bought them take them back and go somewhere else or select different boards.

1 Like

I created this many moons ago. I place the planed wood in the openings I made. I used shims to lock it in.

Zeroed off a corner of one of the boards.

Good Luck.

1 Like

This a good reason to have a planer or drum sander. Once a board is cupped, there’s little chance you can “un-cup” it, but a planer or drum sander will take the cupping part off.

You’re cup almost .1" on some would be easy to take off and give you two parallel sides to work with; thinner, but flat.

1 Like

I was going to run them through the planer and decided to try another route.
I’ll use the cedar picket as in for everything except the face.
I have some sheets of 1/2" plywood that can be cut up easier and in less time to carve the faces.

I calculated my cost taking in account running boards through the planer and it comes out cheaper both material and time wise to replace the face.

Another thought I had was to run the faces through the laser and cut out the faces but the cnc is way faster.

Thanks for the help guys, I appreciate it and learn something from everyone all the time.

I’ll reply back if things go sideways with my plan :slight_smile:

I’ve made those in the past and I just made sure to put the fence pickets on the waste board with the cup facing up. In that orientation the edges of the board would be bowed up, then I just use the essential clamps to force the board flat around the perimeter. Sure, the board remains cupped after it comes off the machine but at least the carve depth was consistent.

That will work for making one off but I am trying to batch these out and maximize my table cutting area.

By the way, did you sell any?

I have made so many things over the last few years with the intention to sell them but life and my other business keeps getting in the way. This one is my make something and market the local heck out of it.

My goal is to sell 500 pcs.

Thanks for helping,

You should still be able to get production with the method I described. Just setup some fences so you can reference the material in the same spot every time when you swap out planks. You can even just screw down the cedar boards if you want. Just plan out the screw locations in your design file so you can stay clear of them.

I’ve made a dozen or so of these in the past but never sold them. Just made them for friends and family. Good luck.

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.