My first Edge Lit LED Sign

.25" Cast Acrylic
Red LED Light Strip
12v adapter
All of these parts were ordered on Amazon
I used a spring loaded diamond tip engraving bit I got off eBay for the etching.
Cut the helmet shape out using a 1/8" upcut end mill.
The base was made out of a slab I had in the wood pile. I used 2 pieces that fit together with a slot on the top for the acrylic to go through and a slot on the bottom for the LED strip to sit in. Ran a channel for the cord out of the end.
No stain, just a few coats of satin poly from a rattle can.
Completed in VCarve Pro 9.0

I found out that is is difficult to photograph a red LED sign using an iPhone. Some of the lines wash out and look white in the pic. I used Instagram to take the photo and it came out much better.

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Nice looking piece!
What settings did you use in v carve?

Here are the settings for the Quick engrave Toolpath -

And here are the settings for the diamond drag bit -

Is this the type of spring loaded bit that doesn’t run with the router spinning? It just drags right? Gotta link?

Looks really good btw!!!

Thanks,

Dan

Correct. You leave he spindle off, and the bit just drags along and scratches the surface. I bought this bit on eBay in November 2015, and I can’t find the exact one. But here is the description from my purchase history -

1/4" DIAMOND SPRING LOADED DRAG ENGRAVING TOOL WITH 90 DEGREE TIP

Here is a link to the seller. He has 4 different sizes, and it looks like his prices have remained pretty much the same.

http://www.ebay.com/usr/rzordan?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2754

Here is a link to what I think is the same or similar -

His description and the pictures are a little odd. I don’t know why the picure shows 45/90 and 60/120. But further down it does say that this one is a 90 degree.

This is my first time using the tool, and I had good results, but I am not in a position to recommend this bit or seller.

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I bought mine from the same seller (60 degree). I like your results better with the 90.
I’ve only tried it on soft Home depot plexi and polycarbonate, I need to get some cast acrylic and buy the 90 degree bit.

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Thanks for the info on where to buy. I kept looking on Amazon and they are much more expensive there…I wasn’t prepared to drop $140 on one of these, but those are much more reasonable if they hold up well.

I have this one, works well.

Diamond Drag Bit

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Thanks!!! Ordered one of these few days ago and I’m really happy with the results so far. Very cool stuff!!

Thanks,

Dan

Here is my second edge lit LED sign. The Royals this time. Same settings, bit, etc. as the Chiefs one above.

5 Likes

Could you tell me how you made the base or where you purchased it.
Thank You

Carol I created the base by cutting a pocket in the bottom piece that holds the led strip. In the top half I milled a slot just large enough to get the acrylic sheet through. You want that slot to be a snug fit on the acrylic so it stays in place with just friction. Then I cut a little slot for the cord to go through the side of the bottom piece. I screw the 2 pieces together, then sand them together to make sure I have a nice smooth edge fit. This method takes twice the wood and twice the time. I may start milling out the pocket and slot in a single piece and making a thin cap to cover the bottom. I haven’t experimented with that yet.

Nice work did you make the light base yourself or did you buy them with the lights in them already. I was thinking of trying to do some myself.

I created the base by cutting a pocket in the bottom piece that holds the led strip. In the top half I milled a slot just large enough to get the acrylic sheet through. You want that slot to be a snug fit on the acrylic so it stays in place with just friction. Then I cut a little slot for the cord to go through the side of the bottom piece. I screw the 2 pieces together, then sand them together to make sure I have a nice smooth edge fit. This method takes twice the wood and twice the time. I may start milling out the pocket and slot in a single piece and making a thin cap to cover the bottom. I haven’t experimented with that yet.

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Ok thank for the info I will be trying this out in the future which machine are you using if you don’t mind me asking. I am using the XXL with aspire.

XXL with VCarve Pro. I’d love to upgrade to Aspire one of these days.

It is pricey but worth it for all that you get with it.

Are you making the LED bases yourself? There used to be a good resource for them that was relatively cheap but they quit selling them.

I would like to get into doing them again and use my laser but I want to keep the cost low. I know luminces (sp?) sales them but the ones with bases seems expensive for what they are made of. I guess supply and demand

I make my bases. So far I have always used two pieces of 3/4” material and make a sandwich style base. Slot on the top for the acrylic. Bottom pocket for the led strip and wires. I have seen people make them out of a single piece of 3/4” too. On the single they end up using a thin piece on the bottom as a cover plate. I may try that for smaller signs and use the double for larger signs. But the base it the most time consuming part for me. But I prefer making them than buying from someone else.

Beautiful, I just finished my first led edge lit, Do you also outline the etching or is the fill enough