The Perfect Shot
For anyone who golfs seriously, the rare unicorn fart that is the hole-in-one is dreamed of, but seldom found. Paula’s dad, Ken, is one of the lucky few to catch that ephemeral poof of pixie dust. This achievement called for a special gift to emblazon his Hurculean effort on the walls of Chang Manor for all time.
When making a trophy to commemorate something like a hole in one, it’s important to find a huge slab of wood, then just use the middle 1%. The rest must then be banished to space (I prefer to send it to the sun, but just regular space is fine).
I masked the Walnut slab with contact paper before etching it. You can see the interesting texture in the gold paint. Before etching, I had clear coated the wood with two layers of polyurethane. Clear coating before etching really helps with cleanup.
When spraying something through a mask or stencil, it’s important to make sure overspray doesn’t come in contact with the sides or back of your piece. Don’t underestimate the tenacity of overspray…it’ll get in your belly button if you let it.
It’s especially important that your masking material makes perfect contact with the substrate when engraving small text. Roll the contact paper on from the middle and use a scraper to prevent bubbles.
After peeling the large mask, I find it useful to get a sharp pick to help remove the smaller pieces. Feel free to eat these, since they’re too small for the pesky doctor to find on the x-rays. “Stop eating stuff from your workshop” wah-wah-wah, like I don’t know what tastes delicious.
You can see how the clear coat really prevents the gold from bleeding under the mask. If you peel it off about 20 – 30 min after spraying, it’s pretty easy to scrape off any blurps that sneak under the masking.
The middle of A’s, P’s, etc. can be challenging on really small text. For these, I recommend letting things dry a little more, then using a very sharp pick or awl to help remove the pieces. Be careful “brushing” things off if the paint isn’t fully dry. Small pockets of wet paint can hide in the corners of the etching and smear across all your hard work.
I did the edge treatment with just the table saw. 45° cuts with the slightest trim around the face. I used a keyhole slot router bit to cut a single keyhole slot in the center of the back. I started with a regularly drilled hole so I wouldn’t have to plunge the bit. It was very easy using the fence and a stop block.