Mahogany House Number Plaque

I decided to test my skills with epoxy resin pouring. This project was originally meant to be something totally different, but I changed the design when I realised I could make an awesome house number plaque and it would also be a perfect excuse to experiment with epoxy resin pouring.

It all started with this very large blank of mahogany I got as a gift from a colleague. It used to be a floor board in an old house that was demolished. I’m not sure of the age of it, but I would dare to guess that it is at least 150 years old and possibly much older.

I had a spare moment in the workshop and I was planning to make a small mahogany serving platter out of a part of it. I wasn’t planning to document this build as a serving platter is not very exciting, but I changed my mind when I decided that it would be a house number plaque instead. Due to this there are no pictures of the steps in the beginning of the project.

This is how it ended up looking. I’m very happy with the result considering that I haven’t done epoxy pouring before.

Build Log:

This was the starting point: a very large mahogany floorboard. I cut a 15cm wide section from it, and also cut off the tongue and groove from the sides.
At this point I was still making a serving platter, and for some reason I decided that a large 45 degree bevel would look good on it. I used my small handheld router for the task.
I used the largest 45 degree router bit I had. I was nervous about how it would work with mahogany but it turned out perfect.
After sanding the piece up to 320 grit, I was left with a 38mm thick mahogany “serving platter”. When I showed it to my wife, she said it looked more like a plaque and not a serving platter… I had to agree with her, so I told her that I was just kidding and that it would be our new house number plaque outside the outer door.
A quick 3D render later, I had a good idea how the plaque should look like. This is also from where I created the file for my laser engraver.
I wanted to include our surname on the plaque, so routing it was out of the question. I would never be able to make such small details look good, and to be honest even the large number would be a problem. I did the only right thing and decided to do a very deep laser engraving on it.
I did the engraving with 100% power (Xtool D1 Pro 20W) and 20mm/s speed. I needed to do three passes and the whole process took nearly 3.5 hours. Here you can see the step between pass one and pass two.
Nearly done. I was prepared to do one more pass, but decided that it was not necessary. I was left with ~5mm deep cut which would be plenty deep for an epoxy pour, especially after adding few additional holes with a large drill. The most important part was that the lettering had very crisp edges.
Mixing the epoxy. Here you can also see the shallow holes I created with 16mm and 8mm drills.
”Pouring” the epoxy. I opted for using a 20ml syringe to make sure that the epoxy goes where it belongs. I’m using Epodex Ultra Clear Pro epoxy that can be used for pours up to 2cm deep. I mixed it with “signal white” colouring paste for the colour.
I left the epoxy to harden for a whole week to make sure that it is ready for sanding.
The plaque has to be hung on the wall somehow. I decided to got with a stainless steel plate which is routed to the back of it. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has to withstand the temperature changes and moisture in the air.
After drilling and chamfering, I got a rough shape ready. I used a leftover piece of 3mm stainless plate from the Rocket Grill -project.
To shape the hole on the center, I used my angled die grinder with a carbide burr.
Not perfect, but it will never be seen behind the plaque and it will for sure do its job.
The metal plate is routed into the back of the plaque. The center of it has to be deeper so the head of the screw has somewhere to go.
The sides were routed to the same thickness as the metal plate. Still some work left to do here…
I used a scalpel to finish off the sharp corners. The plate is screwed to the back with 16mm long stainless screws.
The screws mount flush thanks to the chamfers. I didn’t spend much time finishing the backside of the plaque as no one will be seeing that anyway.
The excess epoxy was sanded off with an orbital sander.
To finish off the plaque, it was varnished with matte spray. I sprayed three layers of it, and it should now withstand the weather without direct rain or snow on it.
After the varnish had tried, it ended up looking great. It is under a roof and doesn’t get rained or snowed upon, so it should stay looking this good for a long time. It turned out better than I had expected.

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