As engineers, my wife and I are constantly using our left brains, so we find it’s nice to quit analyzing and get creative. I’m building that these nameplates will add some sophistication to our little hallway amateur art gallery.
Between my dad’s and my sister’s photography, my wife’s paintings and drawings, and my wife’s best friend’s paintings, we have a very diverse little art gallery growing in our hallway. We’re very proud of the artists in our family and they deserve to be recognized for their work. I started thinking about this project as just simple aluminum plates with names stamped into them. While that concept would have been good enough to fit the function, the aesthetic just wasn’t what I wanted.
I used layers of material to make the nameplates 3-dimensional and used the textures and shapes of different kinds of materials to give them character. I used plain poplar for the base (closest to the wall), perforated stainless steel for the second layer, and of course the aluminum for the top layer. Thankfully, the aluminum polished up fairly well and makes the letters pop out, so they are pretty easy to read. I used simple washers to put spacing between the plates.
It took a while to get the lettering just right. At first, I tried stamping free-hand, but the smallest turn of the stamp or the smallest misalignment between letters ruined the whole plate. Ultimately, I made a jig out of spare aluminum plates and some angle shapes. Getting the spacing and alignment just right was the hardest part of the project. I also used hash marks on my workbench to get the spacing down.
That was my project day!
If you liked this project, check out some of my others:
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