Lee Valley Tools Woodworking Newsletter
Vol. 3, Issue 4
March 2009
Printing On Plywood

I cut out the four eggcup templates using scissors. I drilled a hole in the center through all four at once, then used the scroll saw to cut out the circle for the egg. The two pieces fit together simply, no glue, nails or clamping required. I thought of printing some more, but first wanted to turn the design into a postcard. This way, the recipients would have a novel wooden Easter card that they could cut and put together themselves. This would give them a fun holiday project and a nice wooden eggcup in the end.

The eggcup pieces, ready for assembly.
The eggcup template.
The eggcup pieces, ready for assembly.   The eggcup template.

Other potential uses for this technique include printing digital or scanned photographs on the wood. You could use a photo-editing program to put borders around the photos; these borders would make for built-in frames ready for cutting to size. You could also use this method to create doll house furniture. Finally, if you are a train modeler, you could take a digital picture of a building you want to include in the set (maybe your own house) and then print your own building kit.

The printing is not very sharp, so it is best to use fairly coarse detail. I used my Epson® printer for this experiment and I have used it since with no ill effects noticed. I'm sure that there are other printer models that will work better; maybe some that have a straight-feed option for cardboard in which the rear opens up to allow the wood to be fed in without having to bend it. Other printers may not work at all. I don't think I broke my printer, but at the same time, I cannot guarantee that it will not break yours, so please be careful.

Maarten Meerman

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