Christmas Advent Train

We were asked to make a custom version of this Etsy design:

@ctdoerksen helped re-arrange the design to fit the Speedy 300’s bed size using deepnest

I then adjusted it to allow for the laser kerf size, which ended up being 0.05mm for the 3mm baltic birch plywood.

Inkscape’s fixed offset command worked very well for all the structural (finger joint, edges, etc) but failed on most of the decorative parts of the design, including some of the letters.

I selected all the decorative parts and assigned them a different color (and process.) The find same (color) search was very helpful!

The vacuum table was essential to both hold the boards flat and ensure all the fine details cut through. It also cleared the smoke very quickly and reduced the amount of back-side burning.

Saman waterbased stain was a life saver- super fast dry time, no smell. And it’s a Canadian company! Windsor has a great supply.

The thin and medium 2P-10 glues were amazing. Again, from Windsor.

Closest font I could find: Square Serif Black

I own a copy of the design- although I can’t give out copies, we can arrange for it to be cut if someone ones to make their own.

Tips for next time:

  • build the “axels” first, then add on the discs/wheels/etc
  • start at the bottom and build up
  • glue decorative pieces (smoke stacks, etc) on to panels first, rather than after building the structure
  • separate out all the stained pieces and re-nest. Much faster to cut from a pre-stained board than to stain after! Even if the cut edges need to be touched up. The Saman stain is supposed to be “self wetting” so touch ups shouldn’t mess up the finish (test this!)
  • sell as kitsets, not completed items :wink: