Monday
Mar292010

Speaker Grill Logo

While I waited for the paint to dry it was time to try something different.

I've noticed on certain Williams and Bally pinball machines you will find a beveled chrome logo below the DMD on the speaker grill. Much like a "car badge" I wanted to recreate this on my speaker grill but of course with the necessary name change for PinaColada.

Detailed Wood Cuts and Scroll Saws

I wouldn't even know where to start with shaping and cutting a metal logo, so I had to opt for a wooden version that I could easily cut out and then paint to give the appearance of silver / chrome. I happen to own a scroll saw which makes this kind of task doable. If you've never heard of a scroll saw before they are a fantastic machine for making cutesy crafty type projects (such as doll houses, toys, puzzles). They have incredible cutting capability because of the tiny blades that move up and down to create very clean and narrow cuts. You would never be able to attempt to make this kind of cut with a jigsaw, or even a bandsaw as the curves are just too fidely, tight and small. So a scroll saw (my particular cheap model is only around $100) is definitely needed for this type of project. If you're into this kind of thing, I thoroughly recommend getting a cheap one (with variable speed) to get started as it's a great hobby generally. I'm using after market pinless blades for this particular cut.

Printing The Logo

To start I needed a template to cut from, using my already created logo, (the cursive font fits well to the Williams style logo) I glued this to a thin sheet of MDF and begun the careful procedure to make the cut.

Logo printed to scale, glued and ready for cutting.

Cutting In Stages

As you can see, the lines on the logo are extremely thin in some sections and need to be cut with great care. I surprised even myself by being able to keep the piece together on my very first try.

First I cut the bottom border and then followed this with the top border. I probably should have cut out the holes first, but I was hesitant to go to all that trouble first because it involves removing the blade, drilling holes and threading the blade back through for each hole. Anyhow, it worked out fine cutting the holes secondary as MDF is surprisingly robust and sturdy enough to move the cut out piece around without breaking it.

The slow and careful cut continues.

With the outline cut out, it was time to create the inner holes. It was very satisfying to see this completed.All in all the whole process from start to finish only took approximately 2 hours which was then ready for paint.

"Chrome" Effect

After some careful sanding, and it was really too fiddly to do much of it, I laid the logo out for painting. Using a silver spray paint I built up several very thick layers. I literally caked it on to produce a nice rounded beveled end result. This just seemed to work for me. The paint dried very quickly which was an added bonus and the thick paint produced a great rounded effect on the edges.

Two bolts made a good platform for painting. The logo really is very small and delicate.

Final Logo

Overall I was very happy with it and surprised a few people who had no idea it was wood. The end finish is similar to a fancy silver candle in look and texture. Silver paint doesn't really come close to the real chrome look, but it still looks great on the speaker grill for a homemade job and a few hours of work!

The finished product came out better than expected.

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Reader Comments (1)

Wonderful touch to the project, well done!

November 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJack
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