A client came to me a couple months back and wanted my help. He wanted me to come up with an idea for a Christmas gift for his father. My client didn’t want to go to the store and purchase something made overseas that wouldn’t have any deep meaning to his father. He wanted the gift to be unique. This gift needed to represent his father and his love for golfing and how much they enjoy golfing together. They had a goal – to golf the top 100 public golf courses in the lower 48 states in the USA.
The long process started with brainstorming ideas and what the end goal of the gift would be. My client wanted something that could be interactive and visual. He wanted something him and his father could see the progress of their goal.
We settled on a two section project. The top section is a large map of the lower 48 states with 1/4″ peg holes that represent the location of the 100 golf courses him and his father would be golfing. The bottom section consists of each course name and their city and state along with matching 1/4″ peg holes. The idea for my client and his father is to store the pegs in the lower sections and as they golf a specific course, they would take a peg and move it up to the appropriate peg hole in the map above. The missing peg on the bottom and the location marked on the map above would represent that him and his father had golfed that course.
The two sections were made up of walnut veneer over a MDF core. They were then wrapped with walnut hardwood with a rabbit to add a shadow line. The panels were prefinished for two reasons. One, to help prevent the paint from getting into the walnut pores and two, to help prevent tear out during the CNC process.
As the map and names were engraved and the holes drilled, they were filled with black paint using a variety of methods. To blacken the state engravings I used an applicator set from Creative Hobbies to apply a consistent flow of paint. To blacken the course names and location engravings, I used an acid brush to quickly fill the text. To blacken the holes, I used the non-brush end of the acid brush to apply a thin layer of black paint. I didn’t want to put too much paint as it would make the peg a very tight fit. In all methods, I followed up with fine grit sandpaper to smooth the finish and remove any black paint on the surface.
Once both sections were completed, I worked on the solid walnut edge molding. I used the table saw to cut it to width and add a rabbit that would wrap the panels to create a nice shadow line.
Finally, I worked on the pegs. They were made from 1″ birch dowels and then using Solar-Lux Black Stain to color them black. Before staining, I used the oscillating spindle sander to put a small chamfer to make inserting them much easier.
I installed a Z Clip on both pieces to be used to hang on the wall.
The process was very involved and the client was kept in the loop the entire way. The final product was delivered right before the holidays with a great reaction! A big thanks to Jonathan Stirling for the business, working with me through the process, and allowing me to film the project from start to finish to share with you folks.
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