Magnetic Wood Wall Art

I was asked to take part in a Wood Wall Art Challenge. A bunch of creators set out to make some wall art and there were only 2 rules we needed to follow. 

1) Must be made out of (mostly) wood.

2) Must be square.

That's it. It's so incredible how creative people are in these kinds of challenges, I will link to all the other posts down below so you can see all the amazing art everyone else came up with! 

Check out my video below! There will also be a playlist on YouTube for all the people who made videos for this challenge. Enjoy!

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Look at all the other amazing artwork!!

TONS of unique and creative pieces of wooden wall art!.jpg

 

I had a goal for this project to only use things I had on hand. I kept to that goal for everything except the black spray paint... oh well. I spray painted a 2x2 sheet of 1/4" plywood black to create a contrast for the background. 

3x3 Custom Wood Magnet Board

Then I got to cutting the logs into "cookies". I figured out the safest way to cut them was by using a jig on the bandsaw. I explain this jig in further detail in the Full Video. 

3x3 Custom Wood Magnet Board

Since some of the wood I was using was still green I had to dry it. I put the cookies in the oven at a low temperature, flipping them every 15 minutes or so. The correct way to do this would be to weigh the wood before putting it in the oven and then weigh them after each 15 minute session. The wood is fully dry when the wood stops losing weight and all the water is evaporated. I didn't do this. I just did it till it felt right... 

Then I drilled holes to house the magnets in the back. 

3x3 Custom Wood Magnet Board

I used CA Glue with an accelerator spray to attach the magnets in place. I chose to use magnets behind the wood because I had a ton of magnets lying around from a conference I recently went to. If you want to make the cookies magnetic, you can also just glue metal pieces to the back of them and magnets would stick to the front. Maybe some cut up bar stock would work.

3x3 Custom Wood Magnet Board

While my daughter sanded the cookies, I got to working on the frame. Again, trying to use what I had on hand, I cut up some maple from my Ambrosia Maple Entry Way Table build. 

3x3 Custom Wood Magnet Board

Then using my Cross-Cut sled, I cut the miters on each end. 

3x3 Custom Wood Magnet Board

I originally planned on making a rabbet on the frames to house the plywood backing but something went wrong with my measurements. it happens... So instead I cut up some pine scrap to use as a support for the plywood. I mitered each end and then drilled some pocket holes. 

3x3 Custom Wood Magnet Board

Then attached the pine supports to the maple frame using pocket screws. 

3x3 Custom Wood Magnet Board

Now It was time to glue it up! I placed the plywood backer in without glue, just to ensure the glue up of the frame was going to be square. Then used a frame band clamp to keep it nice and tight while the glue dried. I love using these frame clamps...

3x3 Custom Wood Magnet Board

After the frame dried, I sanded everything and then glued down the plywood backer. 

3x3 Custom Wood Magnet Board

I clamped it down and used my brad nailer to hold it in place so I can continue working. I also used some more CA Glue around all the edges just to make sure there were no cracks since I was going to pour epoxy. 

3x3 Custom Wood Magnet Board

I wanted the cookies to look as random as possible so I tried not to put any thought into placing them. I started with the larger ones and moved down to the small ones. 

In order to prepare them for the epoxy pour I used CA glue again to temporarily hold them in place. The CA Glue dries super quick (especially with the accelerator spray) but it is not a permanent bond. This was a bit tedious but it was necessary for the epoxy pour. If I didn't glue them down they would have floated up when I poured the epoxy. 

3x3 Custom Wood Magnet Board

Aaaaaaaand finally the epoxy pour! I have to be honest here. I think I liked this better before I poured the epoxy. The epoxy made the wood really dark. I thought the cookies were maple, so I was expecting a lighter finish to contrast with the black background. Turns out they weren't maple! I'm still happy I decided to experiment. 

3x3 Custom Wood Magnet Board

Since I wasn't loving the epoxy finish on the wood, I sanded all the cookies that I was able to and finished them with shellac. This was a much nicer, more natural finish to me. 

3x3 Custom Wood Magnet Board

I decided to hang it on the wall using a french cleat which is super strong and sturdy. I figured my kids would be playing with the magnets a lot so I wanted to make sure it was secured to the wall really well. (If I would have planned this well I would have made one of those pine supports a cleat to hang on. Oh well.)

To create the french cleat I took 2 scrap pieces of pine 1xsomethings and ripped a 45 degree angle down one edge of each of them on the table saw. 

I screwed one cleat onto my board.

3x3 Custom Wood Magnet Board

And screwed the second one onto the wall, making sure it was level and in the spot I wanted it. 

3x3 Custom Wood Magnet Board

Last step is to just hang it u!

3x3 Custom Wood Magnet Board

This isn't really my typical project but it was super fun to figure out. I Iove that it's going to be a nice textural background to my kids beautiful artwork. 

 

3x3 Custom Magnet Art Board