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Nicholas Fortosis

Project by

Nicholas Fortosis

General Information

A simple slot-together plywood reindeer silhouette, perfect for decorating a side table, bookshelf, or fireplace mantle.

The reindeer stands roughly 18" tall and is made of 1/4" birch plywood

Like this project Open in Easel®
Material Description Price
Baltic Birch Plywood

Baltic Birch Plywood

12" × 24" × 1/4" Baltic Birch Plywood


from Inventables

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from Inventables


Open Project in Easel

This project is easiest to complete on a 1000mm X-Carve, though if you have the 500mm X-Carve, you can either split the parts onto multiple smaller sheets, or use the scaled down version I created for 1/8" thick material.

Link to 1/8" Easel Project: http://easel.inventables.com/projects/YI5HHQwu986KTSm8tLvosA


Measure Material Thickness

This project was designed to be used with 1/4" plywood, but 1/4" plywood is normally thinner than 0.25" (closer to 0.20" which is what this project is designed for). If your material thickness differs from 0.20" you can easily adjust for it by changing the endmill width in Easel.

This works by tricking Easel into thinking you are using a larger or smaller endmill than you actually are. This causes the calculated cutting path to actually cut more (or less) material than the original design, effectively making the slots bigger (or smaller). To calculate the value to enter into the Bit Diameter parameter in Easel, use the following formula:

Easel Bit Diameter = Actual Endmill Diameter + (0.20" – Material Thickness)

If your fit ends up too tight or loose, you can come back to this step and adjust this accordingly to get a better fit.



20 minutes

The carve took me roughly 20 minutes with a DeWalt DW660 and a 0.0625" endmill with a feedrate of 30ipm and depth of cut of 0.125". Use whatever feeds and speeds you feel most comfortable with for your machine.


Sand Edges

The edges will probably need a light sanding to remove all of the frayed fibers.

I initially was going to make the reindeer much smaller so I didn’t worry about smoothing all of the lines in Inkscape. Now that I have enlarged it you can see some of the straight edges instead of smooth curves, however this can also easily be taken care of with some light sanding.


(Optional) Add a Finish

Unless it is going to take some serious abuse, I like to use Danish oil on my projects.

I did 3 coats of Danish oil with about a 10 minute break in between coats. Make sure to wipe off the excess when you are done.

You could also paint or stain your reindeer to achieve your desired look.



Assemble the parts using the project photos for reference. I found that my plywood thickness was not constant across the material and I had joints that were both too tight and too loose. I sanded the tight joints until they fit and used a dab of wood glue in each loose joint to secure them. I would encourage a bit of glue in each joint anyway to keep everything nice and secure.

TJ Edwards
Cool project! I made my first attempt and found that the slots were too big. I had easel set to cut "on line", so on my next attempt I'm going to try "inside cut" to see if that fixes it. On that note, does anyone know if there is a way to precisely measure within Easel?
TJ Edwards
Nicholas Fortosis
Hi TJ, You will have to use the outside cut. If it still does not fit, adjust the bit diameter number to more accurately dial it in. Not sure how to measure inside Easel
Nicholas Fortosis