Awards for Educational Excellence
Posted by
Tom_A
Pottstown, PA, USA 
Joined Sep 28, '16 

Monday night my Wife says “I’ll be back in a little while.” I say “Okay. Where ya goin’?” She says “I’m just going to buy the teachers end of school gifts. Bottles of wine I’m thinking.” I say “You’re going to… buy gifts?” She says “Well we should have thought about making things over the weekend but I didn’t think about it and last day of school is tomorrow. Do you really think you can whip something up tonight?” I say “Well, how many teachers?” She says “Five. Katie’s got 2 and Andy’s got 3.” I say “Yes.”

So I talk to the kids about it. Katie says “Can’t we just buy gifts like normal people? Making things is so personal!” Andy says “But we’re not normal people. We have a laser.” Katie says “Then you guys can design whatever you want and it’ll be fine with me.” So Andy and I have a quick conversation about making “an award” for them and come up with the wording for it. And this is how they turned out:

That’s :proofgrade: Thick Glass Acrylic fixed to :proofgrade: Thick Walnut Plywood. The base was also Thick Walnut Plywood with a slot engraved for the award to rest in. The award is fixed to the base with a little glue. I must say, that’s the first time I’d used the Glass Acrylic. It really is as awesome as I expected it to be. Looks just like glass only you can use it in your :glowforge: and cut it and engrave it as acrylic and doesn’t have the unnecessary weight of glass.

You may notice the logo up top. I asked Andy if he wanted any sort of design somewhere on the award… a book, a picture of a school or something. He says “I want you to design me a logo. If you were going to design me a logo, what would it look like.” I said “Andy… I’m not a designer. I’m not a graphical artist.” But he insists. So, in a minute or two I whipped up an Andy A… logo. To my surprise, he loved it and said we absolutely had to use it. So we did.

You may also notice the white discoloration around the upper-right standoff. Well, that’s because it’s not really a standoff. Did you know they don’t sell those things anywhere? We went to Michael’s, Home Depot, Lowes, and A. C. Moore. Nada. So we’re screwed, right? Andy asks “Can’t we just make them?” And I explain how they work and everything and say “No. We’d need to make screw threads and… well… wait… what if we didn’t make actual standoffs. What if we just made acrylic ‘spacers’ instead and glued them on and we’d cover up the glue with the spacers?” So that’s what we did. They all turned out great, except my Wife got a little generous with the glue on a couple of them and that was it… there was no getting it off no matter how we tried. So I still think the makeshift standoff concept is sound. Just need to be careful when using it.

Bottom line? The teachers were blown… away! The principal said “This is without a doubt one of the top 3 gifts I’ve gotten in my entire career.”


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