Black Swift Desk Logos
16 December 2017
About The Job
This job was passed on to me by Aaron Smith from Treecraft (
Black Swift is an SEC-registered investment advisor located in Denver, CO. They wanted to make something out of wood that showcased their logo and could sit on a desk or shelf to give their clients as holiday presents.
After receiving the logo files from Black Swift, I threw them into Inkscape, generated an SVG file, loaded it into Fusion 360 and began playing around with different concepts and ideas. After three iterations we settled on the version you see in the renders below.
I then set out to create a prototype of the agreed upon design, starting with cheap plywood and eventually moving to some scrap hardwood I had laying around. The final prototype is made of hard maple for the logo and padauk for the stand.
After the prototype was finished, it was sent off to Black Swift so they could approve the design in person as well as find a gift box and packaging for the production run.
I picked up the selected lumber for each part of the finished product; walnut for the logo and cherry for the base. The cherry needed to be planed down to 1 inch thick and then the boards were sliced up into manageable pieces for the CNC.
Countersinks and through-holes were drilled for all the mounting points to firmly hold the work in the CNC. After the first board was drilled, it was used as a template to center-punch all the following boards. While each cutting program was running, the previous set of parts were separated from the stock, filed, and sanded.
The sides of the stands needed to be tapered 2 degrees on each side. Unfortunately, my table saw is just a little bit too short at full height to cut this taper. I built a quick sled system for the oscillating spindle sander that would allow me to sand all of the right-hand sides at 2-degrees. Then by switching to a 4-degree sled, I could sand all the left-hand sides resulting in a 2-degree taper on both sides of the stand. (It was important that I not mix these sleds up, so I marked them clearly.)
The last major step was to engrave "Black Swift 2017" on each base. However, as the bases are tapered, I needed to create a work holding fixture that not only kept the stands indexed in the laser but also held the top side flat in the machine. This was easily accomplished by adding a screw that would allow me to adjust the angle that the base would sit in the fixture.
All parts were then brought to final sanding grit and the logos were fit into the stands (a task that was, sadly, not as easy as it should have been.)
After a thorough cleaning using a shop vac and then tack cloth, all the logos were given a coat of brush-on semi-gloss lacquer. Small brushes were used to get into all the small details and between the wings. This coat was allowed to dry for 2 hours, and then everything was lightly sanded with 400 grit sandpaper and re-cleaned.
Finally, everything was sprayed with semi-gloss lacquer to give a smooth, brushless surface finish.