Jeremy Dame from Word of Life Bible Institute in Schroon Lake, NY brings us this awesome stage piece.

From Jeremy: Our theme for this year at our Bible Institute is “Identity”. We chose to go with a thumbprint as the main set piece to highlight the unique identity that God created each individual with…

Most thumbprint files you find are much too detailed to cut out of 1/4 luan, so we had to find a very thick version of a fingerprint file to make it work.

We knew that we wanted it to be big, about 8’x12′. So in order to not have seam/gap problems we overlayed 2 layers of 1/4″ luan in opposite directions, and glued them together so that we would have one complete ‘seamless’ sheet 8’x12′. After projecting the image and tracing it on the surface, we then cut it our carefully with a saber saw. We then filled any gaps or cracks on the face with Durham’s Rock Hard water putty, sanded and painted it black. Be sure to glue everything possible (liquid nails or wood glue). An air-powered staple gun is our preferred method of luan attachment.

At this point you have to be very careful with the cut channels in the fingerprint as they are fragile and could break if you try and handle it without help.

We then made a box to attach the face to, consisting of a 1″x12″ rim and luan as the back. Painted the outside black and the inside white.

We bought a roll of diffusion gel and glued it to the back of the fingerprint. We tried this method before on a sign and the glued gel did not hold well, so we tested a few different adhesives and found that Vinyl Flooring adhesive is the best for gluing gel to wood…

We then installed rigging tethers, LED strips (4 Elation SixBar units) and cabling inside the box, then attached the face. On the back, be sure to make so the bottom and top panel are removable so you can access your LEDs. We also integrated cabling to attach 4 moving washes (4 Chauvet R1 units) to the outside edges. Make sure you secure your cabling so it does not dangle, keep it fastened to the edges. We used zipties and stapled the zip ties to the 1x12s.

I’m guessing the finished work is 400-500 lbs, so be sure to safely rig it with qualified help. We end up doing a lot of heavy signage on stage each year so we are considering buying 2 chain hoists to do the rigging more effortlessly.


11- sheets of 1/4″ luan- $120
4- 1″x12″x12′- $60
1- 4’x25′ Roll Diffusion Gel $125 (If we do something like this again, I’m going to try to use simple 4 mil plastic sheeting, pennies on the dollar compared to gel)
Wood Glue, Liquid Nails, Vinyl Flooring adhesive

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