Plywood stencils for oak Culloden benches

plywood stencils for oak Culloden benches

Old School Fabrications were commissioned by The National Trust for Scotland to create six benches for the Culloden Path Network around the famous battlefield. They wanted to create large, chunky, sculptural pieces to suit the woodland setting and reflect the brutality of the last battle on British soil.

OSF approached LaserFlair because they needed to carve poetry onto the benches. Aonghas MacNeacail wrote a poem in English and Gaelic to bring the story of the battle to life. Each bench was to have a line of poetry engraved onto it, with the English and Gaelic translations inscribed onto the two beams that form each bench.

Initially, OSF wanted to use laser engraving, but unfortunately, the beams of locally sourced green oak were far too big to put into LaserFlair’s machine. So we came up with a cunning plan!

Plywood stencils for Culloden benches with Old School Fabrications

Why make stencils from plywood?

LaserFlair produced stencils of the lines of text from 5mm plywood. It was important to make the stencils from a thick and durable material. OSF created their own font for the project and supplied the artwork for laser cutting. They designed the text with a stencil effect to keep the inner shapes of the letters in place.

Old School Fabrications then clamped the stencils onto the front faces of the benches. They used a router to engrave the text into them to the depth they wanted. Once they’d finished with the stencils, they routered away the stencil links left behind to complete the shapes of all the letters.