Cutting State Outlines from Wood

Ideas for machining complex outlines from solid wood slabs. April 20, 2011

I need to carve (or other idea?) a map of the USA. I'm thinking 12" x 8" and 1 1/2". Nice wood with each state outlined. You guys are creative - please help me out.

Forum Resposnes
(Furniture Making Forum)
From contributor J:
Find somebody with a laser cutter.

From contributor H:

From contributor I:
Laser cutters are limited to 1/4". Here's a photo of some Stations of The Cross we did with a laser. You could try a waterjet, but they have some issues with wood - the beam spreads, for one, and... well, they use water. The difficulty is cutting out different states from different pieces of wood - you have to index them to the cuts, plus you need the outlines in the right format of digital file. It's much easier to cut them all from the same board. Or get really, really good with a really good jigsaw, but 1 1/2" thick is a lot. Get ready for some testing.