Summer is half over and I an STILL not finished the shelf. Due to this stagnation I have done NOTHING else either. WHY I am having such a woodworking block with this project I have NO idea. The day it leaves my shop will be a very happy day indeed.
Freehand routing is HARD! I went slow, but following lines that were near impossible to see is like swimming in the dark. You have NO idea where you are. I used the small Trend T4 router, and then followed up with a Dremel tool in a Dremel plunge accessory to try to sand out the rough spots. That didn't work worth a damn either. I think the writing on the shelf says it all.
The wood is hard maple. The plan is to fill the routed areas with glass beads and coloured sand and then put a clear epoxy over the whole thing. So far the lettering is about 1/2" deep and I am REALLY hoping that's deep enough.