Alright, so bear with me, I'm new to this whole maker thing, but I figured this would be the best place for answers. I recently had to do away with my old plastic chair mat because it had been decimated by years of use on the carpet, I replaced it with some MDF shelves that I cut and sanded to make for a more solid platform, works great but needs improvement.
So, the next step that I want to take is to customize the mat entirely. I want to keep the cost relatively low, because I'm in university and saving money is the dream, but I'm not against paying for something I need, anyhow, I want to make a chair mat out of an easy to work with material, preferably wood, and I want to carve an image into it and then cover it with a clear and durable sheet. The image would then be lined or back-lit with led strips that can be powered independently or plugged into my PC (as the mat will be for my gaming/editing PC), and the sheet could either be screwed into place or have a frame built around it to hold it together depending on what it is. The questions I have are:
Like I said, I'm pretty new to all this, however, I always enjoy working with my hands and building things as well as taking things apart to learn how they work and this project is something I really want to have work out, something I can look at and be thoroughly proud of. Thank you in advance for all the help!
1/2/3 - MDF should work - it will be nice and smooth and you should be able to carve/route it with a dremel. Maybe look into getting the 'router' attachment for it. I would be careful with how wide the carved gaps are as it will create a weak spot where the plastic topper will be mounted. A somewhat crazy idea may be to carve it then fill/cover the whole thing with epoxy you would use for bars/tables. Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/MAS-Hardener-Tabletop-Spreader-Professional/dp/B07CZR9BLW
I randomly picked one - so do a bit of research on reviews.
4 - you can get ribbon LEDs that have a remote and just plug into the wall for cheap. May need a bit of soldering skills if you need more than a roll. Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Strip-Lights-ESEYE-Waterproof-Illumination/dp/B07PNDYH8Z
Thanks very much. I never thought of epoxy but there are some very cool things I could do with it so I'll certainly look into it. I did consider the mounting onto the MDF and would ensure that none of the carving I did was too intricate or caused an issue with that, but you've given me some very good places to start, so thank you.