It is hard to believe that it was almost ten years ago I witnessed a CNC router in action for the very first time. I was fascinated and simply had to have one! Although I had been in the creative end of the three dimensional sign business for most of my life I didn't really know what I would do with one of these machines - but I just knew it could do fantastic stuff.

Along with the CNC router I discovered the wonderful material called Precision Board and the glues, primers and other companion products they offer. Since then we have gone through many tons of the material using it in most signs and projects we tackle. This journal will chronicle our many adventures both past, present and future. I'll talk from the perspective of someone who pushes these products to the creative limit on a daily basis. I'll be adding to the stories two or three times each week. -dan

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Getting a handle on the small bits

With EnRoute Software and our MultiCam router I can fashion just about any part I can imagine in a hurry. But the material I like to use 30lb Precision Board isn't overly strong - especially if the part is to be handled. I needed a handle for the submarine door (the white board) and I knew that it would get tugged on regularly. The solution was simple. I cut some 5/8" steel rod and welded up a 'T' shape. Then using my die grinder I hollowed out the inside of each piece .

I test fit everything to make sure it went together properly. The vertical piece protruded out the back of the handle.

Using Coastal Enterprises one part urethane glue PB Bond 240 I coated the piece making sure some dribbled into the cut. This would expand as it cured filling any hollows I had created.

Then I popped it into the clamps overnight. In the morning I used the die grinder once more to clean up the edges and also add a little 'wear' to the piece. This was an old submarine after all.

Once we got onside I drilled a hole in the center of the door and glued on the handle. I can confidently know that no one is going to break this handle when they try to open the door.

Today we'll add the primer and some aged paint to complete this piece. We are thinking of copper rather than the rusty steel but we'll see...