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

Monday, November 1, 2010

How-to excavator sign

I had plenty to do today, too much really - as always. But with the help of Bec, Donna and Sarah we made good progress on our other projects which had deadlines. To reward myself I decided to sneak in a few minutes of work on the excavator. The sculpt was already mixed and left over from the parade float so I quickly filled in the screw holes and then added the front and back cab window frames. Then by simply rolling the sculpting epoxy into balls of various sizes I pressed on the rocks onto the dirt pile. It didn't take long.

After supper I snuck back out to the ship for a few more minutes of fun. While I could have used some PVC or acrylic rods for the hydraulic cylinders I knew this sign would always be indoors. Wooden dowels were on hand and worked swell. a few pieces of 1/8"metal rod were bent to shape and glued in place for the hydraulic hoses. Some bits of an old plastic face shield were cut to shape and pressed into service for the mechanical linkage on the bucket. A piece of 3/18" steel rod formed the exhaust pipe. Since the primer bucket was handy I also whipped in some primer. The sign is now ready for paint.

Now I am really getting pressed for time but at least I will be able to give our students a better idea of how a sign like this comes together quickly when you break it down into little bits.

As always doing this project has given me five new ideas...

Stay tuned for the fun has just begun!