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

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sculpting progress

At the workshop my project served as filler. When I had a few minutes I would sit down with it at the table and do a little work. The students would watch, ask questions and see how it was done. With the big class and a busy schedule I only had time to work on one truck.

The black spots on the Precision Board chassis are from welding splatter - only surface burns. I worked up the springs first, then the differentials. The exhaust system was next and then the bits and pieces of detail. I probably spent about half to three quarters of an hour on the undercarriage in total. The holes drilled in the bottom of the tires match up with short pieces of threaded rod which are glued into the rock base under the truck. After the pieces are painted I'll drop some epoxy in the holes and slide the truck on the top permanently.

The styrofoam needed to be hard coated before I could sculpt the rock over it. This involved pressing a thin layer of Abracadabra Sculpt over the foam and letting it harden. I wasn't worried about getting things too smooth at this point, only covering the foam.

The final layer of rock was sculpted under the tires to look as if it was there before the tires. This involved keeping it at the same angle as the wheels.

While Sarah mixed the sculpting epoxy I put a little on at a time, carving in the cracks and fissures.

Then I used a ball of heavy duty foil, which I crumpled up to press into the soft sculpt to create the texture.

We made good progress in a couple of hours. This thing is coming together pretty nice. The old Willys Jeep looks pretty dramatic perched precariously on the top of the rock.

Stay tuned for more progress...