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

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Stick with me...

When I did up the jeep I neglected to get pictures of the blocks of foam after I had glued them up. With the truck I took the time. I had some bits of 2" and 1.5" blocks tucked away in the storage area... saved for just such a project. These were glued on using PL3000 a construction adhesive designed for foam. It doesn't eat into it. I pinned the blocks of foam to the wood box and to each other with some screws. Otherwise they tend to slide out of position.

Once the glue dries these blocks will be carved down to rock shapes using a hot wire rig and my die grinder.

Then I gave the foam a rough coat of sculpting epoxy ( www.abracadabrasigns.com ) followed by a final coat into which I carved the detail. The rough rock texture was achieved by pressing in some crumpled, heavy duty tinfoil. I let it cure overnight and then applied a base coat of acrylic paint.

While the paint dried I sculpted a few more details on the jeep. The windshield 'glass' is a piece of lexan cut from a face shield.

Then it was time for some more paint fun. I enlisted the help of my ten year old niece (who is staying with us for spring break) to help me out. Then painting out of three different colored buckets of glaze I started slopping on the color. Recessed areas got the darkest color. We sloshed on the paint, spritzed with a water sprayer, and toweled things off wit ha shop rag. It was glorious fun for about twenty minutes as we made it look like rock. My m=niece thinks it is more fun than watching cartoons!

While we were busy on the rocks my older niece had put the first coat of bright yellow paint on the jeep. With the rock and undercarriage of the Jeep done I glued the wheels permanently to the steel studs sticking out of the rock. The body still lifts off until it is done.

This project is coming together quickly now...