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

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Faking wrought iron - the rough stage.

I spent a little time on the Black Forest sign this morning, just enough to satisfy myself it was going to all work out fine. I often bid and start a project without thinking it all the way through. There is no sense in worrying about something until it is time. Then it always seems to work out in the end... and I don't loose any sleep from worrying. This time was no exception.

While I would have loved to invest in a forge or hired someone else with those skills to produce the wrought iron bracket, the truth is time and the budget were working against me. But I figured I would be able to duplicate the look in such a way it would be impossible to tell it wasn't real. The bracket will be about 14' off the ground when it is mounted.

I bent up the primary steel in our hydraulic bender and welded it up good and strong.  Then I used some lighter steel to form the framework for the leaves and other decorative elements and welded them in place. Over this I added a quick form with Abracadabra Sculpt (sculpting epoxy). I'll be adding a final decorative layer to make it look like wrought steel, complete with 'hammer and tool' marks

I then added texture to the faces corners, and edges of the sign with the die grinder. I still have the decorative finale to put on the top faces and a few more details before the paint is started.

With the large cornice moulding the sign looks pretty substantial. The30 lb Precision Board glued up pretty fine. After I had finished the texture I filled a couple of cracks I had created by not clamping the pieces quite tight enough and all the screw holes, making this part of the sign ready for paint.

Next week it will come together real quick!