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, December 22, 2012

Sculpting a carpenter

We've been working on a fun little project that is now almost complete. It involved a little routing.

Our client is a police officer, soon to retire. He is building a workshop out back of his new house where he will create wooden projects. He asked us to make a wood carver figure to lean out of a faux window above the door.

Once I had seen the building the project started with a quick sketch in order fpr the client to visualize what we intended to create. It's quick and rough but it as enough to convey my idea to the client.

The sculpt started as a silhouette of the bust. I fastened to to the background panel.

The shape of the head and shoulders was built up with sculpting epoxy and balled up tinfoil.

Once the basic shape was finished the detailed layer was added.

The hands and tools were the last pieces to be added.

Then we began with primer and base coats of paint.

Then it was time to design the shutters that would frame our figure. I would all be done in EnRoute of course. The shutters would be routed in two halves which would be glued together back to back. First up was the vectors.

A flat relief was the next step.

Then I imported a bitmap from the TEXTURE MAGIC collection. Its called sandblasted redwood.

I positioned the bitmap over the relief so the seam of the bitmap was over the joint between the two sections of the shutters.

I applied the bitmap to the relief at 0.2". This meant the black of the bitmap did nothing while the white areas were raised 0.2" the grays were raised something in between depending on their value.

The completed relief was then copied and flipped so it formed the back of the shutter. The file was routed from 30 lb Precision Board on the MultiCam.

The shutters were painted with FSC-88 WB primer and the base coated. 

Next we'll apply the glazes to finish the piece. It will look great hung in place on the little woodshop.