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

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Building a train - Part eight

In the old days highly skilled woodworkers would painstakingly carve patterns for castings. Years ago I was in such a wood shop and marveled at the detailed and intricate work I saw. These patterns would then be sand cast to produce the pieces they needed. A steam train would have hundreds and hundreds of castings which would then be assembled.

As we create our train we are seeking to replicate this work, but instead of doing everything by hand we are using modern software and the 'castings' are routed on the MultiCam from sheets of Precision Board. The stack of cut pieces is growing fast!

Although perfect in every detail we still have to make the cut pieces of Precision Board look like cast iron, and 100 year old cast iron at that. It's easy with the special paint we use. After two coats of the dark grey 'iron' paint is applied I then spray it with a mild oxidizing solution and in a mater of minutes it forms real rust.  In an instant the pieces look authentic and also incredibly heavy.

Stay tuned as we assemble and finish the rest of the pieces.