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

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Building a train - Part fourteen

With the locomotive now almost done it is time to work on the log car. It will sport a giant log with the name of the adventure golf on the side. The rounded log back and ends will be sculpted from fiberglass reinforced concrete. The face of the sign is to be routed from 30 lb Precision Board.

To create the woodgrain on the log I would use a sandblasted woodgrain from my TEXTURE MAGIC collection. The bitmaps are 11" x 8.5" at 300 DPI meaning they can be blown up considerably and still get good results. My sign face covered 4' x 8' and I would only be using a small portion of the bitmap. It's marked in red below.

I first created a flat relief and the moved the bitmap over the relief, sized it appropriately and then entered a value of 0.2" depth.

The lettering outline was created as a separate relief, nudged into position vertically and then MERGED HIGHEST with the background relief.

 The lettering was then added to the base relief.


The file was then tool pathed and sent to the MultiCam using a 3/8" ball nose bit to rough and a 1/8" ball nose bit to do a final pass. The sign face was laminated (with two other layers) around a welded steel frame.

Once the glue was dry we lifted the sign into place and welded the steel frame to the structural frame of the log car.

Then we began the painting process using Coastal Enterprises water based primer.

Next week this piece will quickly come together. Stay tuned...