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

Friday, February 1, 2013

Building a train - Part nine

The couplers were fun routing files to create. All the work, including the vectors was done in EnRoute. I took a look online at some photos and then set to work. The file on the left, with various pieces that would be different heights is the file I created.  The middle vector is to create a cutout that will house the steel that will anchor the coupling to the train engine and log car. The right side one will be a space to make the coupling taller.

I wanted to create a beveled edge on all of the pieces and one way we can do this in EnRoute is by limiting to height using the bevel tool. I used this same technique on all of the pieces.


I created all of the reliefs singly and then merged (highest) over a zero height relief. The two files on the right were cut as offsets.

There were four couplings in all...  five pieces for each. Here's one set mocked up to check the scale.

The cut pieces of 30 lb Precision Board were glued and clamped over the welded steel frames.

The pieces were cleaned up with the die grinder, I purposely roughed them up a little to age them. These couplings would have seen a lot of abuse through the years. Once the hand work was done I welded the protruding steel to the frame of the train.

 Now it is ready to apply the rust paint. Stay tuned...