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, November 16, 2013

Installing the light house

The main sign at the Cultus Lake Adventure Park is anything but ordinary. The sign lettering is routed from Precision Board and assembled with a sturdy frame as are many of our projects. But the lettering is only a teeny part of the sign. The lettering attaches to a giant faux wood background which is stuck into a giant 'dirt' bank. An assortment of colorful plants will grow in the giant top planter. Since the sign is perched on the side of a huge bumper boat pool we designed in a very tall lighthouse and a waterfall that splashes into the pool below. All in all it makes for a sign that is impossible to not take notice of.

Yesterday was the day we would install the lighthouse portion of the sign, made from steel and concrete like many of our sculptures. The first job was to get the heavy pieces out of the shop. They were too tall to put the forklift inside the shop. We would instead drag it from the shop with our trusty little tractor. As designed there was only a bit of clearance under the door frame.

Once outside we could use the forklift to put the pieces on the trailer. I bolted custom made steel jigs to the top of each piece to facilitate to make it easy to tie the pieces in place for shipping.

Once onsite we used a big tired zoom boom to transport the pieces to the front of the property and set them into position. A crew huddled inside bolted them securely in place.

Then it was time for the last big lift - the top section. It too was lifted and carefully positioned. I was up in the basket of the snorkel lift to tighten the bolts on the upper piece. 

Once everything was secure we unclipped the chains, unscrewed the eye bolt and turned in the goose weathervane.

The construction site was instantly transformed into the beginnings of an exciting and colorful theme park. Late this week the sign faces will be installed, finishing off this first piece save for a little final painting and the installation of the strobe light in the cupola when the weather warms up in spring.

It's a fun process to watch unfold on a daily basis. Stay tuned for more...