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, March 9, 2014

Happy Horse Sculpt

The next sign to come off the MultiCam was the Happy Horse Saloon. It was routed from two layers of 2" thick 30 lb Precision Board. The sign measures 42" in diameter. I glued up the boards with a 3/4" thick plywood backer and then cut a large french cleat to the back. The sign will hang on the 45 degree cut cleat and also be securely screwed through the face ((we'll touch up the screw holes) For now I screwed a second cleat to the easel and then set to work.

I drew out the profile of a horse's head on some scrap 2" thick Precision Board and then cut it out using a jigsaw. This was then screwed and glued to the sign face. Sculpting could then begin. Sarah mixed up the Abracadabra Sculpting Epoxy while I did the sculpting. To build up the shape I first pressed on a thin layer of sculpting epoxy and then use it to glue on balled up tinfoil. It is easily shaped. Another thin layer of sculpt was applied and more balls of tinfoil until I had the rough shape clearly defined. I thin applied one more layer of sculpting epoxy into which I sculpted the detail.

As added insurance that the horse's head stays on the sign I also put in a bunch of 2" long screws into the sign at various angles. Then I sculpted the epoxy for the horse's mane over them. This makes it impossible for the head to pull away unless the sign is broken up badly, not likely with the crews going into three plus inches of 30 lb foam.

Here's a closeup of the solid epoxy sculpted around the screws.

Now we are on to paint. Stay tuned...