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, October 4, 2015

Four pound delight

I've been a vocal advocate for thirty pound foam for a long time. For CNC routing that isn't about to change. But occasionally we build small study models which require lots of hand work. Thirty pound Precision Board, our material of usual choice, is tough to work by hand - especially at this scale. The solution was easy. Since we are only using the foam to block our our basic shapes and then putting a layer of sculpting epoxy over the entire surface the hardness of the foam wasn't an issue. Only the time it takes to create the rough shape is important. In our last order of Precision Board I asked them to include a couple of three inch thick sheets of four pound foam. It is so soft you can almost carve it with your fingers. I've used styrofoam for this purpose in the past but it doesn't take the sculpting epoxy very well.

I am building a small study model of a sunken paddle wheeler for an upcoming project. I sketched out the shape onto the board with a felt marker and then used a hand saw to rough out the shape.  It only took a few minutes to carve the complex shape out of the block, and a few minutes more to use a two part epoxy to glue the pieces together. Tomorrow I'll start adding the detailed epoxy skin. Stay tuned for a report on how the foam works in the next few days...