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

Monday, January 4, 2016

Hornswagglers cutlass

We've been asked to create a sign for the game area of Scallywag Bay. We settled on the name Hornswaggler's which offered lots of fun possibilities. I decided an oversized cutlass would be perfect. The sword will be sit in a wood sign mount and we'll hang a sign just below asking all patrons to 'stow yer weapons before entry'.

I created the vectors in EnRoute, tweaking the text and warping it to suit the slight curve of the cutlass blade.

The skull shape, handle and knuckle guard were created as separate reliefs using the dome tool. Compare to the original drawing above and you can see I got a better idea as I proceeded and made the hilt into a bone. Once I was satisfied with the shape of the handle I combined the five handle pieces into one relief.

Then, using the dome tool to make negative reliefs for the eyes. I checked the front view and after nudging them up into position merged (lowest) with the handle relief to make the eye sockets.

The blade of the cutlass was created using the prismatic tool. Again compare the blade vector to the original one and you will see I pulled the 'V' shape back a little further into the handle to make it work. Once the handle and sword were complete I combined the two reliefs.

The lettering was created by creating a negative shape (subtract from) using the prismatic tool into the original cutlass relief. I should note that before I applied the lettering I created a second copy of the sword relief. This will be flipped to form the back half of the sword.

Next up is the sword bracket and other details. Stay tuned...