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, December 26, 2016

Sign Invitational Challenge 2017 - Part four

With a fun Christmas day behind us and all of our company gone I found a little time to sneak out to the shop for a little bit today to work on a project I've been itching to start. And that project is my entry into next year's Sign Invitational Challenge.

I had glued up the routed train pieces just before we broke for Christmas. They need a little sanding but they are pretty much ready for the sculpting process to begin. It is routed from 30 lb Precision Board so the pieces are nice and sturdy and easy to work with.

The next step was to design the plasma cutting files for the sheet metal base. I imported the quick sketch I had done and sized it up to 23.5" wide. I then used this as a reference to design the jagged lines for the cuts which would form the outline of the mountain rock work. I cut two holes in the panels. The larger one at the back will be an access door for the smoke machine. The smaller irregular hole on the side is for a mineshaft - just a bonus detail for those who look close at the piece. I also cut a number into the front of the piece. I will back this up with a sheet of steel.

I then used the jigsaw tool to create the vectors.

With all of the extras deleted the files were ready to send off to the plasma cutter.

It took longer to load the steel than to cut the pieces. I sure love this wonderful machine! Tomorrow I'll do a little grinding and then set to work beginning the assembly. Stay tuned...