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

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Sculpting a wonderfully complicated tree

When I last left off the tree armature was still in the welding stage. Once that was complete the crew hand tied the galvanized diamond lath to the structure. They rediscovered what we have long known to be true. The more detailed the armature, the more difficult it is to tie on the wire, and the longer it takes. But all those twisted roots and branches are well worth the effort!

Once the wiring was complete it was time to begin applying the fibreglass-reinforced-concrete and then sculpt in the detail. The tree was large and complex which meant we had to do the job over three days. The first day we sculpted the bare wood (without bark) on the upper branches.

The second day we did the bare wood on the lower areas of the tree. This included some very detailed knots and roots.

On the third day we first applied a bonding agent where the bark would overlap the previous day's sculpted concrete. We then laid on the bark layer of the rest of the tree.

Today Jenessa used sculpting epoxy to form the rope over the structural steel rod which helps hold up the routed Precision Board sign. The sculpted some giant knots into the sculpt to make it believable. There is still a little sculpting to be done on the mechanical bug who is holding up the the other end of the banner but it won't be long until we are into paint. Stay tuned...