It is hard to believe that it was only seven 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 - but I just knew it could do fantastic stuff.

Through extensive research I quickly found out that with the relative simplicity of EnRoute, CNC routers were capable of just about anything imaginable. This journal will chronicle that journey to date and continue each week with two or three entries as we continue to explore just what is possible with this wonderful software... -dan

Friday, March 19, 2010

I've never followed directions well

We routed pockets into the sign to make it easy to locate the separately cut letters when we glued them on. Most sign makers paint everything separately, then glue it together, but true to form we do it a little differently. I like to glue while all the materials are in their raw state. Routing the letters separately allowed me to build up the thickness of the sign in an economical fashion. Then after gluing I like to add just a little more texture with the heavy bodied primer. We use Coastal Enterprises FSC-88 WB primer. WB stands for water base. It goes on with the thickness of rich cream and doesn't shrink or crack as it dries. The gold leaf will have that little extra sparkle on the texture. Then we painted our base coats on the sign with a top quality acrylic paint. The yellow/tan was first. Then using custom mixed acrylic glazes we started in with a reddish brown flooding the woodgrain texture, then wiping it off with soft rags, leaving the glaze in the lower areas.
The next step was a dark chocolate glaze with a touch of dark cherry metallic (for that little extra sparkle) it too was flooded on and then wiped off allowing the lighter shades to peek through for a rich wood look.
The sign was coming along quickly now. I painted the borders and top with two coats of chocolate, saving the best parts for last...

Stay tuned...