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

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sculpting details

Once the clamps came off I went over the sign with an air powered die grinder. I first evened things up and then added a subtle texture over all the edges to match the texture which we had programmed into the files with EnRoute. Once the sign was ready for paint I drilled holes in the sign to accommodate the brackets. Everything was test fit to make sure it looked right, then glued to make it permanent.
Holes were burned through the support pipes for the vertical rods and everything fit and welded to make the sign secure. the last two balls were welded onto the rods after they had been cut to final length. The third rod was welded to the post to make the sign REALLY secure. There was no fear of this sign coming down in the wind. Then I used some sculpting epoxy to form the barnacles, fish and starfish which added the nautical flavor I was seeking. I could have routed the bulk of them but hand sculpting them added a randomness and hand sculpted look to the sign which I really liked.
I mocked up the whole sign once more before paint to make sure it all looked right. I decided to make the ship into a whole scene complete with rocks, gravel and some scrap lumber on the ground. The barrel and other tools were also sculpted into the scene. The boat was held up securely with two sturdy steel rods drilled into the hull of the boat and down into the sign.The epoxy sculpting medium was allowed to dry overnight. Then it was time for paint.
Stay tuned...