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, June 4, 2010

No sanding here!

For the next stage of the project I used my favorite carving tool... an air powered die grinder. I have a variety of bits for the powerful little tool. For this project I chucked up the biggest one in my toolbox.
It didn't take long to go over the edges of the sign, removing the glue lines, evening things out and adding a simple texture at the same time. As always the bottom edge was the most tedious so I got that out of the way first. I timed the back just for fun and it only tool a few seconds over seven minutes to pull off. I know if I had wanted it perfectly flat I would have spent a lot longer sanding endlessly on the project! Even then there's always seems to be a small imperfection or ding that drives me crazy. In my opinion the sign looks even more massive because it appears to be hand hewn from a solid piece of wood. The textures set our work apart from the norm.
The screws were countersunk a little more and then I filled the holes with a bit of sculpting epoxy... no sanding necessary on this project because of the texture. Then it was time to break out the welder once more to form up the structure for the base. I used 1/4" pencil rod. A simple grid was welded up. We use this same technique to form all manners of wild creations. In this case it was a simple box, slightly tapered to be wider at the bottom. It's pretty simple stuff.
Next time I'll show how I get the base ready for the rock work... stay tuned.