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, June 18, 2011

Restaurant centerpiece started

The fireplace in the new restaurant portion of the Fox and Hounds will be the next area to get our attention. The fireplace guy just finished installing a gorgeous little gas fireplace. Now we will build the decorative surround, mantle and trees that flank it. The whole project will involve a lot of different mediums. The trees will be sculpted fiberglass reinforced concrete over welded steel frames. The mantle will be carved 30lb Precision Board High Density Urethane. The large timbers will be sculpted concrete over wooden frames as will the brickwork and hearth.

I posted the creation of the EnRoute file last week. Today it was time to start putting it together.

The mantle was routed from 30 lb Precison Board. It holds detail extremely well and is still easy to work. Most importantly it is tough enough to stand up in a commercial setting like this. I built a plywood box, curved to shape. Over this I glued and clamped the Precision Board pieces.  The top and bottom pieces were 1" thick Precision Board HDU as well.

Once the glue had dried I could begin the hand work. I used one of my favorite hand tools - the air powered die grinder. I brought the grain lines over the edge of the corners and then carved in the flat grain on the bottom of the piece.  It didn't take long to do a sizable area. I'll finish the job tomorrow when the rest of the clamps come off.