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

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Throne room

The owners of the Fox and Hounds pub asked me to come up with something creative for the washrooms. But as always there are limitations. Somehow, the more I am limited, the more I need to be creative. I was up for the challenge.

Washrooms, no matter how nice seem to not get the respect they deserve. What I came up with needed to be tough and serviceable. The tile work on the walls goes right to the ceiling and features a diamond pattern. The wall tiles are laid square to the walls but have small feature tiles set as diamonds. We were building the washroom partitions and the owners didn't want ordinary. We had decided on bare steel with a rust patina. If they get marked up it is simply a matter of grinding them down and encouraging some new rust.

The design had been on my mind for a while now, but I still hadn't come up with a clever idea yesterday and we were going into production this morning...  

As I stared at my blank sketchbook page last night, just before I went to bed, it suddenly dawned on me. I've often heard of a bathroom called a 'throne room'. This is a British Pub. It works!  Then the ideas flowed. I'll route the mirror frames for over the sinks. They would have diamonds on the corners to mirror the pattern on the walls and the floor. I'll create the routing file in EnRoute and then route it from 40 lb Precision Board. It has to be even more durable than our typical sign.

On the outside of the washroom doors I want to keep it simple. We've all been to restaurants where there is a little doubt as to which is the men's or ladies' room on account of unclear signs. I'll use the internationally accepted symbols, but with an addition of the crowns. Underneath we'll label them 'THRONE ROOM' just for fun.

The bathroom stalls are welded, heavy duty steel. I'll apply a light coat of mild acid to hurry along the rust patina. Then we'll polish them up to eliminate the chance of anyone getting dirty. But we wanted to ad some welded steel detail, without making things unsafe. On the corner post I decided to add a crown. I scrounged through my scrap bin and parts shelf and found some cool pieces to weld up a crown. It is truly bullet proof and yet looks great!

I'll weld up some small scepters tomorrow for the door handles.  It is all about the details.