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

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Making it look hand carved.

 The next phase of the bugle beer sign is to sculpt the scroll. While much of the work on our signs is done on a computerized machine I don't want them to appear that way. I just want the machine to do the bulk of the grunt work for me. 

The air powered die grinder with a large cone bit makes an awesome carving tool.  Once again I am using the most efficient way I can to create our signs. It only took about ten minutes to add a texture to the face of the scroll and to round the ends to shape in a gentle curve. The tool marks are left in place, making the sign look as if it were hand carved with old fashioned chisels.

Then the scroll received a quick coat of primer similar to the one I described in my last post. Once this had been under the fan a couple of hours I applied a base coat of white to the bulk of the sign. The scroll received a blending of three shades of cream/tan. All paint was acrylic house paint.

Then using the sharp raised edges to assist me the base colors were added to the sign. The blue is a metallic acrylic from Modern Masters.

The raised border and 'BEER' lettering also got a coat of the blue metallic paint. 

The last stage of the background painting was to add a glaze to the borders to make everything jump nicely. I used our the custom glaze we call plumb crazy - a mix of clear base with black, chocolate and metallic cherry red.

Now I'll let this cure up good before I add the gold. The bugle will be sculpted and added as a last step.

Stay tuned...