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, October 16, 2011


The owners of the Fox & Hounds Pub loved the sculpture of the horse's head I had done for another client a while back. Debbie & Jeff thought a similar mount would be a cool addition to help tell the story of the pub... the hunt master's noble steed.  Behind it we would carve the horse's name on a scroll - 'Big Ben'. It would further tell the very British story.

The file for the barrel head was already built, the same one used as mounts for all the dinosaurs we had sculpted in the Sculpture MAGIC Workshop. Now it was time to build the scroll. Simple vectors were first built and arranged. Then I used the jigsaw tool to cut out the scroll from the intersecting ovals and rectangles.

The oval was centered on the scroll and then I used the jigsaw tool once more to create the bookend scrolls flanking the oval. Then it was time to start in on the reliefs.

A flat relief was first. This would be the background on which everything would be built. 

Each element of the scroll would be built separate and then these were then merged highest with the back ground. 

Once merged, it was time to add the lettering border and then the prismatic lettering as a final step.

The file was tool pathed in Enroute using a 3/8" Ball nose bit to rough it out and then a tapered 1/8" bit for a final pass with a an 80% overlap. I like routing my files using an island fill because it breaks fewer bits in my experience. The speed for my MultiCam was set at 300 inches per minute horizontally and 150" vertically. The file was routed from 30 lb Precision Board.

The barrel end is to be glued up on top of the scroll in the center. Then I'll sculpt the horses head off of that.