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 23, 2011


Last week I posted a couple of segments about a horse sculpture/plaque we were doing for the Fox & Hounds Pub. I designed and routed a background with a ribbon and barrel head from Precision Board and then began the sculpt of a horse head. It was looking pretty cool but as I sculpted the horse's head it became clear in a hurry that the barrel was a little small. The owner of the pub read my post here and asked me to bring the piece in the next day so she could see it in person. I suggested routing an oval border to go behind the barrel end. But Debbie instead wanted both the ribbon and barrel to be larger. She suggested we could salvage the ribbon or barrel for another project. I decided to have a little fun with her request. I told her there was only one thing we could do and proceeded to smash it to the ground. It took three carefully placed hits and the ribbon and barrel were shattered in pieces on the floor. (The horse's head was intact and undamaged) I loved the look of shock on Debbie's face. We had a good laugh and I promised to redo the background. It was all in fun.

Back in my studio I designed a larger ribbon and enlarged the barrel lid appropriately. It was a simple matter in EnRoute. Then I threw another piece of 30 lb,  1.5"  thick Precision Board on the MultiCam and set things in motion once more. Once the pieces were off the router It was a simple matter to glue the barrel head to the background layer and then the horse's head to the new assembly. Then it was time to finish the sculpting process.

My grand daughter Phoebe decided to help me out by showing me what a horse really looked like...

We had decided the horse needed a little more detail to make him interesting. His lower lip needed to have a little more pout. And a bridle was also something we would add. I bought a couple of steel rings with eye bolts which I screwed into the corners of the horse's mouth. They would be plenty strong to handle the abuse they would have to endure.

With the sculpt complete is is now off to the paint department for the final finished and glazes. Big Ben is almost ready for his public debut.