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

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Built to last

Then it was time to take the routered pieces of Precision Board off the MultiCam and make them into a sign.

 I used the center pieces of the sign as a jig to hold things nice and steady I cut short lengths of 1" x 1" steel tubing to length, approximating the angles by eye. The beauty of welding is that small gaps are easily remedied with a MIG welder.

 The welding only took a few minutes. It created an extremely strong frame that will be laminated inside the 30 lb Precision Board sign.

A few seconds of grinding on each side flattened the welds to make the welded metal pieces fit nice and flush into the sign.

I also bent up an welded some 5/8" solid steel rods on each side. these would form the armature for the trees. I cut a small slot in each side of the sign with my air powered die grinder to make room for them.

Then I used Coastal Enterprises  PB BOND-240 one part glue to hold everything together. I clamped things up tight as the glue expands as it cures. I left it clamped overnight.

The net morning it was time for a little more welding. I used up a bunch of short pieces of 1.5" x 1.5" square tubing which I save for this kind of job. THe triangle tubing which sticks out of the bottom of the sign was leveled up and welded into the top of the new steel. I then used some 1/4" steel pencil rod to form the hammock, tree branches and also to create a framework for the thicker bottom of the support branch. the Abracadabra Sculpt will be formed around these sturdy supports.

Now we are on to the sculpting phase of the project. My two helpers are in the next couple of days and it should go pretty quick. Stay tuned...