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, January 30, 2013

Building a train - Part eight

In the old days highly skilled woodworkers would painstakingly carve patterns for castings. Years ago I was in such a wood shop and marveled at the detailed and intricate work I saw. These patterns would then be sand cast to produce the pieces they needed. A steam train would have hundreds and hundreds of castings which would then be assembled.

As we create our train we are seeking to replicate this work, but instead of doing everything by hand we are using modern software and the 'castings' are routed on the MultiCam from sheets of Precision Board. The stack of cut pieces is growing fast!

Although perfect in every detail we still have to make the cut pieces of Precision Board look like cast iron, and 100 year old cast iron at that. It's easy with the special paint we use. After two coats of the dark grey 'iron' paint is applied I then spray it with a mild oxidizing solution and in a mater of minutes it forms real rust.  In an instant the pieces look authentic and also incredibly heavy.

Stay tuned as we assemble and finish the rest of the pieces.