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

Monday, July 15, 2013


This week is one of sadness for our family as we lost my father-in-law after a long and hard fight against cancer. Spend time with those you love while they are with you. Tell them you love them often.

A little work was done in the shop but only in small bits and pieces. The mechanical fish got a little attention in-between all the other things. I finished the sculpting of the fish's riveted skin and couldn't resist putting on the first of many coats of paint..

Next up was the rock work on the dock pillars. I used Abracadabra sculpting epoxy to form smaller rocks at the top and slightly larger ones as I worked my way down. This is a form of forced perspective to make the pillars appear taller than they really are. The larger stones also give weight to the bottom of the wall and just make it look right.

The ramp to the fish was the next order of business. I built the files entirely in EnRoute Pro. To keep things simple and easy to track I built everything separately and then used the merge commands to make the final relief. The holes in the floor grate were first as zero height reliefs.

Then came the deck plate as a 0.25" thick flat relief. The circle surrounding the 'D' was then created by using the subtract from relief command.

Then I created a half inch thick flat relief for the side beams.

The center portion was subtracted from this relief 0.30". The oval cutouts were created as separate zero height reliefs.

The ovals were then MERGED LOWEST to create the cutouts in the beam.

As a last step I also MERGED LOWEST on the floor grate relief to create the holes.

The small pieces didn't take long to route. I glued them up with a two part (five minute cure time) epoxy. One more piece of the puzzle is in place.

Later I'll add some faux hinges to the top and some chains with a counter balance dead weight on each side. The door handle is also to come along with a few other details. It won't be long until this section is ready for final paint and assembly. Stay tuned...