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

Saturday, October 25, 2014

French cleat

We use many creative ways to hang our signs and projects. If it's heavy we'll resort to steel brackets or lag bolting it to a structure. But sometimes the sign isn't too large or heavy. In those cases we often use what we refer to as a french cleat. Most often we use 3/4 plywood to make our cleats. It's ripped on the table saw at 45 degrees.

We often fasten the cleat to the back of our work to purposely space it off the wall (by the thickness of the cleat) to provide an extra shadow line. In this case I wanted the work to be flush with the wall. This meant I had to route a space in the back of the bottom layer of the sign to accommodate the wall fastener. I routed it 1.5" deep (for two thicknesses of 3/4" plywood) The first was screwed and glued into place. The top hanging cleat was then screwed to this plywood.

The second cleat was screwed to our easel. This will eventually be fastened to the wall when we install the sign.

 The Cookie shelf is now ready to attach the utensils and finish.

The rest of the pieces were routed from 30 lb Precision Board as well. The arm attachment pieces were routed in two halves and then glued together. The rest of the pieces will be hand sculpted.

It's going to be a fun piece to do! Stay tuned for the next installment.