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, November 2, 2015

Assembling the sign planet

It's not often we do simple cutouts with a fair amount of assembly in our shop but because this is a detailed display piece that will live out it's life indoors I tackled things a little different this time.  The 'sign' portion of the sign will be fastened to the top of the lid, and then turned upside down and slipped inside for transport. The lid has a raised oval which will house the transformer for the LED lights. The plasma cut 'steel ODYSSEY' letters were positioned and welded to this raised oval.

The letters are simple cutouts with a dropped center. The center portion is layered vertically with the letters glued on. All pieces are cut from 30 lb Precision Board. Because of the structure for the top portion goes through the 'planet' base I can't put the lid (top layer) on until it is all fastened in place.

I temporarily screwed on the top portion to shape it with valleys going down between the letters.

Once the rough shaping was done I used the die grinder to do some more shaping. There will be a rocket landed on top of the letters and I wanted to simulate the texture of a rocket blast radiating out from the center, taking off a layer of the earth and tops of the letters with it. I added rocks and small stones to the edges of the letters and areas between with sculpting epoxy.  One side is now ready for paint and gilding. In the next days I'll show that process and then move on to the upper reaches of the piece.