As usual, I was presented with a last minute Christmas gift creation this year. When a family of 6 is passionate about their Chicago Blackhawks, what do you get them for Christmas? Autographed pictures? Hockey pucks from scoring a goal? Season tickets? I guess that stuff is too clichè, which is why she came to me for ideas. So I came up with this…..a 12”x24” custom personalized plaque made of plywood. Letters and Blackhawk head are separate elements that are somewhat recessed into the plywood. Take a look!
Concept images created in Cinema 4D.
Rustoleum’s “Poppy Red” spray paint on plywood.
The back side of the 3/4″ plywood blank has a 45º bevel.
1/2″ plywood laminated with 1/8″ styrene is the base for the characters.
Characters are cut using a 1/8″ endmill router bit on the CNC.
Using the same 1/8″ router bit, I cut a profile path for the characters that were previously cut.
The profile cut of each character is set to 0.25″.
I cut the outside profile of each character deeper than the rest because I’ve found that it minimizes tearout in the plywood. It also gives a little bit more depth to the cavity behind each character.
At this point, I’ve applied paint mask over the red surface so that I protect it from the black paint that is applied to each character cavity.
Sooooo at some point, I must have dropped something right in the middle of the work piece….it looks worse than it actually is but it’ll still require a little bit of work to fix….
A little bit of wet sanding and more paint and we’ll be good as new!
The stripes at the bottom of the plaque have been painted and we’re just about finished!
The Blackhawk head is a custom sticker that I created just for this project.
Hmmm…..why didn’t I just paint the entire cavity black?…..
I positioned pieces of tape in the character cavities as a mask to keep spray paint out. Because I glued the characters to the sign blank, I wanted to make sure that I had a nice, secure hold onto an unpainted surface.
Soooooo, this was another “me” project. I recently moved into a newer, smaller place that didn’t require the need for an actual kitchen table. The kitchen countertop warranted the need for a high-top chair or stool in order to be purposeful. So I came up with a few variations and ultimately settled upon this design. I originally set out to create something simple while still looking complicated. The goal was to create a design that was easy to make, yet complicated to the untrained eye…..if you know what I mean. This was the winner. The seat and foot rungs are made of solid maple and the legs are made from an inner core of pine, skinned with an outer layer of 0.125″ Baltic Birch plywood.
This is one of those projects that I should have completed several years ago, but never found the time to do it due to other things getting in the way….like life. When I was in college, I designed and built my first bed out of oak veneered plywood. 10 years later, I would ultimately scrap the piece out of embarrassment and vowed to design another bed that had anything but 90º corners. I was lucky enough to have acquired some solid cherry from my grandfather, who recently passed. I used most of it for the main structure of the bed but given the smooth arc of the headboard, I would need to source another material. I decided on 1/8″ cherry veneer plywood. The bed features a full length LED light strip into the headboard that not only serves as a design element but also a reading light. An early concept I was considering incorporated an LED light strip on the edge of the headboard. (See concept pics) This never came to fruition as I got tired of the bed taking up so much room in the shop and needed to get it out as quickly as possible…..I still like the idea and plan to use it in another project. I also threw in an outlet and USB charger into the headboard for good measure. A small inlay hides the electrical when not in use.
This material had been sitting in a storage shed for nearly 30 years…
Unfortunately, I uncovered some details of the wood that weren’t visible till they had been run through the planer. Surprise!
The feet and cross pieces are all made of solid cherry. Time to scrap my existing box spring!
The headboard isn’t all that complex. A few supports for strength before skinning it with cherry veneer.
Special clamping cauls are used to clamp the veneer in place while the glue dries.
Experimenting with warm and cool LED lighting…
Only the two outside feet are made of full length, solid cherry. The interior feet are caps that match the two ends.
The clients for this project were rather important, as their approval will definitely lead to more work in the future! These particular clients are notorious for leaving their toys out all over the place. Like most kids, they recently ran out of space in which to store their toys. So I decided to help them out by building them something that would allow them to store more toys so that their parents couldn’t get upset with them for not putting their toys away. I mean, that is the root cause of not putting toys away, right? Since I’m basically a big kid, I did some sketches and a few renderings as though I were building this for myself. Red is my favorite color, but I would eventually let the kids pick out the colors for the drawers and the top of the cabinet. The parts were designed on the computer and eventually cut from 1/2″ Baltic Birch plywood on the CNC. The face frame was constructed of 8 different pieces which would ultimately generate a master template for the front and back frame assembly. Drawer fronts and front face frame were ultimately skinned with 1/8″ styrene (because I didn’t have time to do extensive filling and sanding work.) The drawer boxes were made with 1/2″ Baltic Birch plywood as well.
Since I decided to thermo-form the Ford GT body, I wanted to work out the kinks in a small scale version before I invested in large scale. The capacity of my current thermo-forming platen is roughly 22″x16″, so I would scale down my 3D model to accommodate the forming platen. That meant going back into Cinema 4D and planning for slicing the model apart into several pieces to be machined that would ultimately fit back together like a puzzle. My biggest concern with the GT body was forming the top of the rear rear body, where the engine bay meets the body panel. There’s a very distinct edge that needs to be formed and I wasn’t sure if the vacuum would pull the plastic into all the various contours of the body.
Next stage…..building a large thermo forming machine to accommodate the ½ scale size of the Ford GT….
Check out the pics below for a some progress shots of the building/forming process. Enjoy!
Tail lights…..they are located on the rear of any vehicle and warn others that the vehicle is slowing down. It’s a very important safety element as well as a stylish feature of super cars. The Ford GT is no exception.
What I originally thought was going to be one of the easier parts of this build turned out to be rather complicated. With nothing more than a 1/18th scale model, books purchased at book stores and internet pics to reference, finding details on the tail lights would prove to be a bit challenging. I first set out to develop a model in which to cast in acrylic resin. A red tail lens would incorporate a white lens and both would illuminate. I scrapped this idea early on when I realized that in order to do this properly, I would need to have access to a pressure chamber in which to pressurize the resin to eliminate air bubbles from the resin during the curing process…..and I don’t have a pressure chamber. At the same time, if I was to ever reproduce these things, the cost of resin would be quite costly. So that got me thinking…about thermo forming plastic….hmmm…. I went back to the computer and redesigned the tail lights to be thermo formed. Early prototypes were formed with 0.0625″ thick clear PETG and acrylic. I even attempted to tint the lenses but couldn’t get the color dark enough. I eventually purchased 0.0625″ transparent red acrylic. (No pics yet) Next stage…..thermo forming the body….
Check out the pics below for a some progress shots of the building/forming process. Enjoy!
When you hear the word Ford, you probably think of cars. More specifically, you might think of the Ford Mustang, Ford Explorer, or any of the other current models that Ford has to offer. You’ve met your match if an individual mentions the Ford GT40, which rose to fame during the nostalgic racing days of the 60’s. Most people who know me know that I’m a die-hard Ferrari enthusiast….but this car holds a special place in my list of favorites. It was once dubbed the “Ferrari Killer” many years ago, and the history surrounding the original GT40 makes any racing enthusiast thirsty for more. Ford introduced the concept model GT in 2005. It eventually hit the production lines with only a limited number produced. Today, it is one of the most highly sought after vehicles in the automotive world. The production model’s styling cues resemble the original GT40 MKII’s body style with modern updates. I could go on and on about the detailed history on this famous racer, but rather than proving to you that I know what I’m talking about, you’re probably better off just Googling it…..
So here’s the deal…..I was asked to replicate the back end of the concept GT. Half-scale, to be exact….which brings the overall dimensions to 36″ wide x 16″ high x 12″ deep. The original idea was to create the replica out of fiberglass, but that eventually proved to be overkill. I’ll be posting a variety of pics, in chronological order, that update my progress on this build. Spoiler alert: early in the build, I decided that the best way to build this (and I will eventually build several) was to thermo-form the main body parts. Yes, it was a dramatic change in my process, but a necessary evil.
Check out the pics below for a some progress shots of the building process. Enjoy!
A freelance designer doesn’t always get the same type of work. That’s part of the fun and excitement of being a freelance designer! Over the past 7 years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with an athletic apparel manufacturer designing apparel for many different sports teams, primarily rugby. A lot of the work revolves around creating designs, whether complicated or simple, for rugby teams around the country as well as different continents! Some days I’ll be asked to create new team logos from scratch and some days I’ll be asked to digitize a logo from a very crude hand sketch. Other days I’ll be asked to put together team kits featuring items like jerseys, shorts, track suits, socks, polos and other branded items. Sometimes I even develop graphics for game balls, tents, and hats. The work is primarily created using Adobe Illustrator and some Photoshop. Take a look at some past examples!
This gallery contains a variety of artwork created by digital software. When I first started out on my artistic career, I never imagined that I would use the computer to create. I was heavily focused on airbrush before I quickly realized that I would have to master the skill quickly in order to make a career out of it. To be honest, I didn’t know how long it would take before I would master this technique and I didn’t have the patience. At the time, everyone else I knew was considering using the computer as an artistic tool, so I figured, why not me? It all started with Painter. I had an instructor that was very good at using the computer, but horrible at teaching the software. He was particularly fond of shortcuts, which at the time, was way over my head. We were using Apple computers in the classroom, and had projects that had to be turned in every week. In order to turn in the assignments on time, we had to spend time in the computer lab outside of the class. There were two problems with this. The first problem was that there were not enough computers for everyone to use. Every time I went to the lab, it was always full and your only option was to wait for someone to leave, which didn’t usually happen for me. The second problem was that the lab was only open certain hours during the day and night. That didn’t correlate with my school or work schedule. So…..I decided to invest in my own Apple computer. For a college student, that was like buying a used car. Even though that was back in 2000, I remember paying almost $5,000 for my first computer. It was one of the best decisions I made in college! I now had freedom to learn this new skill at my own convenience. View the gallery for samples of digital art created with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.