I’ve been playing with a new technique that I accidentally stumbled on while playing with Adobe Photoshop a couple weeks ago. I was actually working on some graphics for my “real” job one afternoon and needed to reproduce somewhat of a “halftone” pattern. After a while, my mind started to wander and I started thinking about how I could use this very distinct graphic style in some of my other projects. It wasn’t long before I was toying around with the idea of carving photos using this technique with CNC. A lot of the editing is done in Photoshop and then imported into my CNC software. Take a look at my first couple attempts at using this new technique. I’m still trying to perfect the technique, as the same settings in Photoshop are NOT used for each image.The average cutting time for a 14″x14″ graphic is approximately 4-5 hours of cutting time.The images are best viewed from a distance.
Signs Made Easy with CNC
I was recently asked by Rockler Woodworking to give in-store demonstrations of their CNC Shark machines. Currently, there’s a big push by many manufacturers to get benchtop CNC machines into workshops around the world. CNC machines and 3D printers are all around us today, showcasing their ease of use and endless possibilities. Entry level CNC machines, such as the ones sold at Rockler, are enticing to a lot of potential buyers because of their size and affordability. As a demonstrator, I wanted to come up with a couple simple things that viewers and potential buyers could easily relate to, in regards to an easy first-time project. For a lot of people, they see things everyday that they like and wonder how it’s done. While making these wall signs is fairly simplistic to me, I know that there are others who may perceive them to be complicated. Part of my job as a demonstrator is to demonstrate the ease of use of one of their CNC Shark machine models. Now, while part of the using the CNC is manipulating the CNC itself, the other part relies intensively on the individual. For users who are otherwise computer illiterate, learning to use one of these machines can be a daunting task. The basic software packages provided with these machines is what I focus on primarily. We leave the advanced stuff for after-store hours! Anyways, take a look below at some of the samples created while focusing on basic techniques achieved using the basic software package. Enjoy!
LED Reindeer Shadowbox
I was feeling a bit festive the other day and came up with this idea, being that it’s soooo close to Christmas. We had some relatives coming for Thanksgiving dinner, so I thought I would make something that might catch their eye as they walked in the door. Afterall, everything is better when illuminated with LEDs, right? I don’t have many pics of the progress on this project because it was done in such a hurry. The frame is 1/2″ MDF trimmed with standard window trim. The reindeer and town silhouette are cut with CNC from 1/4″ luan plywood. They are mounted on 3/4″ dowels using hot glue. The background is 1/2″ plywood laminated with styrene. The 5 LEDs (4 blue, 1 red) are powered by a single 9 volt battery. The entire shadowbox measures 31″long by 11″ high by 4″ deep. Take a look at the gallery below!
Here’s a collection of child stools that I’ve made for friends and family. The stools are made with solid red oak and the painted seat pieces are made from solid poplar. Each stool part has it’s own jig that I created to make multiple pieces at a time. They were all designed on the computer and cut with CNC. Wood blanks with specific measurements are placed into the jig and are then cut on a router table. The addition of painted graphics always shows a nice contrast against the natural beauty of red oak. Take a look at the gallery below. Enjoy!
Corporate Business Card Holder
I was recently commissioned to come up with a gift idea for the owners of a Chicago-based company to be completed in time for the holiday season. After some discussion, it was decided that I would create a business card holder for each of the three owners of the company. As usual, I submitted a computer rendering for approval before I started. The business card holder would incorporate the company logo as well as the name of the person. Since I knew that their office furniture was a dark mahogany, I took a chance and picked a hard maple to contrast the dark furniture. The main part of the company logo is red, so rather than painting or staining for additional contrast, I used Padauk. It’s an exotic wood that comes from Africa. When Padauk is clear-coated it almost glows! It’s awesome stuff to work with and smells pretty good when it’s cut. The entire project involves a special laminating process that combines the two species of wood. Each business card holder measures 8″L by 1-1/2″D by 3-1/2″H and are finished with 3 coats of clear gloss finish.
Chicago Blackhawks Coaster Set
Another day, another project….and today it’s a wooden coaster set! Since I’m based out of the Chicagoland area, the Chicago Blackhawks are pretty popular around here and I’ve been busy making these out of solid maple. Tomahawk and Blackhawk indian logos are cut using CNC. Coaster holder is made of maple and has two acrylic dowels to hold the coasters. Clear, rubber feet sit on the bottom of the coasters and base to prevent scratching on delicate surfaces.
Bosch Hammer Promotion
I’m a big fan of Bosch Power Tools. Over the last several years Ive worked on a a variety of projects with the global tool giant including print, merchandising, and promotions. Bosch Power Tools was having an upcoming media event and needed a new and unique approach to promotional product giveaways. I was presented with the task of putting their logo on bamboo-handle hammers.