Initial coat of primer helps fill in minor scratches and pits in the surface…
Primer and glazing putty help make surfaces smooth….
Once the majority of the finishing has been completed, the characters are cut from their backing…
Characters placed on a solid poplar blank and prepped for forming…
Initial styrene pull looks good!
All individual components of the characters are formed individually…
Rough cut of the main sign is cut with CNC….
The styrene parts are test fit into the main sign…
Main sign has been trimmed and ready for testing the G, T and O letters…
Painted “G” is fitted into the main sign…
I originally thought I was going to use a metalized laminate material for the characters, but I couldn’t draw the material deep enough without creating stress marks on the material….see top right of pic…
Main sign with first coat of primer….
Characters are painted black first, then sprayed with a metallic paint….
Test fitting the “O”….
First coat of black on the main sign….time for wet sanding and 2 additional coats of black….
If you’ve viewed any of my previous posts, you know that I’ve got a thing for anything related to Ferrari. When Ferrari introduced the 599 in 2006, I fell in love. However, that love turned to lust four years later when they announced the 599 GTO. Ok, that sounds weird to lust after a car, so we’ll just say that I got excited…..excited because it was the third car in their history to wear the GTO badge. (The first being the 250 GTO in 1962 and the second in 1984, the 288 GTO.) Anyways…..on to the build!
I’m always up for a good challenge, especially when it requires the potential use of new materials, techniques, and tools. This was a project that involved a new and unchartered territory for me: thermoforming. I’ve always been interested in the possibility of making higher quality, duplicate parts quickly and economically, so thermoforming seemed to be the logical way to go. I was introduced to thermoforming while at my day job, working for a packaging company as a designer/prototype developer. I learned from a variety of seasoned veterans in the packaging industry about thermoforming and how it surrounds us every day. Things like yogurt cups, backlit signage, and packaging, all incorporate thermoforming somewhere in the process.
Anyways…..before you can vacuum form, you need a vacuum former. Well, that was kind of an issue, since I didn’t have one laying around. So I did what any right-brained, curious individual would do….I researched the interwebs and built one myself. It’s pretty basic, when you get right down to it. All you really need is an oven box, a vacuum platen, a vacuum pump, and an air tank or two. After that, the perfection of the parts lies within the creation of the molds themselves. I’ll dedicate a whole other post to the construction of the vacuum former itself, but for now, enjoy the pics of the 599 GTO sign!
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!
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!
One day over the summer I got a call from one of my local Ferrari enthusiasts. Her current everyday vehicle was a 1999 Ferrari F355 Spider and she had several miniature die cast collectibles and books that she was looking to display. She had purchased a bookshelf from some high-end furniture store and wanted to modify it by adding a back-lit logo display on the top. I asked her if she could send me a picture of it….she said she could do better and brought it over within 30 minutes of our conversation. After seeing some of my work, she told me to “just make it look cool.” The bookshelf featured a black, “weathered” oak wood-grain texture and she wanted to maintain this same appearance in the logo display so that it didn’t look like an “add-on.” So the challenge for me was to duplicate the same style onto the logo display. No problem….
In March of 2007 I was approached by the Robert Bosch Tool Corporation to “makeover” a pair of their “Brute” breaker hammers. Both of them were in pretty rough condition…..they are demolition tools, after all! The tools were going to go to events around the country and serve as display tools. I forget to take lots of progress pictures when I’m working on paint projects. I do have a couple pics to share, so please check them out!