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I am writing a series of posts about a CNC sign project I am making for a neighbor. I am learning a bunch from the project so I figured I would document it so that others won't have as hard a time as I did figuring things out.

Here is a picture of one of the test pieces I cut before I was satisfied with the end results. The test piece was cut in MDF but the final pice was cut in oak. I will post pictures of the finished project soon.

I also think I will make a free PDF of the steps and post that somewhere (Please don't bug me. I will let you know when it is done). Any way here is a link to the first post. CNC SIGN PROJECTS -

Bill
 

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I like the use of "technology" and woodworking.

What did the CNC machine set you back ? (...my guess with the market being so tight and very few people have "disposable" income, I was dreaming for maybe a "shop bot" costing about $ 3,000 - $ 4,000.....too many coins for my small shop....I wish you luck in your business.)
 

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I like the use of "technology" and woodworking.

What did the CNC machine set you back ? (...my guess with the market being so tight and very few people have "disposable" income, I was dreaming for maybe a "shop bot" costing about $ 3,000 - $ 4,000.....too many coins for my small shop....I wish you luck in your business.)
Hi Neil,

Thanks for looking at this thread.

I built the CNC Machine that I use. It took several months to complete simply because I was taking it slow. The fastest builder I know of made one in 11 days. My machine cost about $2500 to build but I have made many modifications to it now and probably have spent about $3000 to $3500 total by now.

The machine was originally a Joescnc 4x4 Hybrid. But I have modified it for Rack & Pinion on all axes. I re-designed my own X,Y & Z carriages last year so my machine would satisfy me. I now can cut faster, higher and in cold N.Y. weather consistently. I like to tinker. If you do to, I put links to the plans used below.

Anyway, having a CNC Machine is not impossible anymore. You simply have to be able to justify the need. At $2500 it is similar in cost to a Delta table saw.

One thing to consider is that without good woodworking skills you will just make mediocre work faster on CNC. The craft is always in the craftsman's hands not the tools.

Bill

Welcome to Joe'sCNC.com
http://http://www.makermasters.com/warp-drive-project/
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I made a few more posts in the CNC Sign Projects series.

In the first post I talked about the what stains and router bits were needed to make the sign.

The second post dealt with taking a picture into Photoshop and processing the picture to remove the background and crop the image to just the right shape.

Then in the third post I covered the CNC Design software I used to make the sign.

Then in the fourth post I discussed using Vectrics PhotoVCarve to create the photo-realistic image.

When I get done with all the posts on this project I will make a free PDF available so that you can have all the information in one place.

Check out the latest post and please let me know what you think. Too much information, Not enough information, wanted videos instead?

Thanks

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Wow, looking great so far ... Keep us posted.
Thanks. That is actually the first feedback I have gotten. I was beginning to wonder if anyone saw it.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just posted part five of the free CNC Sign Projects Tutorial. I am trying to document the entire process so that others don't have to waste time searching for the info in several places.

This part deals with Sign Layout using Vectric Aspire CNC software.

Please let me know if I forgot something or need to explain it further. When I am done I will make a free PDF available.

Bill

CNC Sign Projects - Sign Layout With Vectric Aspire -
 

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I just wanted to thank everyone who has provided feedback on what you want to see more details about in this tutorial series.

Part seven of the CNC Sign Projects tutorial is about applying finish to the oak board.

APPLYING FINISH

Bill
 

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NICE WORK! Love what the CNC can do, but like the hands on for making my signs. Did you also use the CNC for the lettering?

My husbands' family is in Rome NY, and some in Syracuse, as well. Pretty Kewl. :)

Plan on bookmarking your page, I hope you don't mind. Just in case... you never know when I might come into some money and be able to add to my toys.
 

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Very interesting and nice work Bill but reading your last lesson it was not clear to me what’s the purpose and how you use the “Paint Mask Film” and the “Stencil Ink” and I would be very interested to learn their purpose.

I built my own cnc mill and I use MastercamX5 to make various parts / signs in aluminum or wood for hobby use but have not been able yet to apply a two or three different colors of paint to a part.

Like when I make lets say a sign and I want the sign to be in white color and the text in red color, how do I go to do the painting?
 

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Very interesting and nice work Bill but reading your last lesson it was not clear to me what’s the purpose and how you use the “Paint Mask Film” and the “Stencil Ink” and I would be very interested to learn their purpose.

Like when I make lets say a sign and I want the sign to be in white color and the text in red color, how do I go to do the painting?
Nicolas, I've been experimenting with the 'Gerber Paint Mask Gerber Mask' with success. I paint my board first, usually primer and two coats. Apply the mask then V-Carve. Paint your letters/objects. I like hand painting. I've tried inks, spray paint etc. This works for me. The opposite can be done if you want raised letters also.

Remove the mask and you are done.

The attached pic was done using the Gerber Paint Mask. Painted red first, V-carved then letters painted white. The mask has excellent adhesion qualities yet is easy to remove.
 

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Hey Ted, your sign looks fabulous

I did try with a similar product and when I cut my letters the vinyl melted under the bit and made a mess. Then when I try to lift the vinyl the paint also came off.

Just wonder if you had a similar experience but I will give a try with the Gerber Mask and hopefully the results will be much better.

Thanks for the help
 

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Noticed that the Gerber site asks which plotter you use to cut the vinyl.

Does this vinyl cuts nicely when you use a cnc router?
 
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