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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to test a 3D file that will be part of a new sign design, so I decided to revamp an existing shop sign. The 3D element was carved out of HDU using a 1/4” end mill for a roughing pass, and a 1/16” tapered ball nose for a finishing pass. The character was painted with One Shot gold after priming, and then aged and highlighted with Teak Briwax. Brixax was also added to the existing gold letters and flourishes to give an overall old brass look.
 

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Really, really nice work, Oliver! You are very talented and skilled at these -

David
but at next several generations better...
 
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HDU?
None of the acronym expansions I can find online relate to woodworking , except possibly "high density urethane" (a plastic.) Is that it?
 

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That face is great. Constructive comment. It is so fine that the surrounding is too coarse by comparison. Perhaps you can embelish the surrounding elements a bit. Maybe cut a fine line inside the wider ones so you have a double line. Finer and more delicate.

You making good money at this? You sure as heck deserve it. Your signs are so professional you should be getting top dollar. Maybe enough to get an even bigger, faster machine?
 

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Great,,,,
 

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Rick
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Nice work as always Oliver . Did you make the 3D vector from a jpeg?
 

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HDU is awesome to work with. It comes in various weight ratings, from 10 pounds per cubic foot to 90 pounds per cubic foot. It is a foam, but FAR more dense, and it has none of the characteristics of wood. Imagine carving a frozen stick of butter, or a large bar of soap. It is like that. HDU is closed cell foam, so it will not be saturated with water in rain. It will not crack or warp. It can be cut, glued, shaped, painted, etc. It is fantastic stuff for these types of projects!

The trade name is "Sign Foam" but it is sold under different names. HDU (High Density Urethane) is the way to go for CNC routing and carving.
 

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Brilliant Oliver.
 

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Could you post that file of the professor here? I'd like to give it a go with my PlasmaCam table and 3D software, to see how close I can come to replicating it. The PlasmaCam is NOT meant for CNC routing, although it can do it. However, I believe the issue of the real difference between the PlasmaCam with 3D software and your table will reveal itself in the inaccuracy of the Z-axis. I assume that is about six inches in diameter?

I would carve it out of sign foam and post the results here.

Joe
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Really, really nice work, Oliver! You are very talented and skilled at these - good job. Is the rest of the sign made of wood?

I still need to get some HDU and try this out one day.

David
The rest of the sign is carved from MDF, which is no problem because the sign is only for indoor use. HDU is fabulous to carve. It always leaves crisp, clean carvings. You can see how well it carves by looking at the photo of the unpainted piece. That's how it came off of the CNC with no sanding or other finishing.
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Nice work as always Oliver . Did you make the 3D vector from a jpeg?
I wish I had the skill to make a 3D model from an. image, but I don't. I had someone else model it from my business logo image. I think they did an incredible job.
 
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Sometimes it's faster to get a little help. Out of curiosity, what adhesive do you use to glue the foam to the wood? Foam isn't friendly to some finishes, what are you using to finish the piece?
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sometimes it's faster to get a little help. Out of curiosity, what adhesive do you use to glue the foam to the wood? Foam isn't friendly to some finishes, what are you using to finish the piece?
HDU isn't like the usual foams you have encountered. Stryrofoam and others dissolve when oil-based paints are applied. High Density Urethane is impervious to oil-based paints and solvents so it is easy to paint and finish as needed. I used a little 2P10 glue to attach insert the carving into the existing sign. It won't be under any stress or movement, so it doesn't need much to hold it in place.
 

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Paul
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Looks great, Professor. I guess that HDU can get costly... that's why you did most of the sign in MDF?
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Looks great, Professor. I guess that HDU can get costly... that's why you did most of the sign in MDF?
The main body of the sign is MDF because I originally made it a couple of years ago, before I started using HDU. Although HDU can indeed be costly, it is sometimes the best solution, especially for signs that will be outdoors exposed to the weather. Plus, it always gives you crisp, sharp details to your carve.
 
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