Sign making

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Brian Shannon
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Sign making

Postby Brian Shannon » Thu, Oct 27 2005, 11:54PM

I need to make a small sign for my building and would like to make it with my Thermwood router. What type of software program would write the cnc code file for my lettering? I don't have Mastercam or anything like it. Is there anyone with the ability that is willing to write a file for a small sign?


Brian

Jeff Norris
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Postby Jeff Norris » Fri, Oct 28 2005, 8:59AM

hey brian i can program it in artcam and send you cnc code for your thermwood , you can email me a drawing of what your after and ill see what i can do for you

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Postby Brian Shannon » Fri, Oct 28 2005, 9:47AM

That's great! Thank you! I'll get that together and send asap.



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Postby Brian Shannon » Fri, Oct 28 2005, 3:58PM

Jeff,

This is what I'm needing. My 3/8\" dia. cutter is tool #6 in tool holder 5 just in case you need that info. Actually there are 2 small signs. I think I will use 1\" thick MDF and cut about 5/8\" deep. What do you think? Will MDF hold up outdoors if I really soak it with Thompsons water seal? Let me know if you need more info. I'd be happy to pay for your time and trouble.

Thanks!

Brian :D

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Postby Forrest Chapman » Fri, Oct 28 2005, 5:53PM

Brian,

If you want to use MDF you need a product called Extira. It is amazing stuff and I've used it since it came out a few years ago with no problems.

Forrest

PS. You should look into bobcad/cam, its cheap and works well.

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Postby Brian Shannon » Fri, Oct 28 2005, 6:44PM

Forrest,
I have seen Extira at my lumber supplier but never used it. I'll have to give it a try. I was wondering about BobCad and BobArt. It sounds less expensive and easier to learn than Mastercam. I was not sure how well it would work with a Thermwood router. Do you use BobCad? With a Thermwood?


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Postby Forrest Chapman » Fri, Oct 28 2005, 11:23PM

Brian,

It's not very difficult to learn. We purchaced both for about 1200$ and have made a few signs with it. Our primary use for it is radius molding. I also have been useing it for making experimental wooden surfboards. It seems to link fine with the router and they provide the post.

Forrest

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Postby Jeff Norris » Sat, Oct 29 2005, 1:18PM

hey brian i will take your image and get somting to you that you can cut, in all likelyhood you will need to use two diffrent tools to cut this out, ill create to geometry and let you know what tools you should have to cut this out, they do have exterior grade mdf its called extera, anything that comes out of my shop for exterior use will be sealed in epoxy resin and then coated with boat varnish, we use a products called cpes from the smith company, and the varnish we use is called epiphanes one of my associates did an article in fine woodworking a few months back on this process, if you wanted to go this route you might consider doing a wood sign,

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Brian Shannon
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Postby Brian Shannon » Sat, Oct 29 2005, 1:28PM

Thanks Jeff! I'll have to look into those finishes. I had a sign made a while back and they used some sort of foam/plastic mt'l. I will see if I can find that stuff. I will most likely end up using the exterior MDF. Maybe double up some 3/4\" thick mt'l to 1 1/2\".


Thanks again!

Brian

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Postby Forrest Chapman » Sat, Oct 29 2005, 2:06PM

Brian,

Extira makes a 1.25\" sheet stock if you can use this it will save you time and stability issues. Of course that depends also on your supplier stocking it. As far as finishing goes a good exterior primer and paint works fine. I've had some raw extira on my house for a few years now and it remains unchanged by the elements. It's even still smooth. This product will dull your tooling very fast, two or three times faster than regular mdf. It seems to work fine to use tooling thats at the end of its life for other operations like cutting melamine which usually is still sharp except for a nick in the edge.

Forrest

Ps. Painting is easy if you paint in the letters first with lets say a black, then roll on a surface coat with a thin nap roller. Or even easier is prepaint and machine then clearcoat in recesses which may be dark enough for you.

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Postby Brian Shannon » Sat, Oct 29 2005, 3:05PM

Forrest,

Thanks for the tips! I think I will use the 1 1/4\" Extira. Yes, the roller works well on the surface. Accually on the sign, the letters are raised so I will paint the background then roll the letters and border. It should be good. I think I will look into BobCad. What version are you using? I think they are on V20.1 and BobArt Pro X now. I can't wait to play with Thermwoods Custom Moulding program!



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Postby Forrest Chapman » Sat, Oct 29 2005, 6:39PM

Brian,

We have the latest version 20 and bobnest. Although you may be able to use RN successfully we've never tried. Our next little play project will be bobart. We have only used this once and it seemed to be very easy and comprehesive. I'd like to do more relief and inlay carvings.

Forrest

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Postby Brian Shannon » Sat, Oct 29 2005, 10:51PM

Forrest,

Have you tried any of the Thermwood carving programs? I'm all set up and ready but just haven't had time to play yet.


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Postby Forrest Chapman » Sat, Oct 29 2005, 10:55PM

Brian,

No I haven't and I'm not set up as yet but maybe soon. We build alot of mantels and it would be nice to do some carvings on them.

Forrest

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Postby Brian Shannon » Sat, Oct 29 2005, 11:09PM

Yes, it would be fun allthough some of the designs I think look sort of outdated or rough. I talked to Eric about maybe some more modern vinyard type designs(of course I'm in wine country). They need some input as to what kind of designs we would like to see.


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