When I lent my services to a collegue who was working on a film about 12 years ago, I was introduced to the world of cnc. I remember watching this huge machining centre milling out a slab of mdf and turning it into a fantastic set of gears. I knew that it would have taken me hours to achieve the same thing with traditional power tools. I decided then that I would invest in a cnc router for my own business Oxenham Design. At that time I could turn on a computer, but even to check email seemed like a crazy set of operations. I persevered and learned every piece of relevant software I could get my hands on. I am now fortunate enough to be using Vectric's ASPIRE software, and Techno cnc routers, which has helped us to create some amazing projects, both in part, or in full. I thought that this blog would be a great place to share "behind the scenes" adventures with the software, materials and equipment we use, as well as the projects we build.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Another long Trade show day.

Tuesday was another very long day. Both of the guys I had scheduled for the Monday only install weren't able to come on Tuesday. So this left the entire install to Jody, myself and my daughter Madison. We were told the center column would be going up at 9:30 am. In truth, they weren't ready for the column until 12:30. We also couldn't do anything else until the 30'X50' truss system was at least 10' off the ground. So nothing really got started until then. When we were able to start, the install plan got changed. Instead of lifting each section on to the next, we had to clam shell the column halves around the giant anaconda of wiring, and lift it up enough for the next section. We would then fasten the 2 sections and raise both of them together. Then put the 3rd one under, fasten it, and raise 3. I don't mind saying I was a little concerned. We hadn't allowed for the top section to bear the weight of 4 sections below it. I was the lucky fellow who got to go inside this giant tube and do the fastening. However, the whole thing held up very well. No creaking or groaning was heard coming from the column! I spent what felt like an hour inside this crazy 'Vietnam hot box' fastening each section together, and making sure the wiring didn't get damaged as the truss raised ever skyward.
The "shield" panels got assembled and were also hung from the truss. I had decided at the shop that the 6'X 6' graphic panels would be printed directly to 1/4" pvc sintra panes. We then put eyelets in them so we could hang them as well as bend them to a curve with aircraft wire. They looked really good after the were up.

After the column was up and secure, we moved right onto the octanorm portion of the wall assemblies. This is a pretty sweet system. All the vertical posts were either square, round  or octagon shaped. In these posts are channels at 45 and 90 degrees. All the cross-bars that fasten to posts have a torx head screw that moves a small 'gripper' that locks into the groove on the posts. One simple 180 degree turn of the screw locks the cross beam to the post. And it's a perfect angle! So we quickly made our way around the booth, connecting the pieces, sliding in the rigid wall panels, and moving to the next one. It probably took us a little more time than other people who use this system, as we had to comb through the crates to find all the parts we needed. At about 8 pm, I got a call that the fabric wall system wasn't ready to install. This kinda freaked me out a little as the show opens on Wednesday. However the company said that they were going to work on it all night, and that they would install the walls at 7 am Wednesday. I was glad about that as I couldn't bear the thought of this 1 day install now consuming 3 days! I haven't decided if I will go to the show or not. I think I would like to go, but the tear down is rapidly approaching, and I think I may have seen the inside of the convention center enough to last a lifetime!!

This is where we left. I want to give a big thanks to Fiovo and Martin from Boothworks who were instumental in working late to solve the stretch wall problem and to heading down to the show early and install the last portions.


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