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.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

More for the Lawyers!

No, I'm not getting divorced!

The Lawyer sign we did was a huge success. They really liked it, especially as we made the justice scales in full, as opposed to just creating a relief.

They have asked us for some more signage, for names and hours and stuff. They also wanted to see some other finish options. So I worked on the weekend drawing up a sample piece for them to decide on. It will also look good hanging in the shop when we get it back. A win-win for us.

I have no information on their hours, so I put in ours! I decided that in order to keep a constant design element throughout the signage, I would use the laurel portion. It didn't take long to draw up the shapes in Aspire, as well as add the texture to them. I used my weathered bronze texture for rendering it, to see if I liked it.
Once it was modeled, I sent the files to our Techno cnc for machining. This is why I LOVE our Techno:
The plaque is 11" high X 12" wide, I cut it with a 1/16" tapered ballnose cutter for the detail and ran it at 300ipm. for a grand total cutting time, including bit change to a 1/8" for cut-out, of 65 minutes!  Now that's what I'm talkin' about!

I was so intent on getting it done for today, I forgot to take progress pictures along the way, remembering at this stage. Basically a hammered brass finish, with a couple of glazes for weathering.

This was the result when I was done. I think they're gonna like it alot. The polished brass highlights add alot to it.
We'll just wait and see what they say!


  1. Awesome! Can you give us some details on paint etc on how you finished it?

    1. It's pretty simple really. Just paint the base-coat on fully, when the base coat driest, mix waterbased paint 50/50 with waterbased glaze. Thoroughly coat the piece with the glaze/paint mix, then wipe it off until your happy. Work from lightest to darkest with the colours, after each coat dries, as the glaze stays in all the low points. To finish it off, I painted the the gold parts with high-gloss black, and when it was tacky, buffed on the gold powder. Simple but effective. I am thinking of putting together a course at our shop to teach 3d modelling/ machining and paint finishing. Lot's of people are interested in doing things this way, but don't really know where to begin.

  2. Thanks for sharing!