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, 15 May 2012

Gettin Ready to Travel

Another fast paced day getting the time machine fabricated.

We got the door finished and mounted. The pop outs got finished as well. I think we're all done with the MDF! That'll be nice, the stuff gets everywhere. I can also hardly wait to get rid of all the off-cuts, they're really starting to pile up. I think I've used every available corner in the shop to store them.
I really like the way the door swings out with the control panel mount on it. I had to add 2 unplanned aluminum angles to stiffen the door up. They're a little bright until the paint, but they worked like a charm. The door is rock solid! I cut an additional 2 portholes for the requested profile shot, I think it actually looks better from the side with them.
I also cut the coil tops and bottoms out of 1/4" sintra. The spray can is for size, they're quite big!

This is pretty much the configuration of the coils on the concrete. I got the connectors cut from sintra as well. They'll get screwed down to the concrete, with big, thick cables running to the coils. It's gonna come in leaps and bounds now that all the angle figuring out is over!
Tomorrow we're headed out to get all kinds of wire for this. Not real wire mind you, just the jacket. I found a place that stripped all the copper out and throws away the jacket, just what we need for this. It's all about looking the part!


  1. John Christensen16 May 2012 at 10:36

    Looks AMAZING! I love the concert look. Can you explain how and what color you used to paint that? How did you create the curved surfaces on the sides? Did you just cut 4 of the same shape?

  2. Thanks for asking! The shapes were cut from 3/4" MDF, because they'll get stepped on by everyone working on this shoot. I rabbeted a 3/8" recess around the outside edges. I used 3/4" MDF as vertical supports at radiating intervals 6" apart. Then I cut "wiggle wood", or "flexi-ply" as they're called different names at different places. I then glued and brad nailed them into the rabbet, and to the verticals. Then I hit all the edges with a disk grinder, the less perfect the better! We mixed up some "scenic mud" which is basically Durabond 90 (not sheetrock 90, Durabond is tougher) mixed with around 20% white glue. The cheapest stuff you can find works fine. You can also add latex paint as well to tint it. If we need it to be flexible, we'll also add a couple of tubes of latex caulk. After it's troweled on, and starts to set up, I run a textured roller all over it, in different directions (the yellow kind with the stiff loops) When it's totally dry, we base coated it with a yellow-y grey. The last step was to use a watery glaze mix of a coffee coloured paint washed all over it, the ragged around. The glaze sits in the texture, and comes off the high points. It'll fool anyone if I put them outside and don't tell them!