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.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Finally a place to work!

Now that the Turbo Town job has wrapped up, I wanted to keep the steam going. Maybe not the 18 hour a day steam we had, but some steam. We've got some ad campaign projects that are awaiting approval, so I'm using the short time available to build a new desk. The desk will be more of a work station/ front desk for when people come into the shop. Since we moved into this space in May, I have been working from a VERY small desk in the corner of the office space. I have been using my laptop for the computer design stuff as the current desk isn't big enough for the desktop computer I'm dying to get back to using!

The whole theme for the desk area was pulled from our Institute sign we did with the mechanical fish on it.
So the desk will be heavy brass/ copper and woods. In no way am I trying to fool anyone into thinking we're using the real thing, I think it's far more interesting to make it look like it isn't the real thing. Plus it's in keeping with dimensional signage and film props! This will be a fairly good size desk as it needs to house 2 20" monitors, a computer tower, my laptop and the vinyl cutter. As well as having a place to serve customers that come in for the signage end of things.

The desk was designed in Corel, with no colour renders or 3d models. I know what I'm going for, so the need to model it is a waste for me to do, as I'm not needing any approvals. Just a front, top and side elevation.

I exported the vectors from Corel into Aspire for toolpathing. Once again, Techno cnc produced the panels quickly and accurately. I love that I can do all the complicated stuff in the computer (at my miniature desk) and have accurate pieces I can assemble right away.
Of course, not everything was cut on our Techno, all the rivet strips, which will act as seam covers, were table saw pieces. Jody got to work right away laying out and drilling the 1/2" holes. Were going to use wooden button screw covers as the rivet heads.

With the front facing panels cut, Jody taped off the spots where the rivet strips will end up going. The next step was to parge the panel with acrylic tile adhesive. We've used this a bunch of times for texture. It works great for this sort of thing, and it's fairly inexpensive. Inexpensive materials seem to be far and few these days!
We made a basic woodgraing tools from a chunk of pvc we had from the last job. It worked great. Once the adhesive had hardened up, we got a base coat of yellow ochre on the panels. This will be the first of a few coats we'll use to achieve our simple woodgrain feel we want.
All the rest of the parts we texture sprayed with our scenic mud mixture. These will look killer in a bronze colour. We've also casted up some large bolt heads which will decorate the desk in spots.

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