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.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Lottery Commercials are BIG!

Usually on every build there is one part that secretly haunts me on how I'm going to solve it. Most times it's usually an easy thing, but my mild case of anal retentiveness can cloud my overall thinking :)
The entire pencil build was one of these times. Not the pencil itself, but that stupid metal band that holds the eraser on. I thought about using metal, I thought about engraving something on our Techno, but non of it seemed deadline friendly in the end.

Most times we are lucky enough to be provided story boards for our portion of the job. These answer more questions than lengthy, back and forth emails ever could. Most times the boards are more help than meetings are as well!
The story boards for us let us see how much of something we build will actually be in frame, or how tight the camera will be on it. Due to the size of the pencil in frame, high detail wasn't actually required on it.
So with all the information available, I decided to go the route of printing. I drew the file up in corel, and sent it to our print house. The printed metal band came out great! We stuck it to a piece of 1/16" styrene sheet, and would wrap it around the pencil. Plus, the design of the metal band left lots of hiding places for the 1/4" narrow crown staples that will be holding it to the rest of the pencil.
The eraser tip was the least of the problems for this. I went with 2, 4" pvc pipe joiners, I glued on a flat plate of 1/2" white pvc, then routed the radius on with our hand router.
With the pencil tip securely glued and screwed then shaped, I rounded the back end with the belt sander to aid in the wrapping of the printed metal band. Knowing that the pencil was being used as a baseball bat AND a battering ram, the next problem would be paint. As friendly as acrylic latex is, it's not overly durable in rubbing situations. We decided to try a completely different water based paint for this. We went with a waterbased pavement marking paint. This paint is used for painting parking lot lines. It has all the benefits of latex house paint, but you can actually feather sand it when it dries. It's really durable for water clean-up. The bright yellow is the color from the can, and made an excellent primer sealer base coat for the wood.
Jody matched the color to a pencil we had in the shop by further tinting the same paint to a more realistic color.

With the final assembly done, all that was left on these was delivering them to set! It was really hard not to want to put "OxenhamDesign.com" on the pencil where "Hilroy" was on the real pencil! But if the client was un-happy, it would be a big step backwards!

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