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, 4 June 2014

Lot's and lot's of Hours!

We have been pretty much 24/7 since Friday! The hockey museum job, and the waterslide have taken completely over the shop, and our lives!
This is largely due to the fact that we're teaching in Indiana on the weekend, and we needed to be at a certain point before we can leave.
 The tubes came together without too much fuss, and by Friday night, John had them all glued together. We have to keep the sections in a reasonable state of assembly. Meaning that we can't put too much together for painting reasons, but we need enough together to make on set assembly easy.

The trimming and clean-up, and edge sanding took a REALLY long time! One of the unsung heroes on this has been little Jody! She has sanded, and cleaned up every single tube, bracket, pipe, holder and cabinet involved in these jobs. We certainly wouldn't be where we are without her behind the scenes efforts!

 There were sections everywhere......And the size masses up pretty quickly!
 The brackets that hold the copper support arms were all cut. Actually, they were cut twice. The first run was from pvc, but was too flexible under the weight of the tube sections on it. So I beefed up the size, and cut them from 1/4" high impact styrene. The second set were waaaay better for the task.

All of the support arms to hold the tube slide were made from 1/2" copper pipe. Readily available, and easy to cut on the table saw. plus, getting it in 12 foot lengths was pretty handy!
I needed 2 holes, perfectly aligned, to mate to the brackets to the main support tubes. These will eventually hold up the whole slide.

 After humming and hawing about the best/ fastest way, I milled out some 3/4" plywood for a jig that would hold 5 pipes at a time. This clearly was the best/ fastest way to handle the job.

We made the main support poles from 2" abs pipe, The larger bases were cut from 4" pvc pipe, and filled with sand for weight. I can already tell we'll be adding at least a 9" mdf disk to the bottom to increase the footprint of the poles.
This is one of the final sections with all the supports and saddles installed. It's going to be a bit of a paint to paint, but it certainly looks industrial!

The first tube spiral was a huge pain to get assembled. Clearly there were compounded errors between the perfect computer world, and the final pieces Most of this, I would think, has to do with the vac-forming and gluing of the sections. And the amount of sections just adds to the problem. Basically, the full overlapping spirals pulled in around a 1/4" overall. So there was a huge amount of time spent comparing the cad file to the actual part, then figuring out where the corrections had to be made. Once John and I solved it, it was full steam ahead!

Kinda ugly in the photo's, but it's way too cool in person! The clear is funny, it photographs terrible, but looks great when your standing in front of it.

And just for something to do, we rolled a styrofoam ball down the top half! John suggested a donut, but that might make it hard to paint after!

On a side note...........
We finished the rest of the cabinet work, and that got picked up last night at around 6 pm. We just have 2 touchscreen tables to finish for that job, but we'll tackle that when we return.

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