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.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Oh, will it ever end......

First off, sandblasting acrylic into a consistent frosted finish sucks. It just plan sucks. It's almost as crappy as digging holes in the ground.

Luckily I can pass the "unwanted" jobs off on Jody!. I got this small sandblast cabinet specifically for doing these sticks. It's as small as I could get, while still being able to manipulate the sticks inside.
I ended up blasting just under half the sticks, while Jody ran the difference, as well as pre-sanded them all. Pffff. It sucked. It took along time to do them all. I was glad to be able to pack this blue box of  'time torture' up when we finished. Maybe the odd one or two off parts would be fun...........probably not anymore.

They did look great once they were all frosted, you can see the before and after above.
Because we couldn't fit the structure plates into the sandblast cabinet, I ended up just running a palm sander over those for frosting them. The wiring didn't take very long for the light sockets, and the cascading LED light strips already came wired 16 strips to a power source. I used thick walled PVC tubing, wrapped in a chrome mylar, to cover the 9 threaded rods that bolt the whole structure together.
Jody assembled all the LED boards into the rabbet we machined into the hockey stick handle, and then she started the assembly.
Due to the nature of cast acrylic, there was more than one stubborn stick that needed some serious persuasion to fit into it's slot! I made all the slots seriously over sized, because the material can vary quite a bit, but some of them were waaaaay thicker than the rest. And we didn't have the time to machine slots into every stick to get a consistent thickness.

A hard thing to photograph, but I took a bunch to try and show the LED's in action! While Jody worked like a trooper on the light, I had to move on to the other portion of the build.

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