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, 20 January 2015


Actually, I jumped the gun on the next step being paint. Next step..........sculpting the saddle!
The whole time I was working on the colored render sketch, I knew I was going to hand sculpt the saddle. I know alot of you thought for sure I would machine it, but I think a little hand crafted, not so perfect, was the order for this sign. I don't even mind it being a little lumpy and bumpy even, which is usually something I go to great lengths to avoid!
Before I could sculpt the saddle, I needed to add a few structural elements to the sign. I certainly would hate for someone to bust that saddle off!
I added 4, 4" long wood screws to act as an anchor for the saddle. These go into the HDU about 3", plenty of strength! The head of the tallest screw would be where the saddle horn is. That would have the potential to snap right off without the screw support. And the stirrup structure was actually 2 pieces of coat hanger wire, shaped with pliers, and glued into the sign about an inch. That'll be rock solid in the end!
I did the saddle in bits and pieces all day, while tackling our other 'colossal time suck' projects! This was sculpted from the Aves Apoxie Sculpt epoxy putty. I love working with this stuff, due to it's rock hard nature when its finished curing! I actually have started a small block that is made from the tiny little bits of leftovers. One day, I hope to slap it on the cnc, and machine something!

With the saddle done, the next step will be paint for sure!
But not till the epoxy sets up!

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