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, 1 June 2015


With the final pieces of the Stettler job crated and shipped, we just basically had to wait for our partner in Stettler to let us know when they arrived. Dave McCourt, from Woodcraft by Dave, was the fellow that hired us to build this crazy job, and he would be our main contact once we arrived in Alberta.
It was a 4 hour flight to Edmonton, from Toronto. I hate flying! Not that I'm scared of crashing or anything. I just hate being sardined into anything. Plus I find the security lines a little ridiculous at the best of times. The seats all suck, my butt gets angry at the lack of comfort, and every-time I manage to drift off, my head falls down and wakes me up. Plus I really believe that everyone else can't respect my personal space! Granted, I'm sure I'm just as unaware of their personal space, but it's different cause it's me!

Once we arrived, we were picked up by Jody's Uncle Aubrey. He lives in Stettler, and became an amazing tour guide/ chauffeur!

Stettler is about a 2-ish hour drive from Edmonton, so there was a lot of traveling by the time we got to our float/ mobile sign. And boy oh boy, the prairies are fl-a-a-at!

 The Historic Parrish and Heimbecker Grain Elevator in Stettler was were we were finishing the build. It was the only place available with a loading door high enough for the finished project to roll outside! But the Town is building a storage building specifically for this piece, it's just not finished yet. They were waiting on the finished piece to get a final door height for it.
 With the help of some amazing new friends, Dave and I were able to wrangle the train up onto the bridge.
After the train was bolted to the bridge, we moved on to lag bolting the letter truss to heart, and Jody got the bulk of the tracks fastened around the edge.
The buildings were next. We fabricated custom steel L-brackets at the shop, from 1X3 welded steel tubing. These bolted to the trailer deck, holding the buildings sturdy. We installed hidden Tee nuts in the building facades, and used them to bolt the buildings to the brackets.
 Dave, Jody and I worked to get the letters bolted to the truss system before we left. We came up short on the bolt count, so we all decided to call it a day. It was a long day for Jody and I! We were up at 4am, our time, travelled, worked on the float until late, then headed to our hotel room. Which was pretty sweet, to say the least! It even had a corner fireplace! When we finally hit the bed, it was 11:30 Alberta time, which is 2:30am our time. Yeah, we were tired! No passionate romance in front of the corner fireplace for these guys!

............or was there?

JK, we were asleep in 5 minutes max!