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Pplug
03-25-2010, 04:11 PM
I mainly do signs to pay for christmas. Here are a few examples I have done for people and businesses. Most of these were made in my converted Omis III CMM.

DIYaholic
03-25-2010, 05:13 PM
Pplug,
Nice looking work.
Seeing them motivates me towards completing (starting) my own cnc router machine build. I'm currently researching my own build and waiting to move to a new residence with shop space.
Again, nice job and thanks for posting and the motivation!

Randy,

asdasd
05-05-2010, 02:49 AM
Pplug,
very nice work, I too work as a sign maker, but nothing this fancy, i am barely crawling when you are already flying, thank you for posting these images

SScnc
06-03-2010, 03:17 PM
Pplug, Absolutely beautiful work ! The details and textures are amazing, like the weave around "The Harts".

Great work !

abomb55076
08-02-2010, 12:01 AM
What type of software are you using for the 3d graphics such as the dog and the weave in the backgrounds?

Pplug
08-02-2010, 10:56 AM
Currently I'm using artcam but I think I will be switching to vectric aspire when my version of AC becomes too dated. Its cheaper and does everything I think I need it to.

Beezer
11-16-2010, 08:16 PM
The basket weave pattern you used in a few of them is really slick. Never seen that done before. Nice work. :D

kenla
02-04-2011, 01:06 PM
Beautiful , very inspirational, work

advt001
02-05-2011, 09:50 AM
Very artistic I am jealous.

doorknob
02-05-2011, 10:23 AM
Maybe this is OT, but I'm wondering how you would determine what to charge for work like that.

They're complex enough that it might be difficult to do an accurate estimate in advance, but it's hard to convince a customer to pay an open-ended hourly rate...

Pplug
02-05-2011, 11:36 AM
Maybe this is OT, but I'm wondering how you would determine what to charge for work like that.

They're complex enough that it might be difficult to do an accurate estimate in advance, but it's hard to convince a customer to pay an open-ended hourly rate...

I usually charge about $20-$30 an hour. It usually takes about 10-20 min to design and produce the tool paths. I usually double the price for painting & finishing. Typically a sign can run from $135 to $250.

I can give the customer a very accurate idea of the routing time. The techno interface preprocesses the g-code file and the new beta interface is accurate to the second. I can run a simulation in mach3 and it is accurate as well. Of course this is for custom designs. Most of the Picts are of basic templates with added text at preset hieghts and I know about how much time they take.

kolias
03-14-2011, 07:18 AM
Nice work pplug

I just finished my CNC machine and although I have no problem making a sign just for a hobby I'm lost when it comes to paint it.

How do you paint the letters? Like if I want to have the surface one color and the letters another color how do you do that?

Pplug
03-14-2011, 04:06 PM
Most of the time I just paint the tops of the letters. I am working on a method using a vinyl cutter to create a mask that would let me spraypaint the sides as well without hitting the background. I haven't tried it yet.

bpoulin
03-25-2011, 11:56 PM
I'm new to routers, but I use a laser for my signs. For 2 colors I'll paint the raw material, then mask it with vinyl sign transfer tape, engrave it, spray it with color #2 then unmask the material.

kolias
03-26-2011, 09:20 AM
I'm new to routers, but I use a laser for my signs. For 2 colors I'll paint the raw material, then mask it with vinyl sign transfer tape, engrave it, spray it with color #2 then unmask the material.

I didn't know about this vinyl sign transfer tape. sounds a good idea

Thanks

cheetahcnc
03-26-2011, 10:42 AM
Real nice, amazing what fantastic work lies beneath ordinary wood :cheers:

bpoulin
03-26-2011, 10:50 PM
Here is a single color (http://www.flickr.com/photos/parnelli_97/5503220029/) masked then I just burned the wood with the laser. Here is where I get my masking Sign Warehouse (http://www.signwarehouse.com/c-application-tape.html) And if that doesn't work they have vinyls specifically for spray masking (http://www.signwarehouse.com/shop/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=VSPRAYMASK), or sandblast masking (http://www.signwarehouse.com/c-VSANDMASK.html) I haven't experimented with any of these and a rotary cutter, it might take some experimentation.

kolias
03-26-2011, 11:51 PM
Here is a single color (http://www.flickr.com/photos/parnelli_97/5503220029/) masked then I just burned the wood with the laser. Here is where I get my masking Sign Warehouse (http://www.signwarehouse.com/c-application-tape.html) And if that doesn't work they have vinyls specifically for spray masking (http://www.signwarehouse.com/shop/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=VSPRAYMASK), or sandblast masking (http://www.signwarehouse.com/c-VSANDMASK.html) I haven't experimented with any of these and a rotary cutter, it might take some experimentation.

Hey bpoulin, that’s the best info I got so far, thanks for the info

When you say “I just burned the wood with the laser” what guides the laser? I mean do you have the gcode or another code for this sign on your laser?

bpoulin
03-27-2011, 12:35 AM
It's a Chinese CNC laser engraver, 1200x800mm cutting area. Check out the laser engravers (http://www.cnczone.com/forums/laser_engraving_cutting_machines/) forum here on CNCzone.

kolias
03-27-2011, 06:48 AM
It's a Chinese CNC laser engraver, 1200x800mm cutting area. Check out the laser engravers (http://www.cnczone.com/forums/laser_engraving_cutting_machines/) forum here on CNCzone.

Sorry bpoulin, I know about the Chinese Laser Engravers. What I dont know is how the engraver knows where to burn the wood on that sign.

bpoulin
03-27-2011, 02:38 PM
Sorry I misunderstood you. It's all in the software used to run it. I use vector art, but you can use grayscale bitmap images as well. It has to be a true black and white image the laser is pulsed on for black areas and off for white, and it runs like a printer back and forth across the image, and at the end of one line it will step up one line and repeat. When watching it, it looks like a giant inkjet printer. The machine uses a .mol file which I think is a machine operating language file. Probably similar to G-code.

kolias
03-27-2011, 04:47 PM
Now I get it bpoulin, much appreciate your time

I knew about the Lasers but I didn't know how they work and now I got it

Thanks again

bpoulin
03-27-2011, 04:50 PM
No problem, any more questions drop me a line. poulinphotography@gmail.com

Joe Crumley
04-01-2011, 08:57 PM
GLEN,

Excellent work my friend.

I always enjoy seeing your signs. Please keep posting.

Joe Crumley
Norman Sign Company, Norman, Oklahoma, SandBlasted Signs, Sign Painter, Redwood Signs (http://www.normansignco.com)

Pplug
04-09-2011, 01:04 PM
A few more!

Oops I posted a repeat!

Joe Crumley
04-09-2011, 01:59 PM
One of the big advantages for those of us with routers, we can pocket, mask, and paint as seperate pieces. I often us HP Vinyl letters, applied on panels. This also speeds up the finising process.

kolias
04-09-2011, 02:53 PM
That's a beautiful job Joe

What is HP Vinyl letters?

Joe Crumley
04-09-2011, 03:21 PM
Nicolas,

That is high performance vinyl which is cut in a plotter.

If I was doing this job today I'd use Dibond or PVC for the letteering. But that was well over fifteen years ago and the materials weren't available. The major point being, with a router you aren't locked into having to paint the sign as a single piece. Most of my signs now are made in several pieces. Each being painted seperately and attached.

Joe Crumley
www.normansignco.com

electric2u
04-09-2011, 05:17 PM
what kind of wood are you using?
kevin

kolias
04-09-2011, 05:38 PM
Thank you Joe, you are a real artist. I looked at your site and that’s an excellent job you did.

I will have a look in the stores and see what I can find. It will be an interesting experience

kolias
04-14-2011, 12:06 AM
My local store carries various thicknesses of self adhesive vinyl rolls

I would cut the vinyl with my CNC router using 1/8”, 1/16” or 1/32” one flute bits.

Is there any recommended vinyl thickness there?

Pplug
04-14-2011, 09:24 AM
Why not use a drag knife on your cnc? You could make or buy a holder easily and attach it to the spindle. Just don't turn the spindle on! :)

kolias
04-14-2011, 10:58 AM
Why not use a drag knife on your cnc? You could make or buy a holder easily and attach it to the spindle. Just don't turn the spindle on! :)

That's an option I'm working on but I also read that some use the bit as a cutter.

So the question remains: is there a specific vinyl thickness guide line for cutting either with a knife or a bit

Pplug
04-14-2011, 04:38 PM
You should ask that in the right forum. This one gets buried and fewer people see it. I think my knives can dig about 1/16" on my cnc. I haven't tried it yet.

kolias
04-15-2011, 12:32 AM
You should ask that in the right forum. This one gets buried and fewer people see it. I think my knives can dig about 1/16" on my cnc. I haven't tried it yet.

No problem Pplug, dont know which one is the right forum so I will experiment and find out which vinyl gives the best results. I guess there must be other variables involved besides the vinyl thickness like plunge speed, router RPM, feed rate etc.

bpoulin
04-15-2011, 12:35 AM
When you say vinyl, do you mean like peel off vinyl we normally run through a plotter? Because I can't see a rotating bit working on that it will wrap up and gum up a bit quickly. A drag knife really is the right way to do that on a flat bed CNC machine.

kolias
04-15-2011, 07:12 AM
I read somewhere that you first paint the material and then cover it with vinyl sheet and let the CNC cut through the vinyl. After you spray paint the cut and then you peel off the vinyl. Perhaps I misunderstood but it sounds a good way of achieving a good finished product with 2 or more colours.

Yes the vinyl sheet I got is with peel off backing. It looks like that the peel off is much thicker than the vinyl but never tried this process and don’t know what is right / wrong.

I plan to use a hand held router to try a sample and see if it works or not

Joe Crumley
04-15-2011, 08:18 AM
OK boys, here is one artists take on vinyl marking films.

The only vinyl I use are the ones made for the sign industry. The High Performance will last for up to seven years and maintains good colors. These plotters are dead on accurate. My oldest, a "Gerber HS 15 plus" is twenty years old. I keep it to cut sandblast mask and vinyl as per the photo.

Joe Crumley
Norman Sign Company, Norman, Oklahoma, SandBlasted Signs, Sign Painter, Redwood Signs (http://www.normansignco.com)

bpoulin
04-15-2011, 09:37 AM
I read somewhere that you first paint the material and then cover it with vinyl sheet and let the CNC cut through the vinyl. After you spray paint the cut and then you peel off the vinyl. Perhaps I misunderstood but it sounds a good way of achieving a good finished product with 2 or more colours.

Yes the vinyl sheet I got is with peel off backing. It looks like that the peel off is much thicker than the vinyl but never tried this process and don’t know what is right / wrong.

I plan to use a hand held router to try a sample and see if it works or not

This may work, I misunderstood what you were saying, I thought you were just trying to cut vinyl only. I would probably go with a paint mask in your situation. Vinyl is normally made to have a permenant adhesive, it may not want to come off your surface clean, and it may take the paint up with it. There are temporary vinyls, and paint mask that will probably work better for what you're doing.

Joe Crumley
04-15-2011, 09:57 AM
The way to make money is the shortest and ceanest process.

My photo was showing sandblast mask applied over the whole panel, then using a small brad point round over bit to score the mask. After that I hog out the background to -.40. Now she's ready for sandblasting. I paint the background with the sb mask in positition. When the mask is removed there will be lots of adhesive left behing. I use a big disk sander with 100p to clean it all off. Now were ready for the finish coat. The black & white letters are High Performance vinyl for the lettering.

Joe

kolias
04-15-2011, 03:20 PM
Well Joe you are into heavy duty staff and very nice I must say. I’m only using my CNC Router for hobby and don’t plan to make signs for a living. I will assume that the HP vinyl letters are cut in your plotter and then you stick them to the sign. Sounds an easy process if you have the right equipment.

Ok bpoulin, I think now I get it. I agree that the vinyl may pull the paint and so I will try with the vinyl I have plus I will get some paint mask and give it a try too.

Thank you both for the info

kolias
04-17-2011, 01:15 PM
My experiment didn't go well. I try on painted and unpainted MDF and with the vinyl I have plus painters masking tape.

Although the vinyl didn't peel off the cut was not clean enough to allow spray paint. Same for the masking tape as per attached pics.

So my search continues to find out how I can make two or more cuts with my CNC router and spray paint them with different colors

Joe Crumley
04-17-2011, 05:27 PM
Nicolas,

I don't think you can get there from where you're starting.

I believe you should do the routing first. Then paint, then cut and apply vinyl.

I leave about 1/8" around my routed letter for the vinyl to attach to. It's so dog-gone easy. Lets not make it difficult.

Joe Crumley
Norman Sign Company, Norman, Oklahoma, SandBlasted Signs, Sign Painter, Redwood Signs (http://www.normansignco.com)

kolias
04-17-2011, 05:48 PM
ok Joe, I guess I will just have to do what you are saying

Thanks for the info

bpoulin
04-17-2011, 11:44 PM
I think I see where he's trying to go with this. But you may need to use a drag knife first, then weed out what's going to be routed, then route, then paint, then unmask. By the time you go through all those steps, you could paint the MDF, route it out, and fill in the routing by hand.

kolias
04-18-2011, 12:20 AM
Never thought that it will be so difficult bpoulin. Your approach is what I have in mind; after all I don’t make signs for a living it’s just for the fun and don’t even have to paint them

I was only curious to find out the process

bpoulin
04-18-2011, 12:25 AM
Most people who have never made a sign, don't realize the number of steps involved. And the learning curve can be expensive. I have a sign I'm doing for a friend. Large, multi part sign. I'm on #2 because of one messed up step at the end permanently screwed up the sign. I had to start over from scratch. A lot of times new concepts and techniques yield many failures before you perfect the technique. But if you're doing it for fun, find something you like, and try to duplicate it. Keep trying until you succeed, you'll figure out how to get the results you want. Don't look at it as failures, but learning ways not to do it.

Claytonc
09-17-2011, 08:47 AM
all I can say is WOW!!! I only hope to be 1/2 as good as you some day :)
AWESOME WORK!

AMG Guitars
11-09-2017, 04:57 AM
That's some inspirational stuff.
Alex~