Introduction: Make a Sign With the Shopbot Cnc Router

About: Trying to learn faster than I forget. It will be cool to make some stuff along the way.

Here we take a piece of reclaimed ceiling board that has several layers of old paint, and mill it into a shabby chic Clubhouse sign. The Shopbot was at a makerspace called TechShop that had a full woodworking shop. Proper training on the machine is paramount, so I left the detailed instructions out and show the basic process. If you have access to a CNC router of this kind, it is relatively simple to learn, and has AMAZING possibilities. I suggest looking into a local makerspace in your area.

Tools used -

Barrel sander

Shopbot CNC router - "Buddy"

V-Carve Pro software

Assorted square end router bits

Hand sander and sand paper - grits 80-220

Materials -

Reclaimed wood

Patching putty

White paint

Step 1: Prepare Your Material

Flat work produces better results, so this old piece of ceiling wood went through the barrel sander.

Step 2: Mount Your Material to the Router.

We mounted the wood with the new flat side down to the sacrificial board on the router's work table. At this point we are seeing where the x and y zero points are. That's a home position or origin and will be relative to where the workspace bottom corner is in the V-carve software.

Step 3: Running the Job.

Our first pass has been run with a larger diameter square end router bit to speed up the process. It's like painting a room with a roller, then finishing the edges with a brush. Here you can see the rough outline of the work is done. This is called a pocket cut.

Step 4: Detail Cut.

We changed to tool to a smaller square end for the detail around the lettering. This defined the edges of the lettering.

Step 5: Border Cut.

The border is now cut to separate the sign from the material. It made multiple passes around and around, deeper and deeper until it was through.

Step 6: Finishing Work.

The rough surfaces were sanded, the low spots were filled with putty and the pocket was painted. The top layer was roughed up a little to show the wear of ages. This sign is ready to hang!