Intro: Custom Wooden Signs Made With Shopbot CNC Router
I wanted to help her out by making some signs for her new shop.
This project was created using the ShopBot Alpha. Its a big CNC router that can turn a huge sheet of material into a work of art... with the right guidance anyway. Most of you will not have access to this tool, but if you do, this is a project that will be easy to make.
I first saw this tool at the Tech Shop and wanted to learn how to use it ASAP!
you will need:
Wood - I used a primed MDF board - it came in 11.25" width
Router bit - 1/2" 90 degree V bit
ShopBot CNC Router and associated software. http://www.shopbottools.com/mProducts/prSalpha.htm
Step 1: Design Your Signs
I used VCarve Pro by Vectric to lay out the sign.
This software was provided by the Tech Shop for the members to use. They have a demo you can download to practice with.
I had found a freeware font that had a train motif that looked fun.
Step 2: Cut Wood
My "toys" sign design was 25" but I knew that I would have to screw the wood to the bed of the router, so I added a couple inches extra. The other signs were a bit longer.
Step 3: Mount Plank to Router Bed
Line up the wood and screw it down so it does not move during the cutting process.
Use a T-square to assure it will be properly aligned on your x and y planes.
Step 4: Check Tool Paths on ShopBot Software
set up your x,y, and z positions in the software and be sure the router is programmed correctly. Run an "air pass" above the material as a test to be sure everything looks right before you cut the wood.
Step 5: Run the Router
If everything looks correct, run it!
Step 6: Remove Sign From Router and Cut Ends Clean
Remove the screws to get your sign off the board.
Cut the ends off the sign to finish it.
Step 7: Enjoy Your New Signs!
I made these signs at the Tech Shop in San Carlos, California.
If you don't have a Tech Shop close by, check to see if there are other collective shops or schools where you can use this equipment.
I was very pleased with how it came out!