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CarveWright machine and outdoor sign

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Blog entry by Don Butler posted 06-29-2010 12:38 PM 2383 reads 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I first bought my CarveWright and posted about it on another woodworking forum I got quite a few disparaging remarks. Of course most of those messages came from folks who had no personal knowledge about the machine. They based their comments on posts they had read.

I think the low opinions were sparked up by owners who found the learning curve too steep and long or they saw the machine as too complicated. Well, it is complicated. It’s a CNC computer operating inside a small cabinet and running a routing head going over 20,000 rpm.
Maybe they ought to warn people that they have to be ready and able to meet the demands placed on the owner before they’re allowed to buy! ;-)

Because of its relatively small size, its seen as just a toy. Here’s proof that it can handle large work, too.

Here’s a closeup.

This horse silhouette is scrollsawn.

The sign was carved into MDF and sealed with two coats of shellac and two coats of white primer sealer. The finish colors are professional sign painting 1Shot™ enamels.

The client opted for this material because the cost of the next best stuff was too high. MDF carves well in this scale but once the face is opened by cutting the interior is soft. Shellac reseals and stiffens those surfaces.

Oh, what’s the other, more costly material? HDU, otherwise called High Density Urethane foam. It’s weatherproof, needs no sealer and goes for well over $300 per 48×96 sheet plus shipping. This job didn’t need that much material, so much of it would have been mere overhead.

Don

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.



12 comments so far

View Robb's profile

Robb

660 posts in 3398 days


#1 posted 06-29-2010 01:46 PM

Wow, Don, that’s really cool, and a great showcase for the ability of the CarveWright. I never would have thought that it would be capable of something of that scale. Maybe it’s because in the demos, they never show anyone working on anything that large.

-- Robb

View tyskkvinna's profile

tyskkvinna

1310 posts in 2450 days


#2 posted 06-29-2010 03:30 PM

Looks great! :)

I think the CarveWright is a great machine… don’t see why people feel a need to knock it?

-- Lis - Michigan - http://www.missmooseart.com - https://www.etsy.com/people/lisbokt

View chewbuddy13's profile

chewbuddy13

150 posts in 2749 days


#3 posted 06-29-2010 04:54 PM

I would love to have a CarveWright. Very nice job on the sign.

View swirt's profile

swirt

2118 posts in 2436 days


#4 posted 06-29-2010 05:13 PM

Great looking sign(s).
pardon a couple of stupid questions on my part. Did you do all that relief cutting with just one bit? Or does it burn through bits pretty fast?

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1086 posts in 2859 days


#5 posted 06-29-2010 05:18 PM

The CarveWright might burn through ordinary steel bit in a hurry because it runs at such a high speed and moves across the work quickly. But the normal carving bits are solid carbide.
Yes, I did all that carving with one bit and its still sharp!

Don

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View Jordan's profile

Jordan

1396 posts in 2589 days


#6 posted 06-29-2010 06:08 PM

I use HDU on a regular basis for different outdoor projects. Yes, it’s costly but it’s so darn versatile and like butter to carve with. I think your sign is just super! Tell me about your Carvewright – how much did it cost?

-- http://www.jordanstraker.com

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1086 posts in 2859 days


#7 posted 06-29-2010 06:29 PM

Jordan,
The Carvewright with a basic set of features starts at just over $2k. There are a variety of features that can seriously impact the final price.

Don

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3963 posts in 2628 days


#8 posted 06-29-2010 06:37 PM

Good going, Don. That looks really special, and I too am surprised by the size of it.

Using MDF in an outdoor setting would worry me, and I would do overkill to seal it. But I am sure you have that covered, probably with your special sign paint.

If I have time, I will take a picture of a crude house number sign I made 11 years out of LDF (still on the house).

Happy to see that you are making good use of the CarveWright.

Jim

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jordan's profile

Jordan

1396 posts in 2589 days


#9 posted 06-29-2010 06:51 PM

I think the applications for equipment like this are vast. As much as I like to do originals, customers for original art can be few and far between. In the meanwhile, signage is an ongoing source of cash and machines like this can really supplement one’s income. Good for you Don, I hope you get many more requests.

-- http://www.jordanstraker.com

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 2750 days


#10 posted 06-29-2010 11:50 PM

Don, great job on the signs.

You nailed it about the learning curve. In today’s world so many want instant gratification.
We don’t want to spend the time and effort to get really good at anything, so we get bored, give up, and move on to something easier and wonder why we never get anywhere in life. Excellence doesn’t come without a price!

Thanks for posting,
Kent

-- http://shepherdtoolandsupply.com/

View tinnman65's profile

tinnman65

1299 posts in 2878 days


#11 posted 06-30-2010 02:16 AM

Great job Don, I cant imagine how long that would take to carve by hand. You even put in a plug for Hidden Valley Boarding Stables!

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2595 days


#12 posted 06-30-2010 03:21 AM

Nice job.

You might want to look into using Extira. It’s water resistant MDF, and about $60/sheet.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

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