It is hard to believe that it was almost ten years ago I witnessed a CNC router in action for the very first time. I was fascinated with what I saw and simply had to have one! Although I had been in the creative end of the three dimensional sign business for most of my life I didn't really know what I would do with one - but I just knew it could do fantastic stuff.

Through extensive research and LOTS of hands-on practice I quickly found out that my MultiCam router was capable of just about anything imaginable.This journal will chronicle that journey to date and continue each week with two or three entries as I continue to explore just what is possible with this wonderful tool... -dan

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Building a train - part six

It is always fun to dream up fanciful ideas but when it comes time to build these ideas a whole different logic takes over. We build for the real world where things have to be insanely strong. No failures are allowed.

Because Precision Board and other similar high density urethane boards have little structural strength we have to figure out ways to hide our structure in or behind the things we build. While we want the train to look like it is supported by the wheels and side bolsters the truth is a sturdy, welded steel frame will really be holding everything up.

I started with some heavy 3" X 3" angle iron that will sit on top of the ties. a routed Precision Board rail will hide this when we are done. 2" x 2" square tubing runs up behind the wheels vertically to the frame. The wheels and bolsters will be there for show alone.

Once I had a fully supported frame I could continue the fabricating the the train. A heavy stel deck was the next order of business.

Just before quitting time tonight I managed to cut the boiler pipes to length and then welded them together. Tomorrow I'll hoist them onto the train deck and begin the cab fabrication.

Tomorrow it will begin to look like a train. Stay tuned...