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

Friday, October 13, 2017

Building a mine car

I find it a great deal of fun to design rather complex designs and then figure out a way to fabricate what I have imagined. We are currently working on a good sized theme project called the Cloud Buster. It is a drop tower ride. The thing that separates this ride from all of the others is that the one hundred and twenty-five foot tower ride will be positioned on top of a seventeen foot tall concrete tower. Our job is to theme the concrete structure to fit into the adventure golf course below. I have chronicled the sign for this project previously on this journal. As with all of our projects it started with an idea and a concept drawing.

The concrete tower will be hidden by wrapping a portion of a mountain around it. A mine shaft will go through the centre and guests will be able to golf through this feature.

Construction of the theme work is now well underway. The tunnel through the structure is being fabricated in two sections. This will be lifted into the centre of the golf and then slid into place (no small feat). Then the six outer sections will be craned into place around the tower and bolted together. As with much of our work we will sculpt the rock and timbers from fibreglass reinforced concrete.

A mine car will be situated where guests enter the mine. It will add to the theme and also act as a number marker for the hole. Our client was inspecting the progress on the mine shaft early this week and noticed the work I had done on our rail car which was sitting in the shop parking lot. (Samples work!) He asked for his mine car to have the same kind of detail he saw on our rail truck. I did up a quick concept and he gave it the thumbs up!

I designed the car totally in EnRoute. Everything would be created from steel which meant our MultiCam plasma cutter was going to get quite a workout. The pieces were cut from 1/4" and 1/8" plate steel. I allowed three days to design, cut and fabricate the mine car. I did all of the fabrication by myself, save for when I needed some lifting assistance. I managed to do it all in about twenty hours of work.

By quitting time today the fabrication was complete. We'll sculpt the rocks in the car and the base using fibreglass reinforced concrete. The car will be allowed to rust to make it look old.