Sunday, 23 March 2014

Missing U

Following on from the January 18th post: With an Illustrator eps file of the U, I had the letter (314 mm tall) outline engraved in lino by laser, & cut away the excess by hand. It was very satisfying to have the precise line of the engraved line to cut up to. This lino-cut U will stand out as being very smooth in contrast to the wood grain textures of the other wooden letters in this font.
I next got 22mm deep off-cuts of hard wood (afromosia & sapele) from a joinery workshop and booked a session with the UWE CNC (computer numerical control) router. This used the same illustrator file as the laser machine.
We used a 4mm routing cutter. This size was determined by the width of the gap between the 2 serifs. The cut depth was set at 5mm, and this was done in 3 steps: 2 + 2 + 1mm to avoid stress on the cutter & possible over-heating. The wood was fixed on the cutting bed in a block of MDF. At the first attempt, the wood moved in the block, so the first and second cuttings became mis-aligned.
At the second attempt (using the other side) the wood was fixed much more tightly in a block of MDF. It took about 45 minutes to cut.
There are no sharp corners in the U, so no finishing issues. I want to cut an A next, so the interior pointed apex will have to be cut by hand.
I made a first (OK) print of the U without having varnished the print surface with shellac, but I plan to shellac finish all the other letters.

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