A friend wanted a sign made for their brother who had just moved into the house that their grandparents built.
Posted too soon, as I completely redid this sign today. Just did not feel good about the previous sign that was carved from a spliced together Hemlock board… the soft wood produced way too many chipouts and I didn’t want to swap in a downcut bit for half of the cut (having a clean bottom to the pocket was more important)…
Chipouts on some of the letters like this:
…so after pushing it to the side for other work and sitting on it for a couple days, I decided to recut the whole thing out of 1" Ash.
Much nicer results:
Beautiful sign and I love the species choice. I too enjoy working with Ash. Until the beetles came and killed so many in our woods I had not worked with it. I’m stockpiling a lot of boards the last two years with my woodmizer sawmill, should be enough for at least the rest of my life. Hopefully a way is found for Ash trees to come back.
great stuff, kopah, a couple of questions, if you don’t mind:
- is that ‘regular’ MDF (as in from a Big Box), or a higher density type ? Looks like it machines REALLY cleanly, if that is an unsanded version/picture of a number of your examples. I know there are diff densities of MDF, but the stuff I used from Loews came out a little on the furry side on the edges, couple places thin pieces got thrown off, etc.
Still feeling my way with appropriate bits, speeds, etc, so it could VERY well be my sub-optimal choices in that regard.
- have not taken a magnifying glass to it, but it appears the loom is fabricated from several layers of 1/4" (?) ply glued together ? Just curious. Got a similar loom for solstice (Cricket) and was wanting a smaller heddle thingy (still learning the terminology), saw the prices, and thought I could make something like that, but -wow!- 8 hours it took ? Wow. The price looks a little more reasonable now. 8^)
Did you manage that as a one-sided machining, or do the same thing both sides ?
Thanks again for sharing your great work.
It is just standard MDF from the lumberyard in town. The finish is completely down to the cutter used and after the finish pass shouldn’t require any sanding. On my Targaryen/dragon crest above you can see how the rough pass (a 1/4" upcut endmill) left ragged edges in it, but it ends up smooth after the 1/8" ball I used for a finishing pass.
The rigid heddle loom is made from 3/4" birch plywood (it is actually the leftovers I had from my CNC cabinet) and 1.250" dowel.
I should update that post as some things have been improved and changed since I posted it. My first attempt at a heddle was in 1/8" birch ply, which didn’t end up strong enough or smooth enough to use. The second one above that I stated as taking 8 hours was an overcomplicated program that used a VBit and a small endmill, carved from both sides… the idea was to taper the slots in an attempt to make them smoother/rounder where the yarn passes through, but it really did not work out very well.
The heddle that we actually use on it is my third attempt (not pictured) where I simply just cut the design straight through the acrylic sheet with a 2 flute .0625" endmill. That program only takes an hour and a half to run.
Your Cricket loom is the one I pretty much based my design upon (using online pics) and my heddle would probably fit it.
Thanks for answers, appreciate it.
I know I was running prob abv recommended speeds with the Makita, not having the rough equivalency chart at the time, so wonder if that is why my MDF machining turns out furry. Was a brand new 1/4" end mill for the rough cut, and a 1/8" ball for the final, but maybe I am not tweaking things quite right, yet. (Frankly, can’t remember if up cut or down cut bits.)
Ah, an hour or so is more like it. And the ‘smoothness’ issue you were talking about (obviously important to keep the yarns from fraying/wearing/fuzzing), I was wondering, that if you did use acrylic (not much experience, some small things here and there), whether you could flame-polish the slots with a torch or whatever, OR, if that would cause the slender openings to warp or deform too much.
Thanks for this rubber-stamp linoleum source, Anthony. Another CNC provider sells the same stuff at a big markup plus shipping. Can’t wait to try the stuff I just ordered from Blick.