The incised lettering, the brick pattern and the raised relief center image were carved on a Precix CNC router using Enroute software. The double-faced sign is 1-in. HDU board laminated with MAS epoxy over a ¾-in. overlaid plywood core. The lower panel is 1¼-in. Brazilian mahogany laminated to the plywood with epoxy. Brando’s is finished with 23K gold leaf. It is mounted on a shop-built wrought iron bracket. Peter Poanessa, Keene Sign Worx, Swanzey, New Hampshire
The graphics and textures on this six-inch thick 48-by-96-in. single-faced HDU sign were created in Vectric Aspire software then milled on a MultiCam router. It’s backed up by ¾-in. overlaid plywood. All paint finishes and glazes were done by hand with acrylics. Roger Cox, House of Signs, Frisco, Colorado
The graphics and textures on this four-inch thick 48-by-60-in. single-faced HDU sign were created in Vectric Aspire software then milled on a MultiCam router. It’s backed up by ¾-in. overlaid plywood and mounted on a structure of 6-by-6-in. and 2-by-8-in. timber. All paint finishes and glazes were done by hand with acrylics. Roger Cox, House of Signs, Frisco, Colorado
The 4-by-4-ft. panel of 1½-in. 18-lb. HDU board was cut and carved on a ShopBot PRS Standard router table using Vectric VCARVE Pro software. The revolving door is made of pieces of ¼-in. aluminum composite material in aluminum channel around a rod and rotates in the wind. Letters are 23K gold on a black smalts background. John Liptak, Liptak Signs, Portsmouth, Rhode Island
The double-faced 46-by-46-in. panel of ¾-in. PVC board and the character of 3/4-in. 18-lb. HDU board were all cut on a ShopBot PRS Standard 96-by-48-in. router table with Vectric VCarve Pro software. John Liptak, Liptak Signs, Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Raised panel uses 13mm white PVC board letters cut on an AXYZ router then stud mounted to the ½-in. overlaid plywood panel. Main 4-by-4-ft. panel is painted ½-in. overlaid plywood. Jim Jackson, Artcraft Sign Company, Raleigh, North Carolina
Interlocking pieces of 3mm, 6mm and 13mm white PVC board cut on an AXYZ router, assembled with Gemini studs. Faces are white vinyl film and overall size is 6-by-18-in. Jim Jackson, Artcraft Sign Company, Raleigh, North Carolina
The letters were cut from ¼-in. aluminum on an AXYZ router, then hand textured with random orbital disk sander. Gemini 3/16-by3-in. studs [www.gemini.com] with pads were epoxy mounted to the back of each letter. It is about 60-in. wide overall. Jim Jackson, Artcraft Sign Company, Raleigh, North Carolina
This sign uses two 20-by-30-in. panels of 1½-in. HDU board with V-carve routed lettering, done on a MultiCam router using EnRoute software The backs of the panels were routed to fit over a frame of 1-by-1-in. tubular aluminum then epoxied together with West System epoxy. The sign was then primed, painted, grained and antiqued with acrylic latex paints. David Hassan, Hassan Sign Company, Cohasset, Massachusetts
CNC-carved 37-by-42-in. sign made of 18-lb. HDU board on a MultiCam router, with hand-carved details, by David Hassan, Hassan Sign Company, Cohasset, Massachusetts. “This is a fairly complex sign with a lot of pieces added on, and a total thickness of about 5 inches. The inside of the pizza oven is routed down around the fire. The lines designating the ceramic blocks and tiles are routed. The M with the veggies, the Montilio’s panel with the checked border, the banner and the Pizza letters are separate add-ons. The fire, M, veggies and banner are all hand carved. Everything is primed, painted and glazed with acrylic latex paints with the addition of some artist’s acrylics for the rendering of the veggies.”
The HDU faces on this 52-by-65-in. sign were carved on a MultiCam router using EnRoute software by David Hassan, Hassan Sign Company, Cohasset, Massachusetts. “Each face is 1½-in HDU board. We route the backs to accept a ½-in. core of overlaid plywood with mahogany blocking for hardware attachment. We epoxy this all together to form a strong and stable 3-in.thick panel. The roof moldings were created in EnRoute software and routed. The logo and 369 panels are router carved, and the scrolls are hand carved. The sign is primed and painted with acrylic latex paints. Lettering and scrolls are 23K gold leaf. The posts are pressure-treated wood with fluted PVC wraps and mahogany trim and caps.”
Graphics were cut from PVC board on an Industrial CNC router by Custom Grafix Ltd., San Fernando, Trinidad, West Indies
Graphics were cut from PVC board on an Industrial CNC router by Custom Grafix Ltd., San Fernando, Trinidad, West Indies
Two layers of PVC board, routed on a MultiCam CNC router, with digital print artwork. The sign is 18-by-30-in. overall. Bob Stephens, Skywatch Signs, Zephyrhills, Florida
A combination of PVC and HDU board cut on a MultiCam CNC router with laser-cut acrylic, all finished in Matthews Paints, on an aluminum composite panel over a steel framework. The sign is about 3-by-7-ft. overall. Bob Stephens, Skywatch Signs, Zephyrhills, Florida

Adding a CNC router

It can boost productivity and let you reach into new markets

By SignCraft Magazine

Posted on Monday, October 31st, 2016

A CNC router has become an essential tool in many sign shops—cutting, drilling and carving projects of all sizes. Because they’re so versatile, routers fit into the production needs of a variety of shops. One shop may cut sign faces and snap-fit letters on it on a daily basis. Another may use it mostly to carve 3D signs and seldom if ever cut a piece of flat acrylic on it.

It’s safe to say that few shops ever utilize all the potential of a CNC router. There’s so much it can do. The high-end 3D work done on a CNC router gets a lot of the attention, but there are so many utility tasks that the router does. Like many tools, they are often bought to serve one primary need but are soon doing much more.

Shopping for a router Chris Lovelady [Vital Signs LLC, Thomasville, Georgia] has had a small bench-top CNC router for years, and now plans to add a large router soon. He’s in the process of narrowing down the features he wants, as well as what he’d like to have if budget allows.


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