Thursday, November 6, 2008

birthday presents

My son had a birthday last month. I found the design for this and decided to have the machine cut out the pieces so I could build it for him. Just what every little boy needs...his own back hoe!

I had been wanting to play around some more with "name" shelves. My wife said we didn't have enough room for any more "stuff" in our small apartment, so our neighbors and good friends allowed me to use their daughter's name in my experiments. This became a belated birthday present to her. Can you figure out the name(answer below)?

answer: Ella Rachelle Packard

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Themed Bookshelves

After building my wife's bookshelf I wanted to play around with the concept of themed furniture. There is a huge supply of "oops" board in the Cabinet Shop, so I have a lot of material to practice/experiment with. I even messed us three times. Man i love those lessons.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New Product Line

Many years ago i was sitting on the front porch at a friends house. As was the custom at times, his mom came out and sat with us. While we talked i noticed that there were screw sticking out all over her rocker. They looked like they had been placed in a rush. When i asked her what happened, she said something to the effect that she had been waiting for it to be repaired for a long time and when it finally happened this is what she got.

She's married to a train engineer, who builds wood cabinetry and the like as a hobby, from his back yard.

What i learned from that was, I wanted to make sure that if i "did" something, or had a certain skill, that my family got priority.

Well, unfortunately I just remembered that self promise. My wife has wanted these cabinets for a while, and since i needed to experiment with a new product, i asked her about helping me design them.

So here they are. She chose the pattern on the sides. They turned out really nice. Now only if i could have been making some really big cabinets, and done tons of carvings.

Maybe i can find a cabinet customer who is interested in putting some of this type of cabinet in say, a kids room?

Image these from the floor, as book shelves, with symetrical designs cut in all the vertical boards.

Ahh, Paris!

A Nail Salon commissioned this work. We had a heck of a time getting it working correctly. It was a lesson in patience.

It was a new concept to me when the painter said "Where do you want your name?" i thought, i can put my name on this? "Its your work, right?"

Darn tootn' it is!

early days

So my wife was looking thru the pictures we have stored on the computer and found a bunch of pictures of things i made "in the beginning" when i was still just fiddling around. I figured that since there aren't a ton that i would just post them all.

This is absolutely the "First" door i did. I went to my friend the cabinet maker and asked him for a "throw away" door.

I carved this rose pattern into it, and showed it to him. When i brought it to show him he said "Looks like i need to get you more doors to cut" and we became business partners. I later filled the carving in with wall putty. It can be dyed to fit whatever color. I just used plain old white.

Pied Piper?

This is the full shot of something we posted before. The cabinets are REALLY Big because the coke machine they were going to get was allot larger. After the cabinet were made, they changed to this smaller one.

First Gift?

Some of the other things I tried out:

This one, and the next one are the front and back of the same door. On this side the design is "sticking out".

On this side the design is "Cut in"

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

mantle-start to finish

A) Everything starts somewhere. This is where it starts. Line art is a common starting place for our designs.
B) This "Displacement map" is a map for the machine to know where to lift up or drop down.
C) The Computer gives us a rendering of the product that the machine will do and...
D) This is a closeup of the design.

This mantle is going in a new home. The contractor hasn't stained it as of this posting, but as soon as it is I will be out to take pictures of it in place. Its about 8 ft. across.

A closeup of the design.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pharmacy Sign

This is a sign we did for a Local Pharmacy. It was our very very first piece for a business.

Which car would you drive?

It has taken me a long, i mean a VERY long time to figure this process out.

Google acquired a project a while back called "Sketchup". Its a very rudimentary/powerful 3d modeling tools. Its the way in which Google is populating the digital globe they own "Google Earth" with 3d models of most of the major cities of the world.

Anyhow, Anyone can get it, cause its free, and anyone can model with it, and many do. People have been modeling all sorts of things with it for a long long long time, and some are very very good at it. Everything about it is free.

We've got this high-fangled carving machine and we have all these models. I know your thinking what i am thinking...

Why not build your next pinewood derby car on this thing? Why not, you ask? Thats what i said.

So here are my top three picks for vehicle models.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The results of speaking Face to Face

If you look back a few weeks you'll see my concept drawing for a cafeteria sign. I must admit I didn't think it was a "complete" design, and hadn't figured out what was going to "complete" the job.

Well, i was in luck. We had the opportunity to introduce me (the modeler) to the client, and we got some feedback. She didn't have to "say" she didn't really like the first design, and that's great, actually.

After speaking with her for a few minutes we had a much better idea of what she was looking for in a "Dixie Diner Sign" We sketched this on a sticky pad, and if i can find the sticky note, then i will post it also, but this is what we have come up with. Its a much prettier design. The colors are just placeholder, as in she will be deciding her own colors, or going with these.

Monday, July 14, 2008

First time for Furniture

Up until now we haven't made anything that wasn't just a carving on an existing piece of cabinetry. Today that all changes. Last weekend we stayed in the shop till 10:30 pm getting the final parts for the Cartoon Cabinet we like to call "Dr. Seuss" It's not complete, but we are done with nearly all of our parts of the project.

No Hinges yet for the doors, but this is how it all lays out. Can't wait to see what the painter does to it. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Daycare Dinner

Or rather "Dixie Diner".

This is a sign i have been tinkering with for a while now. Its supposed to be for the cafeteria at a daycare center. Maybe those places don't have a cafeteria, but what this one will have is a Diner.

This one is made using a funny technique i postulated and subsequently found others using where you program the machinery to adjust how "Deep" its cuts to be relative to how "Dark" the picture is. Meaning, that you can "paint" in shades of grey and create what is sometimes known as a "Displacement map"
Here are the results

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Cartoon Cabinetry

I think this would make Dr. Suess quite proud. I think I might have seen a "Who" with one of these in their room.

We've decided to open a store front (mainly to see clients) and this is an idea I was given for something in the front to "show off" to clients. I am hoping that when people see this they say "Wow, and yall made this, right?"

In any event, this is one thing we are currently working on (No that isn't our picture). We went to the "Big" city near by and on the way I had the thought to call and make some cold contacts. I figured, we are already in town and with gas like it is, why not make the most of the trip.

James Helms picked up at a The Design Studio in Beaumont Texas. He was interested and available so we headed over.

About 10 minutes after we get there James is crammed in an 8' x 12' room with Me, Johnny Jr, and 3 other Interior Decorators. They were pretty impressed with the things we brought with us and has called us in around a computer screen running around the net, pulling a picture up and asking "Can you make that?" "Yes Ma'am", thats what i was always taught.

It was exciting. We have been thinking about who we should go speak with and i had had the thought that speaking with an Interior Decorator would be more of what we are looking for seeing as we aren't selling a product but an ability. Interior decorators seemed more likely to be interested in being able to make something odd/inordinately, and in my opinion, thats what we do best.

Ever since I started working with CNC Machines i have been thinking about "Crazy" things i could do with them. I keep telling myself "Cabinet shops give you square corners, and strait sides. We give you everything else."

I wonder what the next design firm will show us on their screen?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Learning to carve from a Photo

I've been honing my skills at starting with a photograph and ending up with a carving like you see here in these two photos. Were currently working on a proposal for an heirloom quality desk that a cabinet shop is putting a bid. You might have guessed it has a religious theme. I think i really like the way the clouds are showing up.

I also just recently had a client ask us to put this grape cluster on some cabinet doors. When we went tot he appointment she had never see our work before. (she was referred to us from the cabinet shop) When she saw the door we brought (we borrowed one of those daisy doors from earlier) she decided she really liked it. So she said that now that she has seen it she wants us to do some "turn-of-the-century" carvings on the new vanity that is going in also. I don't know what these "Carvings" are gonna look like, but i am sure glad for the added business.

Here is another example. This one might make more sense if i explain whats going on. One of the ways that i can control my machine is by having it interpret the blacks and whites as depth of cutting on the machine. Here are two images I took a clip art i found and put a bad blur on it. The blur helps put a gradient of greys where it was just stark white beside jet black. I tell my machine to treat the black and the deepest cut and the white as the highest cut. So as it comes across grey, its a somewhere in the middle cut, and the clip art ends up rounded. Works pretty well on just about anything. You might take another look at the first two pictures and you will see why the colors are REALLY off in the photo. (Thank you Paint.NET)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Early Carvings.

These doors were a request to help continue the theme of daises in this room. If you look close on the shelf to the left there are some of those daises. These are Red Oak doors with a Walnut stain.

These are in the office of a Cabinet maker. Its been a great source for referrals for us as customers who come for cabinets have begun asking "Can you do that on my cabinets?"

These were the display surrounding the soda fountains at a convenience store. The "Cold Drinks" was above the machine, and the "Cola" were on the left and right sides on the soda fountain. I'll try to get a picture of the entire piece in place. The carvings make allot more sense in the context. The store isn't finished yet, but hopefully we can get a picture of this piece as it will be seen by the public. The color in the "Cold Drinks" is more true to the actual piece.

Getting a Presence on the Internet

I don't think i really know where t start, so if this feels something like jumping and grabbing onto a train going 50.... sorry.

About a month back we started our operating the machine for money. It wasn't more than 2 weeks earlier that i had finished (or atleast gotten functional) the CNC Router.

In case you didn't get to this site by knowing exactly what you were looking for in the first place, this is the Blog of a company in Vidor Texas. Were near the Louisiana border. So far there are just three of us.

My name is Kenneth, and I'm kinda the Mechanical / Design department. Johnny Ray is the business man, and Johnny Jr is the Marketer.

Were in the CNC Business. We own a CNC Router / Mill (for those who know what it is), which is essentially a machine capable of carving wood and other soft materials. We cut wood. From carving flowers or words on a door, to eclectic custom furniture, to.... anything you can think of. Essentially, if you wand something, and can't find it in a catalog, we are where you need to be.

We can take a sketch on a napkin and turn it into a carved piece of wood. There really aren't many limits to what we ca do. I'd give more examples but one of the reasons why i started this blog was to show the work we are doing. I don't have many pictures right now, but i will hopefully post the work we have been doing. We are pretty proud of our work.