I was able to get some carve time this weekend. The challenge I gave myself was to create a simple and basic welcome sign and center it on a odd shape board. I selected from my stash of cedar and used VCarve Pro for the design and toolpath creation.
The 3 elements were combined and defined in 2 toolpaths - a 1/8" endmill rough and 60 deg 1/4" vbit finish.
As mention before, my challenge was to center a design on an odd shaped board with balanced margins. Even though it is a slight bit off to one side, I am very happy with the overall result.
i think it looks real good to me.
Great job. How did you manage to center everything so perfectly?
So, here’s what I did. It may be quite confusing to read through. I apologize for that but when you reach the image at the bottom I think some of the descriptive words will make sense.
- Determined how tall I wanted the ‘Welcome’ text to be
- Determined how far of the bottom of the board the ‘Welcome’ text would be
- Made some light marks on the wood for #1 and #2, then determined where the horizontal center line of the ‘Welcome’ would be. (I figured I’d try to center the ‘Welcome’ with the horizontal center of the text instead of the top or bottom of the text.)
- I then created a project in VCarve Pro with the dimensions of the board. The height was constant but the width was the width of the flat part of the wood from most left to most right (not including the bark part). These measurements consisted of using a combination square and lots of eye squinting.
- On the board I measured the “bark-margin” of both sides half way up and at the top.
- In the VCP project I drew rectangle markers noting those bark margins and then drew a couple of vector lines to represent a rough idea of the board’s flat area shape. (I also measured and placed a rectangle marker for the upper-left side of the ‘W’.)
- In VCP I created the ‘Welcome’ text and placed it at the location determined in #1 and 2 above.
- I then centered that ‘Welcome’…I centered based on the horizontal center line of the text and the spacing on that line with the margins on either side.
- I then place the deer and tree using the vector lines mentioned in #6 as my margins on either side.
- I decided to use the lower-left corner as my origin and generated the toolpath. It was easy to locate the correspond point on the board as my start point. Then I just carved.
Being new to VCP it wouldn’t surprise me if there were better ways of using the tool for things like the margin rectangles (I intentionally didn’t use Guides as I didn’t want a bunch of dashed lines clouding my work space) or the rough shape vector lines but I was able to achieve what I wanted with what I knew and, probably a year from now, I’ll look back and think “What a newbie way of doing it…”