This was a vacation week for me. The day job was on holiday all week (it was an extended 4th which is normally just 2 days). I had planned to do some traveling and some hiking, but the Northeast here was in a heat wave most of the week and hiking wasn't much fun. So we stuck around home and took it easy. This might mean I should have done lots of shop work, but the point of vacation is to take a break and that's what I tried to do. It wasn't all non-woodworking though!
Throughout the week I taught myself a bit of photo editing. Why, you ask? Well, for the engagement box commission I need to do a laser engrave of a picture. The one he liked had some extra people and things in the background. After an hour or two with GIMP and a few YouTube tutorials I had deleted those other people from existence and completely filled in the background. Now it's on to the laser!
A new friend arrived in the shop. I now have a Festool CT26E for dust collection, to replace my old Rigid shop vac. One benefit of a day job is some occasional bonuses that for me came in Amazon form. I wouldn't have bought one of these but the bonus really offset the cost. This little fella is really quiet. Like, amazingly quiet. Strong, too. It's different from a shop vac as it really is best when hooked to a tool. Suction drops quickly about an inch from the nozzle. But when connected, it's great. I still run mine through an Oneida Dust Deputy to preserve the filter bag in the CT26. I have it hooked up to the CNC. It seems to leave more dust on the surface (the dust shoe on this isn't that great) but that's quickly vacuumed up after and nothing is blowing around. I may see if it has a larger hose, though, it's a fairly narrow one. I love the quiet, though. it's just amazing. When hooked to my sander I can work without ear protection as both tools are really quiet.
I got a roll of the Oracal Oramask 813 and gave it a try cutting a cipher wheel. It worked very well. I took off the backing, set it down and rolled it with a j-roller. I had a bit of an "M" lift slightly but I was able to set the mask back down. I filled the letters with acrylic paint and then peeled it off when dry. it stuck well, and lifted a bit of grain, but came off easily enough. It was tedious as I needed to go around with a knife to get the pieces up. The letters were super crisp. I love the look. it takes more time but the result is quite good.
Lastly I tried a carving for the lid of the engagement box. I wanted to put a fleur pattern on with the names as well. The fleur is rather large and even with a 90 deg V-Bit it had to carve pretty deep. But, I put on the Oramask, carved the decoration and the names (names were with a 30 deg pencil bit) I decided this time to tape off the top and try spray painting the letters. It's drying as I write this, so I'll see what it looks like tomorrow. It was an experiment, so who knows, maybe it'll look great.
That was my work. Until next week, stay dusty!