This week was mostly about drawing, but fortunately drawing for use in woodworking. I recently purchased as Wacom Intuos drawing pad because I had wanted to get better at drawing and found I can use it for woodworking drawings too. I have wanted to make new symbols for use on the cipher wheels and after a bit of looking and searching I decided to make a set of constellations. These are similar to what you'd see watching the old Stargate show (love that show, hope it comes back sometime!).
Using the pad and another tool, Autodesk Sketchbook (currently free for hobby/student use) to draw all the constellation symbols. I used some pictures found around the web as a guide. The trickiest part is getting the thickness of the lines right as these will turn into v-carve paths for the CNC. Sketchbook has tools for drawing straight lines or circles plus all the freehand methods. It was a combination of both, some guided drawing then a bit of free hand to fine tune.
Once I had them drawn, I could save this as a .TIFF file and moved over to V-Carve (I use desktop 8.5, I should upgrade at some point). Here I can import the tiff file and then trace it. Since I drew the constellations as solid black shapes they traced well and I didn't need any editing. All that was left was to group the right lines to make the full constellation and then arrange them around the ring, create the toolpath, export and carve away.
I used the Oramask again and got some very nice cutting. I found if I slowed down the CNC a bit I had less of a chance of lifting the mask. It does add some time, but I'd rather wait a few more minutes than fix issues. All the usual followed - paint, wait, peel off all mask and marvel at the new piece. It came out looking great! Painting did take a while, lots of little bits to fill in. I tried a sample with spray paint but that has a tendency to bleed (maybe due to the alcohols in it). Maybe I can get around that by first sealing with some spray shellac first.
I also carved a second center but didn't have time to paint it. I had a few chip out spots I'll need to fix first (cut and stick little pieces of the stencil mask) before painting anyway. I did mill up some new edging and wrapped the cipher wheel body. Soon I'll have two new cipher wheels with the constellations as one of the cipher languages!
The other shop work was a bit of maintenance - coating the cast iron surfaces with some Boshield T9. I've used that for several years now with pretty good success. Spray on, wipe off and then I find after I wait a few hours I have to buff it down as it dries a tad sticky. After a light buffing it gets nice and slick again.
Bit light this week, I know. I'm hoping the Fab Lab is open again so I can get there and do the laser work for the engagement box and wrap that project up.
Until next week, stay dusty.