Main signs finished at last

One of the first pieces we designed and routed for Scallywag Bay Adventure Park was in fact among the last to be finished. I designed the hull shape for the small ship and posted it back in May of 2014. Here’s the two step by step entries of that process…   Entry one   Entry two

The sign was designed as always by hand and with the computer to create the vectors.

I sliced the ship’s hull into layers using EnRoute and then routed them from 30 lb Precision Board on the MultiCam.
The pieces were then glued up into the three dimensional hulls. This is how they sat for the better part of a year while we were busy with all of the other pieces.
When we picked up the project(s) we added a few missing pieces which we quickly cut on the bandsaw. The armatures for the ship’s masts were made from 5/8″ steel rods.

A thin coat of Abracadabra sculpting epoxy was formed over the two ships and hand sculpted with all the detail. 

Then the painting process began beginning with the base coats – three layers in all.

Lastly the glazes were skillfully applied by our painting crew.

The sign faces were also painted separately before being added to the sculpted fibreglass reinforced concrete bases.

Up, up and away

The Trinidad project prefabrication is also quickly moving towards completion. Today we sent off three more forty-foot containers chock full of fun pieces. (nine now in total) Two more empty containers arrive tomorrow and more will follow in the next weeks.

Meanwhile, in the shop work continues at full speed. Today the washroom signs were routed. Rather than build a new file I looked up an old oval barrel head I had done a lot time ago and rotated it to be flat rather than vertical. I added new layers for the lettering and border to lay over it. The signs read ‘FAMILY’  ‘LASSES’ ‘LADS’ and ‘CREW ONLY’.

Lots of sculpting to finish off routed signs

The MultiCam has been idle for a few days as we did all the other work required to catch up to what has been routed. The golf sign (with the ship’s wheel got it’s hand sculpted wheel. Angie got the nod for that task and did a great job! We also started applying the sculpted concrete to the tree and will finish that tomorrow. I’ll post pictures later of that. It too is looking fabulous!

Today we bit off a big bite and did the sculpted concrete ‘bamboo’ posts on all of the signs – twenty nine in all! The whole crew had to jump in and help with the sculpting as concrete waits for no one.

We also got some epoxy sculpting  done in the last couple of days and the KRAKEN is coming along nicely! The sculpting on this sign should be wrapped up tomorrow as well.

In another day or two I’ll have time to sit at the design desk once more (with a brand new hot rod computer) and do up some more designs in EnRoute. Then a whole new batch of projects will be in the process of routing. Stay tuned…

Mass production

It’s not often we do multiples of any sign but the golf and park require a whole bunch of these signs – twenty eight in all. Like the rest of the signs in the park they will be dimensional.

The fourteen entrance and exit signs were cleaned up with a die grinder and then the edges received their edge grains using the same tool. The screw holes were then filled with sculpting epoxy and blended into the backgrounds.

At this point the 1″ x 1″ metal square tubing that stuck out of the back of each sign was trimmed to length and then welded to the post armatures we had built for this purpose. These armatures will all receive a skin of fiberglass reinforced concrete that will be carved to look like bamboo.

As soon as those signs were done the next batch of rule signs came off the MultiCam. These were again glued up with the steel reinforcing in the middle and square tubing  protruding out of the back. These too will be finished in a similar manner and also welded to posts.

It won’t be long now until we can get back to business on the more fun stuff.

Way finding signs

 To provide a seamless experience for the guests of the park most of the signs will be dimensional. This includes some normally mundane entrance and exit signs for the rides and attractions. The ‘sandblasted wood’ signs will have raised, prismatic letters in a cartoon font that matches the park logo. As always it starts with the vectors.

I used the outlines of the sign to create a flat relief.

I then used the sandblasted woodgrain bitmap to add some texture.

The lettering outlines were built as separate flat reliefs and then merged to the background  relief.

 Lastly I modified the background relief by added the bevel lettering.

There were seven of each sign plus their backs to route and they would have filled an entire 4 x 8 sheet of Precision Board. But There always seem to be an abundance of smaller pieces left over from other projects so I took a little extra time and used them instead. The next shot is of the signs glued up and ready for a little hand work with the die grinder. An hour of work will get them all ready for the paint crew.

Stay tuned for a shot of the finished pieces…

Two more signs done

The ride signs have taken a while to finish as they were worked on between other projects. Today the Pieces of Eight and Crow’s Nest signs got their finishing touches at last.

Two more pieces are not ready to load into the containers and send on their way to Trinidad. There containers full of pieces were sent in the last week with enough pieces now ready to fill there more in January. Stay tuned for more reports…

Golf sign start

We are slowly working our way through a big list of signs for Skallywag Bay. The next major sign on the list is for the adventure golf. The routed signs are actually the smaller portion of the project. Just the same the main sign was both challenging and fun.

The first task was to commit the design to vectors.

I then opened the sandblasted redwood bitmap in PhotoShop and used the warp tool to bend it to the shape of the sign. 

The spindles/handles of the ships wheel were created using the dome tool.

The rim of the wheel was next, once again using the dome tool but fairly flat.

The last step of the wheel was the flat center piece.

I then merged all the pieces of the wheel together. After the rest of the sign vectors were built I would adjust the height to make sure it wasn’t higher than the sign board.

The sign board was the next piece to be created as flat relief.

The warped woodgrain bitmap was imported and applied to the flat board relief.

At this point I merged the wheel and the sign board onto a zero height flat relief. I then duplicated the relief and flipped the copy. This would be routed to form the back of the sign.

The front section of the sign then would get the lettering, starting with the letting outline. This outline was built as a separate relief. I next would position those reliefs over the woodgrain merge them with the sign board.

The main lettering was created using the bevel tool.

The smaller lettering was created using the dome tool.

With the last of the lettering in place I could then tool path the file and send it off to the MultiCam. As usual the pieces would be cut from 30 lb Precision Board. I set the machine in motion and went on to the other work.

Tomorrow morning it will be ready to glue up.


The last ride sign is for the Kraken’s Crew (bumper boats). I decided to go for the life preserver look with the KRAKEN peeking through.
I whipped up some simple vectors which wold be used to create the reliefs/

 I first used the extrude function to create a mesh object.

 Then I used the teardrop vector to create the body of the KRAKEN. I then flattened out the sub body in the front view and sized and positioned the conning tower (mesh) to fit.

I created a zero height relief and then merged the mesh to it.

At this point I realized that I had made the square zero height relief too small to encompass the submarine body. I backed up one step and stretched the zero height relief and then merged the mesh once more. Then after deleting the original relief I merged (highest) this relief with the sub shape. Take note of how I positioned the flat relief to effectively cut off the front of the teardrop shape.

This is the resulting relief of that operation.

Next up is the slice, where we’ll create the layers that will fit inside the Precision Board we are routing it form. Since we are using 1.5″ thick material the sub was sliced four times.

The engine halves were created using an oval vector and the dome tool. Then I created a zero height rectangle under it. By merging highest with this rectangle I would slice the ends off the egg.

I duplicated this shape flipped the copy and then duplicated the two pieces. Four halves would make two engines.

Then it was time for the lifesaver/sign. I use the dome tool to create the basic shape.

The lettering was added using the add to command and the flat relief tool.

The four pieces necessary for one half of the sub were duplicated and flipped. Then everything was arranged to fit on a 48″ x 96″ sheet of Precision Board.

I created one more piece for the sign – the middle layer that would house the welded steel frame. The weird shape opening is to allow me to cut steel with a 45 degree cut on one end and then be a random length (with a square cut on the other. This meant I didn’t have to be precise with my cuts and this sped up the building process.

Once the pieces were off the MultiCam it was time weld up the sturdy steel frame and then to glue them up. The sign ring and Kraken were glued up separately. Once they were dry we welded the protruding legs to the post behind. Then I drilled for a steel peg and slipped the sub over it. The tail was tied to the post structure behind.
The next step is to finish the concrete sculpting on the mast and then to add the detail to the submarine using sculpting epoxy. Steel armatures will add strength to theKRAKEN arms which will protrude out of the front of the piece. Some hand sculpted ropes will also be added to the life preserver sign.

Skull Rock sculpt done

It doesn’t take much hand sculpting to make a sign go from mildly dimensional to off the wall different. In the case of the Skull Rock Scramble sign it looked pretty good with just the random shape, the texture and raised lettering. Adding Webster, the turtle Gruffle changed it in a big way without a doubt and he took only a couple of hours to create.. (This time includes my helper’s time.) But we weren’t nearly done yet.

I spent another twenty minutes with our air powered die grinder to extend the gnarly rock texture around the sides, top and bottom of the sign. Then it was time for another bit of sculpting.
The rocks were extended a little to create the skull eyes and the detail around the mouth. The palm tree was the final detail to take the dimension over the top.

The mast post and sail will next get their skin of sculpted concrete and then the paint will start. It’s going to be a cool looking truly dimensional sign when we are done – like all of the other signs for this project.