Sunday, November 4, 2012

Deucer How To

Ever since Haas posted pics of the sign I made for my apartment on their facebook and twitter, (Thank you Haas!) I've received some emails asking about detailed directions on how to make it. 

So here goes! 

Click any of the photos below to see them larger.
Save your files often!

Start off by setting your type in Illustrator. I chose PF Champion Script Pro, it's on the thin side, but I decided to take a chance since it's such a beautiful typeface.  

Once the type looks right, add two holes for nails (or screws) for hanging. 

I exported the file to a .dxf from there and imported it into MasterCam, but as you can see below, when you go to set your tool paths it selects the entire letter even when you adjust the options to only select a section. 

So, open your .ai (or .eps) file in PhotoShop.

And save it as a .png.
File, save as, select .png in drop down menu.

None Interlaced! 

Next, open the .png file in Illustrator 

Since the .png is an image, you'll need to turn it into vector.
 Click Live Trace in the box above your image.

In the same window, click Expand.

When you click on your type with the black arrow, you'll see small squares all along the outside of your type letting you know it's now vector. 

Now you can export as a .dxf. 
Click on File, then export.

Select .dxf

Within the next box that comes up you'll need to select the options that match your Cam program best. 

Now you can open the .dxf in MasterCam and you'll be able to select the outline of your type as a whole.

And set up your tool paths

I contoured the whole thing for the sake of saving time (instead of pocketing the counters of the type). Contouring the inner spaces first and finishing with the outline. I like to ramp my contours with a ramp depth half the size of my end mill diameter.

I used step clamps to save time, but if you want to do it right, get some Crystalbond and secure your raw material to an aluminum sheet, then step clamp n' cut! 

On to personal stuff:
Visited Seattle, hadn't been there in years!

Learned how to shoot a pistol when I got back into town ;)

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