Diary: More Mantle, Kids in the workshop, Amp and Award.

This week I was able to make a good start on the final parts for the Mantelpiece reproduction project. I now have most of the pieces for the vertical column carved, although the bits left are the relatively complex capital and corbel at the top. I really beefed up the depth on the models as the sample I cut got a bit lost in the grain of the oak. This seems to have worked well and the decorative carving is better defined on these new parts. The next two weeks are going to be spent mainly on holiday (although you may argue my life is currently one long holiday...) so there won't be too much more activity on this project - although hopefully I may get time to work on the capitals and corbels next week. After that I'll have the challenge of some parts that are too long for my machine that will need to be cut in multiple setups. 

Thursday this week I had the pleasure of a day in the workshop with my kids, Molly in the morning and George in the afternoon. The idea was that they would draw something they wanted to make and I would work with them to show the process of taking it from the drawing to cutting on the CNC and then finishing the parts. We had a lot of fun and there was plenty of stealthy learning opportunities. Molly opted for a 3D relief style model of her drawing with a carved background and frame. George went for a 2D slot-together interpretation of his picture. They were both very happy with the finished pieces (as you can see below) and I it was a good challenging day for me to do the software work and keep them interested while I did it.

Another project I worked on in spare time this week is a horn-shaped guitar amplifier that I've christened the "CeorfAmp". It's still a work-in-progress and the design is evolving as its made. You can see its current incarnation below. The speaker and electronics are from the awesome "The JAM jar amps" website - who make amazing sounding amps in jam jars powered only by a 9v battery. I am pleased to say that I was able to test it last night and it sounds great, nice and loud with the horn amplifying the already surprisingly gritty sound of the JAM jar amp. On top of that it looks really cool and makes me smile every time I see it.  This just needs a back making for the front (figure that out) and then plenty of sanding and it'll be done. I'll put a lot more photos of it in the Gallery when its complete. Its patchwork look is provided by the scrap butcher-block kitchen worktop that its made from. 

To finish I would like to say thanks to Vectric Ltd. (the company where I used to work) who invited me to their celebration for receiving the Queens Award for Enterprise for International Trade 2017. The application for this was something I was involved with just before I left the company so it was particularly nice to see them awarded with this accolade. To commemorate the day I thought it would be fun to make them a plaque,  you can see more images of this project on the Vectric Award Plaque Gallery Page. I decided to go for something quite modern looking and also used the features in the new V9 of their Aspire software to help make the 2-sided 'e' logo. The raised logo looked really effective casting a strong shadow and contrasted nicely with the subtlety of the debossed crown.