Providence Rhode Island State Seal - CNC plaque

Leo Voisine

East Freeetown, Massachusetts
This will be excruciatingly SLooooowwwww.

Remodeling the house is a number ONE priority.

BUT - I don't like doing that and I need a break from time to time.

I watched a State Seal being done by Melissa Jones of Nice Carvings - done in a HUGE slab of Cherry. WOW was that Awesome and I wanna do a state seal.

Mine would be Massachusetts - BUT - I need to develop some skill before I get there. Melissa is a Master that hase won awards around the world - I cannot get much more than a few WOW's from forum folk that don't know better right now.

Sooooo - this will be my first attempt at a state seal.

I choose to do Providence Rhode Island because it is within my skill level yet still challenging me to raise my bar a little.

Melissa Jones is an artist - HIGH LEVEL. Mike Autobodyman can do this stuff - for sure. I am inspired by those people - greatly inspired.

This is CNC - NOT hand worked. There is most certainly a level of skill needed here doing this in CNC. I would not consider this beginner level. I also would not consider it the highest level of difficulty.

I will for the most part post my progress. It is a real possibility that I could have this on the machine mid summer.

I will do it is Cherry - not sure how it will get finished.

It will hang as a decoration in my shop at, but maybe not forever.

Providence State Seal - Image.jpg

Sooo - to start - I goggled state seals and this is the best image - of a workable characteristic that I could find. Yes - yes there are better images - but for what I need - this is it.

I will show a lot of the software I am working because I think some people like to see that - sometimes - I know I like it sometimes.

This is where we get started on something like this.

The first step we need it to "convert" the "raster" image into a "vector" image - then build up from there.

The picture is a bitmap - .JPG I cannot do anything with that.

I need to trace lines around the outsides of the primary image sections.

The software has some automatic ways of doing the tracing - but I prefer a more labor intensive way - I draw the vectors one at a time so I get exactly what I want.

Providence State Seal - 1-vector.jpg

I created an array of circles for the inner circles and another for the outer circles.

All the lines inside are drawn by me - tracing around the bitmap image.

I shut off the bitmap so you could see the traced - "vectors"

The squiggly on the left side is smooth - because I edited the "nodes" and smoothed it out.

Prior to node editing - the vector lines were choppy like the other vectors in the middle.

I need to finish node editing.

I just played around created a preliminary image of how it is going to look at we get done --- LONG LONG way to go to get to the finished product - this is just a tease

1-3d preview.jpg

I have a LOT of work to do - adjusting heights and creating the rest of the images.

The text will need to be dome too - but the software text will be used. I CAN edit the text and modify the font if needed - but I don't think I will need to.

Keep watching - I will update as I need a break from Remodeling.

Leo Voisine

East Freeetown, Massachusetts
This is all I am going to do today.

Just roughing it in - I did need to "modify" the "H O P E" font a little.

I do need to adjust base heights and smooth and sculpt a bit.

Maybe this is easier than I was at first thinking.

Well Still a long way to go

Anyway - this is it for today.

It is 24" diameter and 3/4 thick.

I have a pile of Air Dried Cherry in the shed - maybe this is what it is trying to be.

I hear it calling out to me.

I just go for the gold after this and do either Massachusetts or - or - New Bedford, my birth city.

2-3d preview.jpg

Leo Voisine

East Freeetown, Massachusetts

I will most likely:

Rough it out with a 1/4 ball end mill
Finish cut with a 1/8 tapered ball end mill - of maybe some of it with a 1/16 tapered ball end mill - maybe both
The cutout will be a 1/4 flat end mill

It is beautiful outside today.
My Air Dried Cherry is buried DEEP.
I just might pull some out, just to get it ready.

Leo Voisine

East Freeetown, Massachusetts
This is one of my biggest inspirations in the CNC / Carving / sculpting world.

This is Melissa Jones.

Melissa is the owner of "Nice Carvings"

She has won awards all over the world for her work.

This sign was CNC carved on a 4' x 8' ShopBOT and finishing details done by hand by Melissa.

The CNC is capably of just so much --- the finer details get done by hand.
It is not always so - but sometimes.

Melissa also uses Aspire and she did so with this seal of North Carolina much the same as I am doing with Rhode Island. Notice the picture she has.

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Al Launier

Bedford, NH
Leo, with the work you've already displayed there is every reason to believe you'll create a great piece of work, and raise your skill level along the way. Looking forward to following this project.

Rob Keeble

GTA Ontario Canada
Leo excuse my ignorance but the work being done in the video, is that not able to be done by cnc carving process? I not the work was done on a shopbot. Is that a factor in what can and cannot be done on the mechine? Seems quiet a lot of work being done post cnc.
I also never knew there were battery operated dremel type tools. Shucks just recently purchased a proper dremel with the extension. Would have much prefered that nice looking tool.
Another thing when next u in the shop could you post a picture of the various bits you mention. Just for clarity and scale for guys like me that need visual image, thanks for posting this info. Great work you have done on your carving. Sure opens the eyes to the gap between marketing of cnc maxhines and the reality of getting it to do what u want. Thank !

Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk

Leo Voisine

East Freeetown, Massachusetts
Rob - I cannot go through the bits today - but as I work through this project I will post every detail along the way - including the bits.

The CNC machine can do a lot - no doubt about that. It cannot do everything.

There ARE robotic arms and hands that can emulate the movement of the human hand. I have worked on robotics in automation way back in 1987. Cool movements for sure - but that stuff costs more than my house. NOT - practical for the hobby shop.

Melissa by the way is NOT hobby level. She is very much a professional and those North Carolina seals likely brought enough money for most of us to live on for a month or two - including paying the mortgage and all other expenses. Hence - part of the reason I want these skills.

I will pay extra attention to post pictures of the WHY part of the post CNC hand work. Trust me - I am NOT nearly as skilled as Melissa - again - she is a high level, worldwide award winning professional.

I do know why she does the hand work though.


I also have another project in my not finished pile that is waiting for me to get to the post CNC work. At some point - I will make a post of that project. That one is part of my skills development.
cardinal-1 final.JPGcardinal-2 final.JPGcardinal-3 final.JPG
I made three of these - this one went to the customer - I have two others sitting and waiting for me to finish them. One is for me - and the last one will get sold.

Leo Voisine

East Freeetown, Massachusetts
Well I have moved along a little bit with the Rhode Island State Seal.

It is 24" diameter.

MUCH of the previous work I did was deleted and redone. I didn't have the resolution set high enough.

Also - I cannot just sit on the side and NOT play CNC -- I decided - I just gotta DO this sign.

I also have a sign that needs to be repaired and another that is mid build - along with my home remodeling.

Soo - LAST week - I decided to get out some of the Air Dried Cherry I had in the shed.

Problem it - I stacked SOOOOO much wood on top of it as I collected more wood - that the air cherry was buried on the bottom.

I pulled out all the wood and built better shelves so I can get at least "some" access.

shed wood.jpg

In this pile there is some real nice natural edge light colored wood - ash, birch, maple or something like that. I vave some 2"+ thick Birch and maple and poplar - and some 1" poplar, maple, birch, air cherry and FAS kiln cherry

Everything got sorted and put back in on the new shelves.

This is about 15-22% of my wood stash

I pulled out some Air Cherry and brought it into the shop.

Providence State Seal - post image-1.jpgProvidence State Seal - post image-2.jpg

You didn't think the CNC did everything did you?

I cut a bunch of wood to 26" long.
The pine behind the cherry boards in one of the beam covers that I am supposed to be working on for the house remodel.
Ohhh welll.

So ----- on to the design work.......

Providence State Seal - 3-vector.jpg

This is a little bit of a closeup of the vectors on the ach

Providence State Seal - 2-TEXT.jpg

I created some text as near as possible to the original text then modified it a little to get it to "look" more original.
I than placed each letter one at a time into position.

Providence State Seal - post image-3.jpg

After all the vectors are smoothed and finessed - I create a 3D model of each item on the "pallet"
The list on the left side lower portion is the models.

The left menu upper is all the tools. Each Icon opens another box with more tools.

Providence State Seal - post image-4.jpg

After all the modeling is done - I switch over to "toolpathing".
Up to this point we were is "design" mode.
NOW - we are in the code generation side of things.

The upper right side is where the programming tool are located.
Each of those bottons opens another box of tools.
I am NOT talking about cutters - The tools are tools to create the G-Code program.

The lower portion on the right is the list of tool paths I created.

STU - this is PART of the answer to your question.

First, I am going to rough out some wood - 1/4" diameter Ball End Mill - about 3.5 hours
Second, I am going to do the finish cutting of the inner circle area - 1/8 tapered ball nose end mill - 5 hours
Third, I am going to finish cut the outer circle area - same 1/8 tapered end mill as #2 - 5 hours 20 minutes
Last I cutout the outer edge - 1/4 flat bottom end mill - 16 minutes.

I cannot do this all at one time - it will likely take me 2 days - unless I start at like 6:00 in the AM - and get really ambitious.

4-3d preview.jpg5-3d preview.jpg

So - this is what the computer generated preview looks like.

After the CNC machine - then some hand work to clean it up and do some details.

Then the finishing - I get real fussy on that.

I am thinking mid to late May.

For now - the pile of wood just waits.

I just got a WILD connection with a potential HIGH END customer.
I REALLY need to push this aside as it is just a decoration for my shop - and I NEED - to concentrate on the potential customer, which COULD open some REAL significant doors for me. I will post that one as well.


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Rob Keeble

GTA Ontario Canada
Thanks for the process detail Leo.:thumb:

I see I am not alone in being a person that sets out to do one thing and have to do a few others first to be able to do what i set out to do. :rofl: Someday i hope to be able to just go do something.