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Just coasting…

After building the awards for the Lacombe event I was left with a nice block of maple that begged to be turned into something fun. I designed these combination coaster/snack holders and proceeded to cut them out with the CNC router. Once they were cut, the block was flipped on its edge and run through the band saw to cut this layer of coasters off. This was repeated three times. Once they were cleaned up it was off to the laser for some simple yet interesting engraving of some line art drawings that my daughter had created a while back. I’m still looking for the right final oil finish for the collection thats food safe and works well with maple.

City of Red Deer Records and Archives Building “Women on the Land”

The City of Red Deer moved to a new location and a project was initiated to display on the exterior of the building a number of photographs of “Women on the Land” who worked and lived in or near this region. These images are from the period of 1915 to 1930. The digital photographs were converted into a laser friendly format and the images were engraved on 2 foot square Stainless Steel Plaques. This was an interesting project to work through and install. Tamper proof Stainless Steel Standoffs were used to attach the plaques to the wall’s brick surface.


Lacombe Chamber of Commerce Awards Gala

Once again we were asked to provide custom awards for the annual awards Gala event. This year’s awards were carved out of a large slab of Canadian Sugar Maple with our CNC router and then given a very unique engraving with our

Trotec Laser.  The fininshed awards were given a protective coating of clear laquer before being sent to Lacombe for the event. 

More puzzle fun

This was a bit of an experiment conducted after building the Red Deer Child Care sign. Rather than using a wood grain texture and colouring, I went for a bronze age colour and texture to creat these pieces. I used the Trotec Speedy 400 laser

to cut these pieces out of HDU sign substrate and to engrave the cracked texture. Once this machine work was finished, I painted these pieces by hand using a variety of metal effects paints and glaze. A final dry brush treatment was used to highlight the base colours of each piece. This experiment is not done yet. A special lighting treatment is planned to outline all the puzzle pieces.

Its community recognition time again

Yes its awards time again.  This years awards for the Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce is based upon a design idea hatched last year when I had all the completed awards laying on the finishing table in a circular pattern. Hmmmm, that might look interesting? So the prototype award is designed and then fabricated using High Density Urethane (HDU) sign substrate.  I like to use HDU as it tools and engraves just like wood (and I have lots of scrap pieces about the shop to use up). I tried engraving a few different samples of wood  to see if anything looked better than Canadian Sugar Maple. Nope its going to be maple. A large slab of maple ends up on the router and the award blanks are carved out. Once extracted from the slab, the awards are finish sanded and then head over to the laser for engraving. I’ll post again once the awards have been presented and I can share the finished product and proud recipients.

New reception area sign for Red Deer Child Care Society head office


We were asked to provide a new sign for the reception area of the new office facility of the Red Deer Child Care Society. The office is a very nicely finished building and the interior finish is equally well done. The new sign needed to present a professional appearance as visitors entered yet provide a connection with the principle clients that the Society serves, the children. The idea of a puzzle with all the pieces finished in different wood textures seemed to be a good fit for this sign and the clients liked the concept. The 48″ diameter sign is made from High Density Urethane (HDU) and was engraved with the Multicam CNC Router. The colours were applied using a collection of Benjamin Moore paints and finished with a custom glaze to pull it all together. This was one of those really great projects that was fun to design and build and was really well received by the clients. It doesn’t get much better than this! 

Tourism Red Deer Promotion

When I learned that Tourism Red Deer was giving away a number of Yeti Mugs that had been donated by another business, I offered up a free engrave with their logo on the mugs. Using the Trotec Speedy 400 laser and its rotary engraving option, I was able to engrave these mugs and provide a very professsional looking promotional item.

A new break out table for the Wild Brew tap room

We were pleased to be able to design and fabricate a new table and chairs for the tap room. The table design was based upon the Open Desk Standup Breakout Table. The leg configuration was changed to lower the table surface to a comfortable chair height. The chairs were also based upon an Opendesk design, the Valovi chair. This design was modified to improve its strengh and allow a custom CNC engraving to be added to the chair side rails and top back piece. We were all very happy with the finished product and as you can see, it fits in very nicely with the overall theme of the tap room.

Fun with Air Plants

A request came in to get some airplant holders built for this years shipment of airplants. Using local wood from our property (excepting the spiral holder which is made from 1/8″ baltic birch) I designed and fabricated these nice plant display holders. Lined with reindeer moss, the holders were a smashing success and sold out very quickly.

Wildbrew 2 custom counter front

We have been wanting to do a large scale flow feature since we started building these flowing panels on a smaller scale. By using Enroute’s ability to slice a large flowing 3D feature into several equally spaced segments, we were able to create this piece which is 136″ long and 36″ high. Its depth varies from 6″ down t 1″. We were able to get the 97 slices carefully nested into 5 sheets of 18mm baltic birch. A number of combs were created to ensure the spacing remained precise for the entire length of the piece. The installation is currently in progress at the new Wildbrew taproom and we will get pictures posted once its completed.