Case Study - Precision Carving with VCarve Pro

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Ann praised the high quality carved panels machined using VCarve Pro during an official visit to Guernsey’s newly restored and expanded Royal Court buildings.

With a well established legal system and independent government, the Island of Guernsey has a proud history of stature and recently decided to restore and extend  the Royal Court Its centerpiece (shown in the picture) is a beautifully carved set of framed panels recording the complete history of the Jurats.

The islands Jurats (legal representatives) wanted an updatable physical record to display on the wall in the Royal Court and commissioned local company and VCarve user; Guernsey Woodcarvers to create the piece. Even though the company of craftsmen have been making wooden commemorative boards and house names for over 25 years they realized early on in the project that VCarve Pro and the use of their recently installed Shopbot CNC router would be required for a job of this scale and accuracy.

Jeff le Messurier, Technical Manager at Guernsey Woodcarvers explained that investing in VCarve Pro and CNC machining technology has revolutionized his business and enabled him to take on projects of this stature whilst staying cost efficient and returning a healthy profit.

“After discovering VCarve Pro on the internet and deciding to purchase a Shopbot CNC router our creativity has just gone from strength to strength.”

“Previously jobs like the Jurat's board would have not being in our reach, cost wise. We would probably have got the job to make the backing panels and a sign writer would have done the rest. But with VCarve Pro we completed the whole project plus a lot more.”


The back panels were carved from laminated American white oak and once the text and layout had been double checked and verified the toolpaths were created in VCarve Pro.

Jeff commented that,

“Because of the size of the panels and sheer number of letters (16,000) to be carved, I think we pushed the software to its limits with each panel being split into multiple toolpaths. The toolpath preview images proved very useful as they were used to gain the final approval from the court officials before carving.”

Jeff described how they achieved the tight machining deadline.

“As soon as we got the go-ahead the clock was ticking because we only had two weeks to machine, polish and fit the panels before the opening ceremony. To complicate our life, each panel was longer than the machine table so we made a jig that allowed us to slide each one along to complete the carving.

“We used a triple fluted 60 degree VBit that was perfect for carving the text, and ended up using 2 on this job just to be sure of a perfect finish. The writing was very small (9mm / 3/8" Times New Roman font) and there was a risk of the wood splitting out, but all went well and overall it's a fantastic job we are very proud of.“

“I was invited to the opening ceremony of the refurbished court building by Her Royal Highness Princess Ann and we received several letters thanking us for a job well done…. and even better, we got paid!"

Jeff describes that his shop and workshop are a popular tourist attraction on the island and that they get many custom commissions that VCarve Pro has made easy.

“VCarve Pro has made creating unique custom jobs so easy. It's used for everything from wooden place settings for weddings to cutting sections for our cabinet workshop and the new options in version 4.5 make projects even easier, quicker and more fun!”

For more information about Guernsey Woodcarvers visit - www.guernseywoodcarvers.com


Jeff also commented that the Vectric software products have enabled him to expand the family wood carving business and he’s now making more furniture such as bespoke board room tables, chairs and lecterns, as well as smaller carved signs and custom plaques to sell in the shop. Samples of these pieces can be seen below.

 

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