3D Art Sculpture

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Project by Roger Gaborski posted 12-06-2015 04:53 PM 1832 views 5 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this small sculpture from maple using a CNC machine. This is the first time I attempted to machine both sides of a piece of wood. Alignment was a bit tricky, but I think it turned out well.
The overall size is approximately 7” x 9” x 1” with a wall thickness of 3/8”.
It took me about two hours to design the pattern and another two hours to machine both sides. Light sanding to remove tool marks.

-- Roger Gaborski,

16 comments so far

View Greg the Cajun Wood Artist's profile

Greg the Cajun Wood Artist

490 posts in 1457 days

#1 posted 12-06-2015 05:04 PM

It looks nice, but for for me personally I get enjoyment out of doing the work myself and not watching a CNC do it.

-- Wood for projects is like a good Fart..."better when you cut it yourself"

View Roger Gaborski's profile

Roger Gaborski

288 posts in 4263 days

#2 posted 12-06-2015 05:28 PM

I think there are two issues here,
First, Before you “watch the CNC do the work” you need to design the piece you are trying to create, decide on the material, number of passes the machine will make, the cutting depth of each pass, the cutting bit you will use for each pass, the speed the machine will move and also the spindle or router speed. The CNC machine has been a great learning experience. The manual for the CAD/CAM software alone is over 400 pages. Getting the machine set up is another whole story in itself.
Second, I’ve been doing woodworking for 35 years. Having recently developed arthritis in both hands I no longer have the opportunity to “do the work myself”. You sound like you’re a hand tool person. Do you ever use a router? table saw? bandsaw? I’ve found all of these tools useful in my woodworking experience.
Thanks for understanding,

-- Roger Gaborski,

View Roman - THE BOOTMAN's profile


1010 posts in 3200 days

#3 posted 12-06-2015 05:30 PM

An interesting sculpture. Would like to see how it finishes out with a coat of lacquer or stain to show the grain interaction with the waves. Thanks for sharing. RH

-- Author of POWER CARVING BOOTS & SHOES - Schiffer Publishing. Available online or your favourite bookstore.

View muesli's profile


454 posts in 2023 days

#4 posted 12-06-2015 05:37 PM

I like it very much and I would like to see more!
I could e.g. imagine the circular pattern that arises, when a drop hits a water surface.

-- Uwe from Germany.

View Roger Gaborski's profile

Roger Gaborski

288 posts in 4263 days

#5 posted 12-06-2015 06:00 PM

Roman, I will apply a finish. This was a scrap piece of maple without an interesting grain pattern. I plan to do another sculpture using a piece of black walnut.
Muesli, I like the idea of the water drop. I need to figure out how to design the shape.

-- Roger Gaborski,

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2710 posts in 4198 days

#6 posted 12-06-2015 10:11 PM

Very nice Roger, no matter how it was done, doing both sides would be a real challenge. I’m with you Roger,
if you lose the ability to use hand tools adapt to whatever keeps you involved in something you enjoy doing.
Keep the sculpture coming and thanks for showing.

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View ScottKaye's profile


769 posts in 2467 days

#7 posted 12-07-2015 01:45 AM

Its a relief map! Especially with the wood grain mimicking the contours that a relief map would show! Very interesting piece.

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View Randy_ATX's profile


881 posts in 2956 days

#8 posted 12-07-2015 01:56 PM

Beautiful piece of art!

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 2858 days

#9 posted 12-07-2015 02:32 PM

looks great

View NDVermin's profile


123 posts in 3084 days

#10 posted 12-07-2015 11:10 PM

I have my own home made CNC that has been a ton of fun, but I can’t imagine pulling this off. I really like it – it seems very organic. Thanks for sharing!

-- Scott - and

View oldnovice's profile


7499 posts in 3882 days

#11 posted 12-07-2015 11:51 PM

That is beautifull!
Are you staining this or applying clear lacquer?

The work that went into this before you actually started the CNC cutting must have been interesting and involved!
What design software did you use?
Is the design your own?
What CNC did you use?
I am just full of questions!

Those not familiar with CNC work think that you just hold down the work, install a bit, turn on the CNC, and voilĂ  and there it is!

Au contraire mon ami!

Actually more work goes on before the bit starts turning!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Roger Gaborski's profile

Roger Gaborski

288 posts in 4263 days

#12 posted 12-08-2015 12:39 AM

old novice,
I will probably use clear lacquer on this piece.
As for your questions,
I used the Aspire CAD/CAM package. A very powerful software program, but requires a fair amount of effort to learn the program. The company that developed the software, Vectric, has an extensive video library online that I have found to be very useful. They also allow you to download the program for free to try it out, BUT you cannot actually output the machine code with the demo software.
As for the design, I followed one of their videos to get the sequence of operations. As I’m sure you know, doing something like this the first time is very challenging, so the video helped a fair amount.
The CNC is a Shop Sabre 23. It’s made in the USA and it a smaller version of the industrial machines.
I’m more than happy to answer any other questions.

-- Roger Gaborski,

View Todd's profile


413 posts in 2191 days

#13 posted 12-08-2015 08:11 PM

Nice work Roger! As to uncleralph’s comment…I agree with Roger. Furthermore, for me I built my own CNC machine. Even though I don’t have the artistic ability to design some of the carvings I do, I have the technical ability to build and maintain my own CNC machine, which everyone cannot do. So I say we all use the skills we have to accomplish similar goals.

If uncleralph gets satisfaction from carving by hand then I can admire and appreciate his ability. If Roger gets satisfaction from designing his carving and milling it from CNC then I can admire and appreciate his ability. I would hope others could do the same for me.

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

View grosa's profile


1005 posts in 3343 days

#14 posted 12-13-2015 04:32 PM

Awesome job. I have been a professional craftsman for many years. As I get older I learn to ” work smarter not harder” I let the machines do the work and make them do what I want them to do. People who say: ” I get enjoyment out of doing the work myself and not watching a CNC do it.” are younger and have not taken the time or the effort to learn something new. These people are the type of people who buy a table saw and make straight cuts the rest of there lives with it. Well, if these people would just think outside the box they might impress themselves. You can cut a round table top on a table saw using a jig, you can cut a radius on the end gain of a board using a jig, cut crown molding using a jig and so on. So, using a CNC is no different than any other woodworking tool. If you think a CNC does all the work Lets see those people go make one do what the want it to do with moths and years of reading and programming. To sum it all up woodworkers get satisfaction out of making tools do what they want them to do to complete a project. I know what it is like to program a machine to make it happen. AWESOME JOB ROGER.

-- Have a great day.

View Josh's profile


1234 posts in 3084 days

#15 posted 12-16-2015 05:28 AM

CNC explains it because I was like, “What the holy heck??” Very cool looking.

-- Tree, wood, and box lover from Pennsylvania

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