View Full Version : Industrial Carving with the CW to make MONEY

07-09-2014, 01:51 PM
I am in the middle of a project to make the first 60 of 80 Accountability Boards for a County Emergency Management Team in New York State and wanted to post some pictures. The advantage of having the machine do the cutting of the wood handles and the plastic is that I can be free to do other work in the shop at the same time. Last week I shipped out 2 sets of tags. It's like having a extra employee that does what you want done every time and happily waits for the next task.

Some of the Canadian Tags are defects as the Red came out Wine and the Brown came out light... Learing a new printer and settings. Tomorrow I setup a new Windows 7 Computer and a larger format Printer then I have now to be able to print the Boards with one transfer sheet rather than 3 cut up from my smaller printer. Progress :) I get to Retire my XP Laptop... finally... Found a new Win 7 Computer with 8 Gig of Ram and a 500 Gig Hard Drive new in the box... Newer Windows does not play nice with my older Corel and Art Programs.


07-09-2014, 02:02 PM
Very nice work Mr. Who!

it seems that you no longer have time to make black bears.

07-09-2014, 02:22 PM
Very Cool!!!! My Regular job gets in my way to even think about looking for these kinds of projects.....

07-09-2014, 03:33 PM
The Black Bear and Craft market has cooled off some and the time spent at shows was long and little money... I find my time is better spent in the shop... This is a really fun project that will lead to more work. Sure I could have made a jig and done both on a router table or with a hand held router but using the machine was just so much more fun.

The local County 911 Director today picked 3 Data Plate Designs for the Communication Trailer and I will need my new $2K Ricoh 7700 large er format printer to do it... So it is a good thing I am setting it up tomorrow. I expect that product line to grow legs...

The fire side of the business should slow down soon as this time of year few go to mettings and they don't have enought to vote to buy something. I touched base with the Rep in Alabama where a Home Land Security Grant is buying every Firefighter Photo Tags from me... She said getting the Pictures this time of year is hard. I expect it to go on into the winter and that is OK with me... Money in the Bank...

I have 2 more projects I am working on, the first is making my Tags as Visitor Badges for Navy Ships and the second is Historic Shelf Sitters Carved Wood about 6 inches wide. Starting with the local Gravity Railroad and a Coal Car and Passenger Car for the Historical Society's in the area. More on that as it develops. I still get email requests for "Pooh Bears"... Pictures from 2008.

Fun with the CW....


07-15-2014, 03:05 PM
New larger format printer installed, a new Win 7 computer and spent the weekend getting the handles ready for poly. Used a old CW 1/8th inch cutting bit in my router table to cut the side slots with a guide track. Lots of Sawdust Time.... :)

Progress continues...


07-15-2014, 06:01 PM
Looks fantastic, AL. Quite a production process you've got there!

07-15-2014, 09:54 PM
That's just what I was thinking, you've got a regular factory going. Good job!

07-16-2014, 06:26 AM
Al, I have to ask about the toilet seat. I'm thinking that's too wide the carve on the CW right? So did you just apply a carved bear to the top of a pre-made seat or did you make the seat and lid part? Very cool.

07-16-2014, 07:01 AM
That is some serious production, Al, but it all looks great. I hope the orders flood in!!

09-20-2014, 09:30 PM
A little update... Spent a fantastic Saturday working on the Wood Shop Deck listening to some great Sirius 70's on FM Ear Muffs and a Car FM Transmitter. Got all the plastic cut for the first 60 board plus some extras. Spent the day trimming the Red Ears off with my new BladeRunner a great tool for the job. My CW had a day of rest... I have been working 7 days a week for some time and enjoying life.

Here is a link to some pictures.



10-03-2014, 01:57 PM
I am in a holding pattern with the big project waiting for some Leather Rivets to come in. I added the Rivets to the design to better hold the edge guide over the years. So since the CW machine was free I made 5 of the Command Board handles for a order going to near New Orleans. I type this as the Heat Transfer Press is heating up to Print the White Board. This is always a challange as moisture inside the board causes steam and it sounds like a .22 gun when the top coat pops... I have tricks to do it and I will see... I have 13 blanks and 5 boards to print.... wish me luck... In the mean time the 5 handles came out nice and the 5th coat of poly finish is drying. That new wider format printer came in handy making this board as I used the 13 x 19 transfer sheets.


First is a Production Sample that has a scratch in the surface of the board but is a test for the rivets and is off to a Salesman as a Sample.
Board waiting for Rivets then after all the hammering is done, I will install the Velcro clocks and SHIP...
Command board Handles.
Sample Artwork taking the Fire Chief's ideas and making a Mock Up Sample.
Cool FLAME Tags the first 2 Fire Departments for the Alabama order in photo proof.

Having FUN in the Shop.

Edit... Did 3 and had 2 blow out.... not looking good for the home team... Break time to regroup... :) Last picture the blow out....

10-03-2014, 07:14 PM
Do you ever get a nights sleep??? Just the design(may be repetitive but still editted) and load time for all the projects on the carver, let alone the importing of the pics you have to use for the printed parts make me dizzy. Great work and knowing it helps make the people safer has to be a plus.
Thx for sharing,
Rick H

10-03-2014, 09:49 PM

If you have MS Publisher, you can do a merge file. When I was doing 300 name badges for a Dutch Oven event, it saved countless hours of layout time.

10-03-2014, 10:14 PM

No, don't have that... But Corel Draw will do a merge...



10-03-2014, 10:47 PM

I have been using CD for almost 20 years, and I never knew it could do a mail merge!! I learn something new every day :) Thank YOU AL.

10-04-2014, 10:49 AM
They talk about Merge on the Engraving forum EngravingEtc using Excel, but it may take a newer version then I use. I am using CD 12.

10-04-2014, 08:44 PM
10 PM and I have 5 Perfect Command Board Prints... 2 Blow Outs, 4 less than perfect prints and 2 blanks left over for the next project... Call it a good days work... spent time drying the blanks in my heat press all day and the result was good prints... So the progress continues... I think I will take the rest of the day off... :)

That NEW $2K Printer was worth it's weight in GOLD doing a great job printing the big sheets so I only had a small strip on the bottom to tape on.


10-05-2014, 02:31 PM
Hot of the Press... The Drill Press this time.... Boards Drilled ready for Grommets. a great Sunday Project.


10-06-2014, 04:12 PM

What a great project/money maker! Very professional and it's no wonder - you're one of the best!

10-06-2014, 08:01 PM

What a great project/money maker! Very professional and it's no wonder - you're one of the best!

Thanks MT, and your the Best at the many things you do inside this Community and out.

Really the point of posting the projects I do in the forum is well.... it makes me fell good for one... But honestly, if it was not for the CW it would be a much more difficult task.

In the early years I only had single sided tags that I could purchse... I was marking the back with Reflective vinyl.... and only big numbers... Then I tried to cut tags with the machine and what a mess.... The feed rate pushed the bit too fast and the tag sides were chipped up... It was only after LHR suggested in the forum to lie to the machine locking it in first gear... That honestly made the difference... I was now able to cut 2 sided tags from sheet stock any size.

I have pitched the CW on the engraving forums for Tags and I know one tried it.... Plus Plaques...

On the Engraving Forum a guy much like me is doing un conventional stuff.... Laser Engraving Plaques then He has a LED UV Cure Flatbed Printer adding color logos and pictures to Engraved Plaques.

My rivet supplier is interested in Un finished Fire Dept Plaques.... Another job for the machine... turning $2.00 in wood and a hour carving time into $30.00.

I just fuinished the Grommets tonight and the red edge guard on the 5 Command Boards and will let the epoxy dry... I can Ship tomorrow after adding the Handle and Clock...

Life is good....


Pictures are from 2008 my first epoxy dome tag on the display made on the CW and a reorder in 2010 where I printed the back side.

Capt Bruce
10-18-2014, 07:25 PM
Al, as Michael noted . . . it goes without saying that you make really professional products that are keeping First Responders safer. But let me say it again Sir, those are really polished and attractive components you are making and I am in awe each time I see them and your process. My compliments and thanks for all the ways you have taught us to do more and more with our CarveWrights.

10-18-2014, 09:26 PM
Thanks everyone, I could do it without the CW but with the CW it is faster and more accurate.... After pounding rivets all week adding a last minute extra level of durability to the boards, tomorrow is picture day for that $10K order and shipping is on Monday. The other 5 boards arrived in New Orleans and they love them....

I have learned much with the big slotted board project using the machine to cut the slots with a peek-a-boo sled. I am thinking that the sled I made with the sides might just be the shortcut to a Vacuum Carrier Board Jig... Used to hold the tags with vacuum and no tape since I don't want to use double sided tape in the future.

The Wood Components of the Accountability Boards came out GREAT..

And getting seen sometimes leads to new work.... I quoted some 11 x 23 inch Printed Sheet Plastic and Tags to a NOAA Ship in Norfolk. Some Power Distribution Schematics for a Inspection and some Safety Tags for Climbing Harnesses. The CW will be called into service making the custom sized tags if this flys...

Back to making TAGS this week as the orders have been building up...

Life is GOOD....


10-19-2014, 01:23 PM
Picture Day....

10-28-2014, 03:23 PM

Butch recently made me a vacuum box to do plastic forming. With it's 4.5" height, it could work perfectly for your tags. We did that height so we could attach a vacuum using DC fittings. I used pegboard as the platform, but you could use ply and drill 2 or 3 holes below each tag placement. Hook up the vacuum after board measurement and away ya go (I am presuming here - don't have an answer for controlling the vac hose :) ). I sent you the Corel file that we used as a pattern.

10-28-2014, 09:51 PM

Butch recently made me a vacuum box to do plastic forming. With it's 4.5" height, it could work perfectly for your tags. We did that height so we could attach a vacuum using DC fittings. I used pegboard as the platform, but you could use ply and drill 2 or 3 holes below each tag placement. Hook up the vacuum after board measurement and away ya go (I am presuming here - don't have an answer for controlling the vac hose :) ). I sent you the Corel file that we used as a pattern.

O' that was you sending the Corel File.... I did not open it and didn't remember your email address.... I have had a few Ransomware Scares... I don't open very many attachments...

That is an interesting concept a box... I LIKE IT.... and the peg board.... I am still leaning toward the mushroom wood plugs with a piece of replaceable hardboard on top drilled with holes to match the size of tags. Having a insert for each tag size. I like the Vacuum Cleaner idea... On Sawmill Creek they have a Vacuum Hold Down thread that talks about the best vacuum cleaner as some will overheat and melt.... I have a Veneer Vacuum Pump and plan to wire the cover switch to stop the machine with a loss of vacuum. Found a switch on eBay.

And check out the Vacuum PUCKS thread...

Thanks !!!


11-01-2014, 09:53 PM
I was just talking to Butch about this, and your business. He recommends, if you were to do a vacuum box for your tags, that you also have a thin - very thin- layer of silicone or rubber between your tabs and the box. He thinks it will really help stop any minute shifting of the tags.

Oh... and I received your brushes from LHR - I will get them in the mail Monday! Thanks again for your invaluable assistance over the past month or two (and the years given to all of us)!!!

11-02-2014, 12:46 PM
Great idea !!! Thanks !!! And glad the Brushes helped but the real cure was hubby fixing the motor connection... GOOD JOB !!!!

12-30-2015, 07:32 PM
Pulled up the 2014 thread.... Shipping day today and with the 3 orders of tags I beat last year's order... :)

Got the 600 Lock Out, Tag Out tags on the way today.... You should have seen the look on my face at the post office when I had 3 Priority "C" Size Boxes and the Postmaster told me that I was 1.5 pounds OVERWEIGHT on each with 200 tags per box... The "C" has a 25 pound limit.... But in a PROFESSIONAL way suggested that the Size #7 would work... So I scrambled to repack and tape them up... Made it before the Truck showed up...

GREAT end of year.... And I could NOT have done it without the CW... :)


Gary Koval
12-31-2015, 06:05 AM
The usual great job, I'm sure sure your going to save some firepersons lives! Happy New Year!

01-10-2016, 12:40 PM
Al, impressive! Even the thought of just counting to 600 seems tedious, much less actually making that many tags!


01-10-2016, 01:01 PM
Did them in groups of 100 and it was pretty fun...

Working on two Canadian Orders today.


09-28-2016, 07:38 PM
Shipping Part 2 of a Accountability Board Project tomorrow. Could not have done it without the CW.

More pictures here. https://www.facebook.com/AccountabilityTagcom-150019051727074/


09-28-2016, 07:55 PM
Fantastic, Al! You are the king of Accountability Tags! Beautiful and professional all the way.

09-29-2016, 01:09 PM
Very professional looking product Al, well done!

09-29-2016, 08:36 PM
Beautiful work. Tools are only half the equation. The other half is the artisan using said tools.