When we first came up with the Copy Carver we
knew this machine would help other fish and wildfowl carvers mass produce
their carvings. We had no idea there were so many other trades that had
a need for this same machine. Over the years I have learned from our
customers how useful this machine is for a multitude of things.
Below I will touch on just a few of the more popular applications.
the obvious, capable of replicating any three
dimensional woodcarving through the rough out and detail stages. Either use an
original woodcarving or as many others do, an original of other material
that you would like to replicate in wood. Plastic figurines and
ceramic greenware make excellent originals to copy. Since many of
these shapes are cast from molds they have minimal if any undercuts to
deal with, making them the ideal item to use for an original on the
Copy Carver. I know many carvers that use various components found in the
corner ceramic shop to create beautiful relief carvings in cabinets,
furniture and gunstocks. Often in these shops you will find very inexpensive
plates with 3D wildlife scenes or full size figurines of the same.
Simply bandsaw the soft unfired clay to shape, have the shop fire it in
their kiln for durability and use it replicate your next carving
project. Tips on how to do this in more detail can be found in the
"User Tips" section of this website.
Carving - Just as with woodcarving,
virtually the same things you can carve in wood you can carve in soft
stone, Alabaster and soapstone are the two most popular. They carve
easier than wood with a carbide router bit. Use anything you would
use for an original doing a woodcarving, just position your piece of stone
where the wood blank is placed normally and proceed. Just think how
easy it would be to create beautiful stone statues for your home or garden
using inexpensive plastic outdoor figurines. For those of you who
have never tried carving soft stone, give it a try. It is really
nice to work with.
Instruments - Here is the biggest surprise
to me of all. The largest group of Copy Carver users is by far guitar,
banjo, violin, mandolin and piano builders. I had no idea there were so
many people building these instruments by hand as a hobby. The
results they have achieved with the Copy Carver are overwhelming. Each
using the machine not to produce quantity but to produce quality.
Once a design is perfected it can easily be reproduced to exacting
standards each time, reducing any errors left to chance.
Makers / Furniture Builders - Next to
musical instrument builders, cabinet makers and furniture builders are the
next largest group of users. They often have a need to mass produce
highly detailed relief carvings in cabinet doors, table and chair legs or
replicate the look of a customers antique hutch into new kitchen
cabinets. A simple latex mold of the detail is taken from the
antique piece, plaster is then poured into the mold and a plaster original
is ready to use on the Copy Carver. Leaving the original antique in
original condition while you work from the cast replica. The
can replicate the look and feel of the old world masters in minutes.
A great time saver for anybody in the furniture trades.
Makers - Many sign shops have a
Copy Carver in
operation to replicate wood signs from carved or sandblasted urethane foam
originals. These machines are often adapted to a special use with a
larger than normal working table and specially shaped router bits for
cutting a decorative edge on 3D letters. While most outdoor signs in
use today are created in a very dense urethane foam many customers
still prefer the charm of naturally finished wood sign. So
many of the sign makers I have spoken with all use the same technique,
they design the sign on the computer, laser cut vinyl decals from the
design that will protect the areas they want raised. Once the decals
are in place the etch away the urethane with a small sand blaster creating
a relief carving of sorts. The soft vinyl decals shield the abrasive
effect of the sandblaster from the urethane foam. The finished
urethane sign is then coated with a layer of fiberglass resin for
durability and used on the Copy Carver as an original where an all wood sign(s)
will be created from it.
- There is also a large following of people that make wooden toys for
kids, birdhouses, yard ornaments, arts and craft show type
projects. These projects often contain small wooden parts that
are tedious to cut out on a scroll saw by the hundreds. Setting up
the Copy Carver with a small diameter router bit one can quickly cut out these
pieces from large pieces of wood stock by following a template or jig
mounted on the work table. And best of all a cut made with a high speed
router leaves a smooth finish unlike that left from a bandsaw or scroll
saw. Reducing the amount of finish work need to complete the
For those interested in intarsia the Copy Carver can mass produce your designs
with ease. Just as in stain glass work the challenge is in the
fitting of the individual pieces. If just one piece is too large or
too small it will effect the others around it used in completing the
scene. Since intarsia uses individual pieces of colored wood to
create a picture, until now, each piece had to shaped by hand for proper
fit. With the Copy Carver an intarsia artist can create an original, separate
the parts of the scene and use them as the originals to mass produce
others. Each piece cut to an exact profile requiring minimal sanding
to complete the project. If you are working on a project that
contains 45 pieces, simply mount each piece on the Copy Carver and make 50 copies
of each. In about the same time it took to create the original you
have 45 boxes of matching parts to create 50 more originals to sell!
Each piece fitting like a precision puzzle piece. No alterations
needed. It couldn't be any easier to profit from your efforts with
the Copy Carver as your assistant.
Out Tool - There are a few users that
have built this machine to aid in cutting out plastic parts created on a
vacuum form machine. One of them in particular makes plastic RC car body's.
He heat forms the hot plastic over his pattern and when the plastic cools
it is pulled from the vacuum form table and placed on the Copycarver worktable
where he then passes the stylus over a second pattern with a thin needle
like cutter in the router. This operation quickly cuts the plastic
body free of the excess plastic, with repeatable accuracy. In the
past he used a hand held cutter with inconsistent results. He also
noted how safe the Copycarver process was for his employees to operate compared
to the previous methods they used..