Amazing installation!

This past week Peter and I flew out to Oshawa, Ontario to visit NEB’s Fun World. After almost a year in design and construction the bulk of the pieces we built and transported there have been installed. The NEB’s crew did a fabulous job! Our task was to do a few touchups, install some of the signs and do the texturing and faux finishing on the upper portions of the side walls. 
The pieces had never been previously fitted together s our shop is simply not nearly large enough. The sheer scale of the project is amazing. Our panels, fit together, covered more than four hundred feet of wall! 
As we worked I thought back to the first concept drawings done of the project. The first drawing is one done by Peter as we started to work out he logistics. It is of the left corner.
The picture below is of a similar angle and it is amazing how close we came as we designed. Once the ceiling panels are ct and installed it will look even more like the concept.
A second drawing which I did a little later worked out more of the details for presentation. A few things changed as we proceeded. The archways had to be flattened out a little to keep things legal for the serious bowlers. We were still working on the colors at this point as well.

Since our client had his own CNC router it didn’t make sense to do all the pieces in British Columbia and then transport them across Canada. We simply provided the cutting files and he took it from there for the grass, tree and mountain silhouettes.

Despite the pieces being loaded, transported more than 4,000 kilometres, unloaded, and lifted into place they were in almost perfect shape. We created more than a hundred pieces in all and they fit together almost perfectly. We did only a little caulking to fill a couple small gaps. Two days of on site painting finished our work.

The NEB’s crew was still lifting the last of the posts into position as we worked and has yet to cut and install the ceiling flats but it is coming together quickly. The tough part of the job is that they did it without shutting down more than a few lanes at a time. While they worked guests were still bowling around them. Below i

s a panorama shot showing the immense nature of the job.

There is more to come as well. Special lighting is being tested and will be installed across the entire back wall. The owners will be able to create special lighting effects and shows which will be spectacular!

We now head back to our studio to begin design for the e=next phases of the project. This is going to be fun!

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Last load to NEB’s

It has been well over a year since we did the first concept art for NEB’s Fun World. The massive bowling alley was the first project to be green lighted for construction. We designed hundreds of  files using EnRoute.  Our MultiCam Plasma cutter got quite a workout as we cut scores of sheets of plate steel into pieces for the bases and tops of the posts as well as countless bolting plates, lifting lugs and braces. All of the steel was then jig welded together.

We then cut thousands of pieces from more than a hundred sheets of three quarter inch plywood on our MultiCam CNC router. These plywood pieces were bolted to welded steel frames.

The decorative inserts and signs were dimensionally routed from 30 lb Precision Board. They were mounted to the plywood. Galvanized lath was stapled to the plywood and then a thick coat of fibreglass reinforced concrete was troweled on and sculpted to look like wood, bricks, stone and plaster.
Then the painting crew worked their magic, first with three base coats of paint, followed by the glazing and dry brushing.

Today we welded up the last of the large steel pallets and fasted the giant posts to them in pairs. In the next couple of days we will load the last pieces for this phase of the project into the semi trailer and send them on their way.

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Another award

The sign collection for the Pin & Crown Pub were honoured once again. This time it was a first place award in the Signs System category of the Sign Media – Canada.

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Another load gone

With everything ready to go prior to the fifty-three foot trailer arrived we had a whole day to load it. This meant we could do the task without rushing. The pallets were numbered and one by one we carefully brought them to the truck and slid them into position. Since we don’t have a loading dock we instead used the forklift along with a custom designed, two piece push rig that fits onto the forks. We can reach into a trailer about thirty feet. The pallets each weighed up to two thousand pounds but slid easily on the smooth trailer floor.
Each pallet was equipped with temporary dolly wheels which facilitate easy movement of the heavy pieces around the shop as we build. As we lifted the pallets with the forklift these wheels dropped off effortlessly, ready for reuse on the next project.
With all of the pieces stuffed into the trailer securely there was only four inches of space left by the door. Some scrap dunnage was tossed into this space to prevent any movement on the journey.
The total time to load was just over three hours. Tomorrow morning we sent the trailer on it’s way.

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Packing for the trip

We think carefully about how we will move our pieces in the shop as we build them. They need to be safely lifted into the transport truck and secure while they are being transported. Once on site our customer needs to easily and safely move them once more, lift them into place and secure them in place permanently. It is easy to say but requires lots of thought and engineering to pull off. 
The planning starts as we design the pieces with lifting and mounting points built in from the start. The combined weight of the pieces for this shipment is about fifteen thousand pounds.
Tomorrow the trucking company will drop off a fifty-three foot long trailer for us to load. It will leave on Thursday morning. Today we shifted our efforts from production to packing. The pub signs we finished late last year were cut off their temporary stands and welded onto a new custom designed steel pallet. Underneath the signs four post backs will rest. These heavy pieces will provide ballast weight to keep the top heavy signs in place.
The pieces are fabricated from a variety of materials including, steel, plywood, concrete, sculpting epoxy and 30 lb Precision Board. Each piece has hard points built into the piece for lifting, carrying during transport and final mounting.

The pallet holds the six pub signs as well as four post backs which go on sideways, in pairs on each end of the pallet.

The massive (and heavy) posts sit on a structure that mimics the six by six steel posts they will surround when they are mounted. In the background two arches are mounted back to back and at a slight angle for safe moving and transport. Ten of these arches will fit on this load.

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