Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Making a Wooden Fire Engine with an X-Carve CNC Machine

My wife works for the local fire department and I thought it would be fun to make a wooden toy fire engine that she could display on her desk.  In this video, I used an X-Carve CNC Machine made by Inventables to cut seven sections of wood that get glued together to make up the body of the fire engine.  Check it out and read further for more details.


I used Microsoft Visio to design one side of the fire engine based on a picture of one at our local fire department.  I copied this drawing and simply flipped it horizontally to create the right side.  Then I designed five more sections that would be sandwiched in between.  It was a fun challenge to see what details I could add by changing the outline of the cut.  I added lights, axles, a back panel, and a mount for the water canon.

Visio Fire Engine Design by The Carmichael Workshop

I saved the designs as SVG files and imported them into EASEL.  Did you know you can create a free EASEL account and open my Fire Engine project to see how it is designed?  Click here to open my EASEL Fire Engine Project.

Easel Fire Engine Design by The Carmichael Workshop

The accuracy of the X-Carve CNC Machine really shines on a project like this.  Each piece was precisely cut and lined up perfectly with the others.  I used brad nails to help keep them aligned during assembly.  Very little sanding was required to smooth out the joints.

Wooden Toy Fire Engine by The Carmichael Workshop

I purchased 1/4" and 3/8" Furniture Buttons from the hobby store to use for gauges.  I planned ahead of time and included the correct size holes for these in the design.


I also purchased 11/32" Axle Pegs from the hobby store to hold on the wheels.  The correct size holes for these are in the axel design where the wheels are attached.  The wheels have a slightly larger hole in them so they will spin freely.  A washer is used as a spacer between the wheels and the fire engine.


I used Metallic Silver, Gloss Apple Red, and Gloss Black spray paint to paint the larger sections of the fire engine.  Acrylic paints from the art store were brushed on for the details.  It took several coats of paint to cover the base colors.  This is a great project for practicing painting.


My wife really likes the fire engine.  I wonder what the other people at the fire department will think of it.  Perhaps they will enjoy the Atomic Fireballs that are stuffed in the back compartment!  Thank you to all of the Fire Department Personnel out there who have committed their lives to helping people every day!

Wooden Toy Fire Engine by The Carmichael Workshop

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