The Burning Temple by David Best

We were contacted by an event’s organizer Artichoke and artist David Best to see if we would be interested in machining a number of birch plywood sheets into patterns of course we said yes as we cut birch plywood all the time on our cnc routers so it was no big deal or so we thought at the time it was only when I got the final specifications did we realize the sheer scale of this project and the tight deadlines needed to complete it.
















Machined by Cutting Edge Designs


The Story

We were contacted by an event’s organizer Artichoke and artist David Best to see if we would be interested in machining a number of birch plywood sheets into patterns of course we said yes as we cut birch plywood all the time on our cnc routers so it was no big deal or so we thought at the time it was only when I got the final specifications did we realize the sheer scale of this project and the tight deadlines needed to complete it . The icing on the cake was when David said the Temple was going to be burnt to the ground once it was built , all that work and money up I smoke I laughed and thought ok but then but David discussed the history behind it with me and I thought was this is a good idea or not , the idea is a simply one you write down all your bad feelings or bad things that may have happened to you or your family anything that gives you problems and worries, you place them in this temple and light the whole thing this Is meant to burn your troubles away I thought about this and said sure whatever helps people release stress from their life or give them some sort of closure on bad things that may have happened to them is only a good thing plus with us living in northern Ireland burning and destroying things and is right up our street especially with all the troubles over the years so I thought this was quite fitting and something I wanted cutting edge design to be involved with so I told David and artichoke we would sort it all out we could do everything they needed done and we would beat the time scale they were requesting

The job requirements

We were given a list of criteria we had to meet some of which I have listed below

We had to source the 320no. 8×4 sheets all in 12 mm birch plywood
We had to machine all the patterns- components
No splintered edge , All components must have a clean edge sharp free edge
The required deadline
We had to delivery all finished parts to the main assembly area in Londonderry
We had to keep all drop out pieces for fill in parts
Each one of these points had its own problem for example getting 8 pallets of 12mm birch is very hard to do it’s the hardest to get in all the birch plywood range, we eventually had to get it shipped directly from a manufacture in Denmark to meet the deadline for manufacture

The patterns / artwork was one of the biggest problems we had 16no. main designs to do all in a certain amount of quantity’s, when the artwork was supplied to us via a cutting list with Autocad DXF Files it was a complete mess we spent a lot of time fixing it up so it could be machined there was crossed lines open point vectors, single lines vectors all details CNC Routers don’t like in fact most of these will not allow a CNC Router to machine that part ,anyway we spent a lot of time picking through each design and sorting them out The main issue was the sheer volume of parts per sheet some sheets had well over 1500 pieces per 8×4 sheet keeping these parts in place without moving and breaking plus leaving no clean up afterwards was very taxing and time consuming ,we basically had to pin the main or largest parts and machine all the small sections first, once all the small sections where cut we machine the main or largest parts and then removed the staples , machine cutting order was very important to keep the quality of cut if we had not had spent time sorting out the artwork and cutting order we would never had kept the quality of the so this is a major part which takes years of experience to know exactly which way is best for a CNC Router lucky we have 20 years’ experience in this field so we know exactly what to do to achieve a high quality finish .

The next problem was keeping a high quality splinter free cut edge , we had to supply splinter free components so people did not cut themselves on the part when fitting them together this in a normal jobs is no issue as you simply use a special compression tool which compresses the wood fibre so it does not lift the problem with these tools is they can be expensive and can be quite weak when pushed hard also they must cut in a certain direction to maintain a clean splinter free edge but when you are dealing with over 400,000 separate cuts as this job required tooling does not last long and breaks very easily when the tool is hot or gets blunt so we sent for some special tools from America which really help the production of this job.

The deadline was always a major concern we only had 3 months to produce all the panels and components a total of 400,000 odd cuts and panels we have 3 cnc router all 8×4 size and bigger even with all the cnc machines working on this project 8 hours and day 7 days a week we would not have meet the deadline some of the panels where taking over 3-4 hours to cut so the maths did not stack up to meet the time scale , so we had to double production we done this by double stacking the sheets being cut so essential we were machining 2 sheet for time it took to cut 1 i.e 2 sheets of 12mm equals 1 sheet of 24mm but this is not for the faint hearted it creates a host of problems we have done this many times in the past but not at this volume of components so we had many issues to overcome but we sorted it and it was a great success in fact it was the reason why the project was finished ahead of schedule

David asked us to keep all the small pieces or drop out as he calls them these came from the inside the panels normally these are waste in any other job but he request them for use in building the temple anyway it would save us cost in disposing them so that was not a problem what we did not except was the shear amount of them we had to keep them in the sheet without moving but we had to leave it easy to remove them afterwards without any secondary clean up like removing holding tabs as this would have held up production another problem we had to sort every second counted on this job the cnc machines had to be running 24h so once one sheet was finished it need removed as quickly as possible and the next one started not so easy when the sheet is in a thousand pieces

Delivery was simple with no problems here we just pelleted the main panels and sent the drop out pieces in a large custom made pallet ,all were delivered in batches as and when David requested them so no issue here ,


The project in whole was very good but quite stressing at times but we meet all the deadlines with time to spare which is always a good thing , lucky here at cutting edge designs we have never missed a deadline something we are very proud off , I would just like to thank David Best and everyone else involved with the project for the chance to take part in this plus I would like to send a message to David for the kind remarks he said to me he has had panels made all over the world and mine where the best he has ever received in 15 years of making these temples which I thought was very kind he also said the next one he was doing he wanted cutting edge designs to make all the panels again also something I thought was really nice so thanks David for those kind remarks

You tube link

site link

some images of the job














Birch Plywood candle holders

We were asked to machine a series of candle handles for a product designer which were in the shape of letters , this project was quite tricky as we had to use a couple of different machining techniques to get the final product right , we started with a good quality birch plywood and machined a number of letters at the clients specifications we then glued together a couple of layers to give the correct thickness , once the letters where stuck we then had to machine the hole for the candle itself we had 3 different candle sizes , once we set up a jig for each size hole and its was in the correct position it was just a case of machining each one

Custom Photo Frame

As our custom Frame designer is being updated i thought this blog was a good example of what a typically customer need to do to get a custom made acrylic frame. Susan was on the website looking for a acrylic photo frame as her friend had bought one from us was and Susan really liked it the problem was she want one that was not available from our standard range on the website the problem was she had a number of different sized pictures an she did not want to cut them down to suits some of the frames so she emailed us about a custom frame , we emailed her back and said no problem what type of frame are you after Photo Cube, Photo Sleeve or Photo Smooth what size of photos are they and how many of each ?

she emailed us back and said she would like the photo sleeve version and she had 4 photos at 9 x7 ” and  2 at 4″ x 4″ also she want to put a large a4 print in the centre as she seen something similar it on her friends frame (4×4 big sleeve) and really like it  , we said no problem and designed her a couple of different options with different layouts then emailed them to her she picked the one she liked then paid us for the manufacture we then produced to make the frame for her once completed and passed though quality control we shipped the finished frame to her a week later she emailed us back with a very nice thank you so that was another happy customer , Susan if you are reading this thanks and i hope you enjoy the frame

Acrylic Flat pack displays

We were contacted by a large corporate company to produce a large number of flat pack acrylic displays which had to hold 12 individually business cards, we were given a spec sheet of what the displays had to do and the sizes they had to be within but the main point was it had to be a flat pack version to keep shipping costs down this main problem with this for us was the amount of design work needed to make it all fit together perfectly and more importantly  easily as the customers had to fabricate it themselves , after many hours on the cad/cam design we final got a mock -up of the overall design once we were happy with the design we machined a prototype it check all fittings , we had to make some changes to the design after 3 or 4 prototypes we got the final version  , we then sent the final prototype to the company’s main head office for approval after they approved the final prototype we were asked to produce 5000 units for dispatch to their local branches  , it was a very time consuming project but a worthwhile one everyone was very happy with the display cases

I would just like to say thanks to everyone who was involved with this project.

Oak Scrolls for staircase

We were asked if we could manufacture a set of scrolls for a customer’s hallway , The customer Michael phoned us and asked if we would make him a set of oak scrolls for his hallway they were to match his staircase, he sent us a basic drawing of the scrolls he wanted and the overall length and height they had to be





CNC Routered Oak Scrolls

We were asked if we could manufacture a set of scrolls for a customer’s hallway , The customer Michael phoned us and asked if we would make him a number of oak scrolls for his hallway they were to match his staircase, he sent us a basic drawing of the scrolls  and the overall length and height they had to be, we then used our CAD/CAM Design software to design the scrolls once we were happy with the overall design we sent the proof back to Michael for him to check and sign of the design , he wanted a few more tweaks made to the design like adding some material to the ends so they could trim off on site, we made the modifications and sent back a new proof , michael was then happy to move into production

CNC Prodcution

Before we could start the cnc process we need to source the material, we need to get some nice white oak , we got this from our local hardwood supplier with not much trouble again we got Michael to approve the material before we process it , A key point with natural wood its always best to get air dried material this will help stop the wood warpping on cupping before and after machining ,  now everything was ready for cnc routering  ,we set up each plank on the cnc router then machined each piece to the correct size once finished we packaged the materials carefully and sent them off to England to Michaels home , we received a phone call a few days from Michael saying he had got the components and had fitted them and how delighted he was with them and now professional our service was I thought that was very nice of him to do this so thanks Michael for the work it was a pleasure to do them for you i hope they give you many years of happiness

LED Edge Lit Signs







Engraved Led Acrylic Signs

We where asked to produce 6 no LED Edge illuminated signs all with different company names and logos,  the signs we to be mounted onto clear acrylic trade show stands for a water pump company
We took the company logos and etched them into 5mm clear acrylic with mounting holes in the 4 corners , we used satin sliver stand screw locator for the fixtures which will space the panel of the background by about 30mm,  once the panels where fully machined on our cnc router we then flame polished the edge of the acrylic to help highlight the signs . Each sign was illuminated with a very thin strip of blue LEDs which was mounted inside a small thin piece of chrome extrusion ,

we had machined a small track in the bottom of each panel to hold the extrusion this simple slide on fixing means they could change the light source or panel any time they liked , these types of led engraved signs carry a real punch they may be small but they be mighty and certainly get your attention, for information on these types of sign please give us a ring or email us details below

cutting edge designs

tel. 028 302 68623

email. [email protected]