Project Profile: Hogle Zoo Memorial Wood Planks

I thought it would be fun to talk about a wood engraving project that yielded success. It was the first big project for CNC PRO founder Henry Ashworth. The Hogel Zoo is located in Utah at the mouth of Emigration Canyon. Opened in 1931, it has 42 acres of tree-lined pathways where visitors can view over 800 animals. It offers education, conservation and events.


Like many Zoos, the Hogel Zoo relies a lot on its donors. Some of these donations are come in a form of a beneficiary on person’s retirement plan, life insurance, from an estate or even donated time. These activities help fund the education programs and maintain the animal’s habitats and food.

Henry learned that the donor program needed to have 6000 names engraved in 380 wood planks. He had a great time working on this project. He received a list of names he programmed into VcarvePro as well as other specs about the amount of surface he had from board to board.

There was an additional challenge of uneven ground. Henry was able to bring the CNC PRO on level to the bridge and adjust the machine accordingly to accomplish the job. It would be fair to say other CNC machines may not be able to engrave and keep their depth correct because of the unevenness of the planks. The CNC PRO has a floating Z axis to make the required adjustments. Henry used a 1/8 end mill wood bit for the engraving.

Everything was going well as people watched his progress. Then someone let Henry know an additional detail about the names he was engraving. They were not just donors but also people that have passed away. He was in fact working on a memorial project. He got to hear incredible stories about some of the people who graciously donated to the Zoo. Attending the opening was a very emotional experience.

It was a beautiful experience to be able to do and be a part of. I love my job when I can be a part of somebody’s Memorial and help honor loved ones” Henry Ashworth

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