One technique I have used to get rid of the hairy burrss when routing recessed letters into pine was to run it through a planer afterwards set for a very shallow cut. In my case I wanted the recessed letters painted a single color with the surface wood left natural (clear finish), so I used spraypaint to cover the letter area after routing, without concern for getting pain on the top. Then, when I ran the sign through my planer it got rid of the burrs and paint on the top in one stroke, leaving only the letters (including sidewalls) nicely painted. A spray-coat of poly over the finished product and it was ready to weather the Alaskan winter.
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