I think I have it figured out. It hit me last night, car exhaust manifold spray paint. Good for 1300 degrees F to 2000 F. A hair under $10 a can, available at auto parts stores, and comes in clear also.
I figure cover the wood with duct tape (I've got duct tape), or painters tape (don't got), print out my stencil and lightly glue to the tape, to keep it from shifting. Then a coat or three of clear exhaust paint. Cut out the letters. Then use a small butane torch, rather than a propane torch - should be a lot more control with the small torch. Swiping the edges multiple times should work, then can concentrate on burning the centers of the letters. When done, peel the tape, and the rest should come off with no problem. If the duct tape doesn't remove well, can retest with painter tape. Depending on how well the tape comes off, may, or may not hit it lightly with a sander, or sandpaper. When I get it all down pat, finish will likely be several coats of thinned Titebond II.
This paint comes in black, which would mean extra work laying out the design on it. Aluminum, which should work, by tracing the stencil on it using carbon paper. And clear, which should be easiest, and fastest, to work with. Don't know if more colors are available nor not, likely, but once I found it comes in clear, stopped looking. Now need to decide which font to use - only have 24 to decide from.
Forgot to mention, the fonts I am considering are a bit complex and ornate, which is why I need a stencil. I want all the lines nice and clean. Otherwise I would just lay on the design on the wood, and freehand it, using a small butane torch; which should look good, but not quite the look I want - but, will try the freehand approach first, the fine tip flame may just work out. I already have a butane torch - and can't find it, so will be buying one of those. Depending on how the trial of this goes, may have some small pieces of thin metal to hold along the layout lines, to get the clean edges I want.
"It ain't what you're told, it's what you know." - Granny Weatherwax
Fawkahwe tribal police SWAT Team
Some days, the supply of available curse words is insufficient to meet my demands.
.....Call me a craftsman, artisan, or artistic, and I will accept that. Call me an artist and you will likely get a quite rude comment in return. I am not a @#$%ing artist.
Last edited by JOAT; 10-02-2018 at 02:30 PM.