3' by 6' foot wooden relief sign - Router Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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Default 3' by 6' foot wooden relief sign

We need to make a 2 sided 3' x 6' sign for an Eagle Scout project. As a single mom, I'm a little overwhelmed with how exactly to help my son get at this. We plan to route the letters in relief. I have several questions
1 What is the best wood to use for a sign which will be relief routed.
2 If we are making a 2 sided sign how thick should the sign be?
3 Can we find wood that is thick enough and 3x6 dimensions or will we have to join wood pieces.
4 Are there any step by step guides or videos anyone can recommend?

The first picture attached is like the sign we want to make. The second attachment is where it will go and what it will say.
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 07:16 PM
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Use cedar. It will take about 4 planks and they will have to be jointed and glued.
Your best bet is not routing but sandblasting.

Buy the materials, prep and then take to a sign sandblaster.

Cedar because it is an outdoor sign and it sandblasts well.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 10:41 PM
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Hi Pam
If I am reading your post correctly, you and your son have to make this? Given the dimensions you listed, I would probably go with some good wood, at 1 1/2 inches thick. If it is a natural finish, then treated lumber would work. Make sure you protect yourselves from the dust etc. Joint the edges of the boards and join them with with biscuits. Once the glue dries ( overnight ) cut it to the final size. Make a template for the art work, ( that way both sides will be the same ) and trace it to the wooden sign. Make sure you can see your markings. Outline the letters and frame ( if you use one ) with a good sharp chisel. I would go about a 1/4 inch in. Make a jig, ( router sled ) and set your depth accordingly. Slowly route the mass of material away you need to remove. I would suggest a downcut spiral bit to go around the art work. Then you can switch to a larger bit to remove more material per pass. There are plans up here for a really nice sled if I remember right it was done by Harry. Search for it, you will find it. When you get close to the art work, you may be better off finishing it by hand, Smooth to desired finish and then seal the whole thing. I have also been known to use a dremel in tight areas for a good finish. Just take your time and be patient. Hope this helps, I am sure others will chime in with opinions also, this is just the approach I would address it with.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 11:58 PM
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I made this sign by the sandblast method I wrote about.

Measures 5' x 1'.

The lettering was cut by hand based on a pattern made by a sign company (look in the yellow pages - ask for a 'pounce pattern').

The cedar was from the lumber yard.
Sign supply company sold the resist, the adhesive and the gold paint.
Simple brown stain was used.

After the cedar is sanded smooth, the adhesive is painted on it. Then the resist is applied - press really good.

The pounce pattern is temporarily taped to the sign. A carbon in a sock or similar is 'pounced' against the pattern. The result is carbon dots on the resist. Use a Xacto knife and cut the resist. You are simply connecting the dots with the knife.

Peel (aka 'weed') the areas that need to be blasted leaving the raised lettering protected. Now hurry it down to a professional sandblast outfit and it will be done within minutes.

Stain the wood while the resist is still attached. Carefully remove the resist and rub any adhesive off. Now paint the raised letters.

You have got yourself a sign!!

(obviously your sign is doubled sided - all the above is done on both sides)
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 01:19 AM
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Pam, welcome to the forum.

As this is an Eagle Scout project, I would assume that you have to do most of the work yourself and cannot just pass it on to a commercial shop.

How long do you have to complete this project?

First, please, update you profile to show what tools and experience your son and yourself have access to.

The sign will have to made from several pieces of lumber jointed and glued edge to edge.

You will get help from some of the more experienced and professional sign makers on the forum

Many of the response will be in "wood speak", don't be afraid to ask if you don't know what a word means..

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Last edited by jw2170; 12-29-2012 at 06:07 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 04:52 AM
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Already some good solutions and advise but I would also like to suggest

- Safety First.

- Any former Eagle Scouts for advise (preferably with the required tools ) around?

- Check out the Sign Making and Guide Bushings & Templates forums.

- Look up Router Ski's in Jigs & Fixtures

Personally I would use a combination of Router Templates and Ski's. Mind you, no experience in wood signs. Yet.

Don't forget to post the final result.

Under construction, always.

Last edited by japa62; 12-29-2012 at 04:56 AM.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 07:41 AM
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I made a wooden Tiki signpost probably 15+ years ago, and put my house numbers on the side. The numbers were cut out from 1/2" plywood with a scroll saw and glued to strips of plywood, one on each side.

The Tiki eventually got eaten up from the inside by insects (forgot to protect it), about 7 years ago, didn't know until some klutz backed into it. The numbers and plywood are still out on the ground somewhere, and still usable if I wanted to put them up again.

Not routing, but lasting. Oh yes, all painted with acrylic latex house paint, lasts forever.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 07:43 AM
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The first thing you need to do, is check with the Scoutmaster, or Boy Scout Council, and see just how much help your son is allowed to have.

I am assuming that you do not have a lot of woodworking experience or tools. Some of the tools that are going to be needed can be expensive. Not to mention dangerous. And it would not be feasible to buy them for a one time project. So if he is allowed to have help, check around for local woodworking hobbyist, maybe a woodworking club in your area or a forum member who live nearby. Any one of them would be more than willing to help a young man going for Eagle Scout.

A 3' x 6' sign will take a lot of room to work with, and made of just about anything substantial enough to withstand the weather, is going to be quite heavy. And it's not going to be an afternoon project. This will most likely involve several days. So plan accordingly.

Good luck. Keep us posted and let us see the finished process. BTW..You might want to take pictures along the entire build process.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 08:57 AM
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All good advice from everybody here. I frequent www.3dsignforum.com. One of the members there is Joe Crumley. He is a legend in the sign making community. His expertise is wood signs, check out his web site Norman Sign Company, Oklahoma, Housing Addition Signs, Apartment Signs, Retirement Home Signs, Rest Home signs, Chiropractic signs, Dental Office Signs, Dentists Signs, Pediatric Signs, Medical Clinic Signs, Attorney Signs, Appartment Home Signs. I am sure he would be more than willing to give you some pointers. That's the kind of guy Joe is.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamifillion View Post
We need to make a 2 sided 3' x 6' sign for an Eagle Scout project. As a single mom, I'm a little overwhelmed with how exactly to help my son get at this. We plan to route the letters in relief. I have several questions
1 What is the best wood to use for a sign which will be relief routed.
2 If we are making a 2 sided sign how thick should the sign be?
3 Can we find wood that is thick enough and 3x6 dimensions or will we have to join wood pieces.
4 Are there any step by step guides or videos anyone can recommend?

The first picture attached is like the sign we want to make. The second attachment is where it will go and what it will say.
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide
Hi Pam
I have done a few signs like that.

1- Western Red Cedar. Its soft and easy to work with, either routing, or sand blasting. Red cedar is a wonderful choice for outdoor projects.

2- The minimum thickness for a double sided sign is 3".
You need it to be durable, so I don't recommend anything below 3".

3- You need to join and laminate pieces of board to get your desire thickness and width.

4- Unfortunately I don't have any video tutorial, but I am sure you can search YouTube.

I hope this can help.
Good luck and HAPPY NEW YEAR.
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