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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Default building a sign post

So I'm thinking about trying a routed sign as a future project. If I can get one to look good it will be a gift for a friend who will be building his own house from the ground up. I'm hoping a nice "The Whomever's" sign will be the finishing touch.

I've read all the threads about making the actual sign. What I'm interested in is the post. I'm envisioning the sign hanging from a hardwood post via some eye hooks and small brass chain. (or similar) Nothing huge, a size that would be appropriate to put in a flower garden near the front door. I grabbed this picture off of google to give a vague representation of what I'm going for. So here's the questions:

-Does anybody have some good plans or ideas? I could always bolt something together but some more aesthetically pleasing joinery would be nice.

-I'd like to use some good looking wood, but it needs to be weather proof. Pressure Treated lumber is ugly. Cedar is good for outdoors? Knotty pine maybe? It would be ideal if the sign matched the post.

-To add a little extra something to the project, I had an idea to incorporate a hide-a-key into the design, but only if I can come up with something clever and truly inconspicuous.



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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2015, 06:11 AM
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Half lap joints always look good on sign posts, IMO. I recently built a deck out of Cypress, about as weather proof as you can get, should last two life times, also nice looking grain.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2015, 12:16 PM
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I like the hide a key idea,might be able to inset a key box in the post.

As far as material goes, it all depends where you live and how much moiture and insects are in the soil. Cedar is good,better if treated below grade.I have heard that Cypress has very good weather resistance.

Pouring concrete dry bag mix around the post in the hole works too and let the moisture in the ground migrate into the mix and set it up over time, I have seen that done too.

Lap joints as previously mentioned are a very good way to go, like is shown in your picture.

Good luck,
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2015, 03:51 PM
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I think you could build a small drawer/box that would slide into the short butt end of the cross member to hide keys in. You could make the square or rectangular hole the same way as a large mortise and the box that would slide into it would have an end grain that you would cut off the cross piece before you make the mortise/hole cut. You would probably have to incorporate a spring open latch (one that you have to push first to get it to spring open) or some arrangement to extract the box from the hole as there couldn't be any apparent hints of the hidden box on the butt end. This would probably hide much easier than something in the post.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2015, 03:55 PM
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I was thinking that another way to hide a key and perhaps easier to construct would be a simple hole in the top of the post to hold the key(s) and a removable cap that would cover the top of the post and the hole and appear as a decorative cap for the post.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2015, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by routergieck View Post
I was thinking that another way to hide a key and perhaps easier to construct would be a simple hole in the top of the post to hold the key(s) and a removable cap that would cover the top of the post and the hole and appear as a decorative cap for the post.

Dennis
You have some good ideas Dennis, I like both of those.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2015, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the thoughts guys! The area would be upstate new york, around Albany. I'm not too concerned about insects (should I be?) but I'll look into cedar and cypress for weather proof material. If I wanted to use the same wood for the sign itself, how difficult are those to work with while routing?


I did think about putting the hide a key into the top with a decorative cap. My concern was if the cap was removed and replaced often enough it would become loose, and perhaps blowing off in the wind or something. It might not be an issue, but it's also not the most clever way. I do like the spring latch idea, and pre-cutting some matching end grain is brilliant!

My initial thought was to somehow make the crossbar piece slide through the upright and lock in. Then I could put the hide a key spot inside the intersection. That would be completely concealed, but probably not very feasible in reality.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2015, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Can you hold a half-lap joint together solely with wood glue? For that matter, I've never used wood glue for an exterior project. Is that not recommended? The part I don't like in my example photo is the obvious bolt head.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2015, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walkerrosewood View Post
Thanks for the thoughts guys! The area would be upstate new york, around Albany. I'm not too concerned about insects (should I be?) but I'll look into cedar and cypress for weather proof material. If I wanted to use the same wood for the sign itself, how difficult are those to work with while routing?


I did think about putting the hide a key into the top with a decorative cap. My concern was if the cap was removed and replaced often enough it would become loose, and perhaps blowing off in the wind or something. It might not be an issue, but it's also not the most clever way. I do like the spring latch idea, and pre-cutting some matching end grain is brilliant!

My initial thought was to somehow make the crossbar piece slide through the upright and lock in. Then I could put the hide a key spot inside the intersection. That would be completely concealed, but probably not very feasible in reality.
You might be able to slide it thru the post and lock it with a wedge like a trestle on a trestle table.
Use Tite-bond III glue for exterior applications. I would use some fasteners along with the glue,i.e. screws,nails etc. recess and plug the holes?
Cedar and Cypress route very well. Wear a mask the fine dust will get you.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2015, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting Herb. The wedge itself could contain the hide-a key. And it would be more decorative then a simple bolt on.

I've always used Gorilla wood glue, which says it's okay for outdoors. I'm not sure I believe them. I'm almost out anyway, I'll pick up some tite bond III this time.
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