What router for signs making - Router Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2015, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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Default What router for signs making

I would like to get into making small wooden signs at craft shows. I tried the Milescraft 1212 Sign Pro Router Sign jig but I it is slow setting up, limited fonts,and size. I use a Skill router for the Milescraft jig but I do think free-hand is the best way to go??? Am I right about free-hand vs jigs?? What router should I use??

PS heading should read: "What router for sign making"...the y is next to the t on my key board...so much for my typing skills!!!
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Last edited by JimofSC; 04-10-2015 at 07:31 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2015, 08:02 AM
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Hi JimofSC,

Yes free hand routing is a great way to do signs. I only started routing signs a few months ago and once I got the hang of it I found it wasn't that hard after all. I just use a cheap old router. I don't no about what is the best router to use. If you go on youtube and put in routing signs and look for this fellow Dave Rhoten and his father.
They talk about a lot on what routers and router bits to use when routing signs. I hope that helps.


Cheers Graham.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2015, 09:29 PM
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Welcome Jim!

I too aM fairly new to this great hobby. I run 2 different (but very similar) Craftsman routers and a Rigid Flush Trim router. I love the Rigid for letters. I use the Craftsman when I have a lot of material to remove. I'll set one up with one bit and the other with a different bit. Saves on set-up time.

I either print a copy of my sign and copy it onto the board using copy paper, or I use one of the many photo/ink transfer processes. The transfer process is my favorite.

Then I just trace the lines. Well, it's not THAT simple.....you need really good bits. I use the profile bit, 60° bit and 90° bits from Dave's Sign in Arizona. And their videos are a tremendous help. They explain things....sometime over and over.....but their processes are fantastic and easy to follow.

On YouTube look for Oldave100.

Good luck and have fun.

And lastly......POST SOME PICS!!!!

Frank

I may not know what I'm doing, but I am having fun doing it wrong!!

Happy Day Veterans!!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2015, 09:51 PM
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Here is a direct link to Dave Rhoten explaining routing inset letters:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SazFGDBC32o
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2015, 10:31 PM
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Hi Jim and welcome. I would agree with a lot of what Frank said. You could go trim router or something like the DeWalt 611Pk which is a bit more powerful and different ergonomics. I think most of our signmakers go freehand because there are less restrictions that way and most of them do outstanding work. You can use a pantograph to resize letters or you can just use your computer to pick fonts and size and then print that out and use the printouts for patterns, using either spray glue or a water based glue like Lee Valley's fish glue to stick them onto your sign blank.
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Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-11-2015, 04:02 PM
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I love my DeWalt DW611PK for sign carving.

Papa Bob
Using a couple of old Craftsman routers & a Bosch 1617EVSPK & a Dewalt DWP611PK Routers in SW Louisiana.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-11-2015, 09:44 PM
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I used my Ridgid trim for lettering, and the full size Ridgid when I do raised letters. to get the bulk of the wood out first, then use the trim Ridgid to finish. Made many signs with the 1212. Even made a fixture to make them on.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-18-2015, 07:58 PM
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I use the Bosch Colt router.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-18-2015, 08:02 PM
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I started using a Milescraft jig, but quickly fell in love with free hand and a Dewalt DW611PK and Dave's sub-base.

Papa Bob
Using a couple of old Craftsman routers & a Bosch 1617EVSPK & a Dewalt DWP611PK Routers in SW Louisiana.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-19-2015, 01:12 AM
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Guys I was thinking about this and wouldn't a router with a good dust collection system be a must? I mean when I route I can't see a darn thing down by the bit at times , so if a guys free handing a sign you would think it would be important to remove wood chips and dust as quickly as possible . Just asking because I never see this in the equation

I don’t always insulate , but when I do .
Ok ,I never insulate
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