Sign Making Procedures - Router Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-20-2016, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Default Sign Making Procedures

What’s everyone’s procedure for doing your signs?

Maybe we can give each other some feedback and tips. Guess I’ll start it off.

I fisrt prep sand my piece of wood with 150 grit sand paper. I then spray on a coat of Mod Podge Matte Clear Acrylic Sealer {NOTE} (seams to be working fine for removing paper and adhesive afterwards and haven’t noticed any bleeding from my acrylic paints after I spray another coat on after carving.)

I then tape my printed design onto just one edge of the board so that it can be folded back. After folding it back I lay a couple pieces of scrap paper on the board to protect from any over spray. Spray the back sde of the design paper with a very light coat of adhesive. (Would like to know what adhesive everyone is using.) So far I have been using Loctite spray adhesive. ( I only spray the paper not the wood.) Wait approximately one minute and fold the paper over onto the wood and rub smoothly on it.

I then carve out my design. Afterwards I peel the paper off starting at the corners and pulling slowly. If a light amount of adhesive was used, should peel right off.After peeling any left over paper off, I spray another coat of Mod Podge on it. Then like Frankj; I apply my acrylic paint with acrylic brushes.

After fully dry ranging from a few hours to over night. ( Depending how late I got started on it.) I sand again with 150 grit to remove any excess paint. Apply stain, wait a few more hours. Then lastly spray hith a few coats of clear. Your choice of Clear Coat. (Would like to hear what everyone prefers.)

Well I think that’s pretty much what I have been doing. Any feedback or tips on what to do differently is welcomed. I’m still new to all of this. 2 months in so far…

(Tools used; Dewalt DWP611 Router, Bits; Profile Bit-SC50 Line Carving Bit- 60 & 90 Degree V - Groove Bit-Straight Bit and Bottom Cleaning Bits For Clean Outs-.Various Bits For Edging On Router Table.)
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Last edited by Semipro; 03-21-2016 at 10:49 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 10:42 AM
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Bobby........I'm even newer. So I'm all ears to all suggestions, too. I will say that you're doing a great job.
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It seems I never finish what I
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 11:02 AM
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Usually when I do my "sighs", I go "AAAAHHHHHH!"
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Bobby........I'm even newer. So I'm all ears to all suggestions, too. I will say that you're doing a great job.
Thanks for the compliment Jim. I'm learning more and more with each one I do. We all learn from each other, so if I can help in any way just ask.
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A piece of wood a day; Helps keep the ill troubles of life away..
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Usually when I do my "sighs", I go "AAAAHHHHHH!"
Lol Joe. By the time I noticed the TYPO it was to late to edit it. I knew some one was going to make light of it. You get the prize for being 1st. Lol,,,
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A piece of wood a day; Helps keep the ill troubles of life away..
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 02:20 PM
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Like you, Bobby Lee, I start by sanding the front surface of the board, usually to about 120 grit. Then I tape one side of the mirror image pattern in place (face down) and transfer the design with Barb's wintergreen oil method. Then after carving, another quick sand to get rid of any pattern lines and I hit everything with a coat of sealer (unless I'm carving cedar) followed by spray painting the carved out areas. After the paint has dried I sand to 120 grit again followed by one or several coats of polyurethane or lacquer.

I have pretty much abandoned carving through paper patterns but when I do I use 3M 77 adhesive applied to the back of the pattern and without any sealer on the wood. Removing the paper pattern is easy with a quick wipe of a paper towel and mineral spirits. The mineral spirits soaks through the paper and dissolves the glue and the paper lifts cleanly away with no paper or glue residue left behind.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 06:47 PM
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I am still trying new to me ways of doing this sign making. I sand my wood then glue the pattern down "no paint" and carve. Then take a $8 heat gun from Harbor Freight and get the pattern off. It comes off easy. I use 3M spray glue and Rustoleum lacquer in a rattle can for a top coat. I spray the back ground with Rustoleum black primer. I have learned my lesson and let the paint really dry before sanding. In my first sign I painted the letters red with a magic marker and touched up the black background with a magic marker.

PS Loving this sign making.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 08:16 PM
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I trace my printed design using the old purple (good smelling, bad for ya) ditto paper. And I've come to just brush paint everything. Takes a little more time, but not much more because I don't have to sand as much. And it probably saves on paint!!
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 10:37 PM
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BobbyLee,

I too, sand boards (that need it) before I layout any signs. But I have really taken a liking to gluing my patterns to the board and carving through the paper. I use the 3M spray glue. I apply the glue to the back of my stencil, let it dry to a "tacky" touch, then stick to the board. The I let it dry about 10 minutes before carving. Even with it being adhered to the board, it is still relatively easy to remove. I like this process because I am virtually limitless on font styles, sizes, etc. I'm thinking about getting a scroll saw. So if I do, then I will be gluing just about all of my stencils from there on out. But.....first I have to buy me a scroll saw. LOL

I still use my stencils if I'm making a sign that uses 1-1/2" or 2" tall letters. I lay them out on the board, then lightly paint them. It's the quickest and simplest form....but you are limited to the stencil fonts you have.

As for prep work.....I only use sanding sealer on my Pine boards. But I may try using it on other woods.....and in some other applications. Once I know more about what I want to do with it I will post the results.

As for painting.....if I'm working with only black paint, then I use the Rustoleum Black Primer paint.....and sand the over spray off. If I'm using colors, then I use the acrylic paints and hand paint.

For me, the price of a sign depends on the type of painting applied, how many drawings are needed, the type wood, etc. I try not to price myself out of business. But at the same time, I really don't like "giving" my work away.....unless I choose to make a gift for friends, family or a fund raiser that I believe in.

Keep up what you are doing because it is awesome!!! Garrett has a great mentor in you!
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by N'awlins77 View Post
I trace my printed design using the old purple (good smelling, bad for ya) ditto paper. And I've come to just brush paint everything. Takes a little more time, but not much more because I don't have to sand as much. And it probably saves on paint!!
Lee (Ditto Paper also known as Thermal Master Sheets) Haven't heard or used those terms since my younger days as a tattoo artist. What we in the tattoo industry used to make our stencils from and apply to the skin using a light coat of speed stick. I actually even had a thermal master machine that I could run any stencil through with my thermal master sheets and the stencil came out in 4 seconds ready to be applied. Sure took the time out of having to hand draw every stencil and I could get right to work on the customer.
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A piece of wood a day; Helps keep the ill troubles of life away..
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