Sign making Idea's? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-12-2011, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Default Sign making Idea's?

Hi all- this is my first post!(Hello from Canada, eh!) I received a router and a sign template kit for Christmas, and I started my "first" sign last week! It turned out really great, and I have done two more since then. (Just basic Driveway signs for neighbors!)

My husband has been great and has let me into part of his new shop and let me set up my own bench and spread all of my tools out- its really great and I am enjoying it!

I am just wanting to find out a bit more from experienced "sign makers!"

First off, I am using just a Mastercraft maximum Router(fixed/plunged). I also have the Sign making kit from Lee valley- which as everything you need!! Only thing i don't like, is that if you are making a longer sign, it tends to flex in the middle so I have to clamp more but no biggie, I am all new to this!

I like the router- it is the first one i have ever used! I am new to sign making, but I am enjoying using it.

So, here is my question..or one of them!

I see alot of signs, and alot of them have fancy little decals or symbols, etc. Nothing to fancy...
Is that done with a dremal tool, or what? I would love to beable to add little pictures on my signs that I make- instead of just doing plain letters/numbers! (maybe in the future, I am still getting the hang of just the letters and numbers! ) Would love to add symbols or anything extra!

And I have been using a small propane torch, and burning the lettering, to give it a nice burned look, and then sanding it. I really like the results- but I know there are more things to do besides that! Does anyone have any idea's for me?

and if you have read this much, thanks for reading! And I hope some people have some idea's & Suggestions for me!! Thanks so much!!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-12-2011, 11:30 PM
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-13-2011, 10:29 AM
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In terms of "ideas", my suggestion would be to be creative. The typical lettering templates produce what might be called "Park Service-style" signs. Try doing raised letters, either in a Roman or other font, either hand drawn or computer printed, where you free-hand the edges of the letters with something like a 60° bit, and then remove the background field. You can affix the paper templates with spray-on temporary adhesive. Emblems and critters can be done the same way.

Also, using multiple tools (Dremel for some things, carving chisels and gouges for others) can add a lot of flexibility. Envision what you want the sign to look like, and then devise methods and tools to get there . . . safely.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 12:37 AM
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It sounds like you have some ideas and there good ones! I have been "hand carving", routed sign for over 20 years. Doing everything from small "Mens" & "Ladies" room to larger signs (16'x21') for a company in south Texas, and I live in Michigan. Every day I learn something new or find a new idea or way to do something for a sign. Sign carving / making is a craft / art form or the other way around. All the crafts people (men & women) no matter how much time each has spent in "there" craft are here to help, share and learn from each other. There is a dad & son on youtube that I got a ton of ideas / info from (Dave & Eric) plus others too. Check out youtube and try different searches and see what you find. Like "signmaking", carved signs", "hand routing signs" just to give you some ideas where to start. Sorry for being so long winded...
Enjoy Life...
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 12:48 AM
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Welcome.
If you click on the Youtube logo at Dave's Signs they have about 50 sign making video's. They go thru everything from material to marketing.

Dave's Signs | How to Make Router Wood Signs Video

Great DVD on sign making.
http://www.amazon.com/Sign-Carving-Y.../dp/B000FGGNDC
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 05:56 AM
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Hi and welcome! Like you, I'm pretty new to sign making as well. I've been making signs for about a year now. So you'll surely hear from more "experts" then me, but I'll give you the "skinny" on what I have learned here, in short.

I have the Milescraft lettering kit, but also wanted to dress them up a bit. So the method I use, is print graphics from my computer, then I use a sheet of that purple ditto paper. Not sure if you can still get this stuff, I've had a pack for a bunch of years. But I trace my chosen graphics onto my wood with the ditto sheet, then I use a Dremel. Sometimes mounted in a Dremel plunge base, sometimes freehanded. I also used a wood burning pen and trace the graphics, and not route it.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N'awlins77 View Post
I have the Milescraft lettering kit, but also wanted to dress them up a bit. So the method I use, is print graphics from my computer, then I use a sheet of that purple ditto paper. Not sure if you can still get this stuff, I've had a pack for a bunch of years. But I trace my chosen graphics onto my wood with the ditto sheet, then I use a Dremel. Sometimes mounted in a Dremel plunge base, sometimes freehanded. I also used a wood burning pen and trace the graphics, and not route it.
Carbon paper is still available. Any office supply should carry it. You can also get pattern transfer paper for tracing on wood.

Carbon Paper | StaplesŪ

Amazon.com: Pattern Transfer Paper for Wood: Arts, Crafts & Sewing

James
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-20-2016, 12:18 PM
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James.
I have a NEW SignMaker Kit and an extra set of 1 1/2" and 2 1/2" letter/number templates. I also have 2 sets of the 3 needed router bits still in the package. I have the kit and letter templates in the router classified forum for $30.- plus S&H. You can have the 2 sets of extra of router bits for $30.- more. Get it all for $60.- plus S&H, a value well over $125.-. Photos and more info if you want it.
Thanks,
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-28-2016, 12:38 PM
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Uh oh. So it starts - a second collection of tools for the shop.

It's exciting seeing the start of what could be many family projects. My wife is interested in the end result of my efforts at the new lathe (never played with one, until a few months ago) and indicated she might be interested in learning to do some turning. She, recently, helped detail some rattles I made and, from there, I hope to get her interested in running some of the smaller, safer tools.

I have wood burners, a carving machine, a Foredom and on and on. As such, there are many tools that are safe to run to get her started. Thinking on that made me think of things you might look at.

There are many Dremel like tools out there. My Foredom has the impact carver and takes the Flex cut blades, which would be perfect for embellishing your signs. One could test the waters with a less expensive version, but which would do the very same thing. It would, definitely, open doors.

Too, there is the whole soldering iron approach. I have actual variable heat burners, electronics soldering irons and cheap burners. Every one is worth its weight in gold, at some point. Again, these can go far to allowing you do take your signs to another level.

Of course, not everything has to be driven by electricity or air. Chisels are in that "weight in gold" category, as are various carving knives. I've even found use for the Harbor Freight kind of tools, even though they can be easily outgrown.

Next, jump to the huge world of layout. This can mean stealing silhouettes from newspapers and magazines to adding to a template collection.

A twist on the layout is, use a inkjet printer to print on wax paper (taped to a plain piece of paper, for printing). While the ink is still fresh, use a credit card, or equivalent, to scrape the picture onto wood. Of course, there are other methods too.

I make some of my own lettering templates for both raised and inset lettering. Recently, I bought a Radar Carver and found, by putting spacers under the outer edge of them, I could use my brass letter templates as patterns for signs.

In the end, it boils down to stealing ideas and creating your own. Experiment and have fun.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-28-2016, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dejure View Post
Uh oh. So it starts -

Next, jump to the huge world of layout. This can mean stealing silhouettes from newspapers and magazines to adding to a template collection.
Dollar store coloring books are great for ideas as well. And best of all they are super cheap

Doug
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