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Discussion Starter #1
I have a dinky sign-making kit but I need to upgrade to something that will let me make larger letters -- 4 or 5 inches high. The template holder in the kit isn't adaptable. Is there a more flexibile holder on the market or plans to make one? I saw harrysin's elegant fixture for making raised letters -- I need to make incised ones,

If I make my own templates can I cut them with a scrollsaw? What would be the best material to use?
 

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Bill, mark out the letters as I described and use a "V" cutter with the depth set so that the cutter touches both sides of the letters. This will be faster and far easier than having raised letters. Have plenty of light so that you can see the outlines clearly and use a plunge router. Routing freehand for me at least, was far easier than I had imagined and I was age 73/4 at the time. I, and I suspect all members eagerly wait to see your results. Any questions, just ask and I or other members more experienced at freehand routing will, I'm sure answer you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My hat is off to you, Sir, on freehand routing. I have tried it several times with results ranging from the comic to the pathetic. I have trouble seeing the bit and despite my best efforts the router jumps and wanders like a drunken roo.

The project for which I am seeking help is a name puzzle. I made one cutting the letters out of 3/4" thick cherry with a scroll saw, tracing the shapes onto a 1/2" piece of white oak and cutting out the letter shapes also with a scroll saw.

Cutting the board for the letters is tedious and not all that precise. I finished up the letter outlines on the router table using a 1/4" spiral bit to smooth the edges and provide clearance for the letters to fit in loosely.

The first one was a surprising hit addition to my existing stock of wooden toys and I now have orders for a dozen more. Two customers have asked about name signs -- essentially the puzzle board without the letters -- to hang on the door to the child's bedroom. Sign to say

Bumpkin's
room

Since I fell into this item without thinking about it or even knowing what I was doing, any suggestions about fixtures and procedures would be very much appreciated. I'll try an upload my original effort so you can see what I am talking about and how very far I have to go.
 

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My hat is off to you, Sir, on freehand routing. I have tried it several times with results ranging from the comic to the pathetic. I have trouble seeing the bit and despite my best efforts the router jumps and wanders like a drunken roo.

The project for which I am seeking help is a name puzzle. I made one cutting the letters out of 3/4" thick cherry with a scroll saw, tracing the shapes onto a 1/2" piece of white oak and cutting out the letter shapes also with a scroll saw.

Cutting the board for the letters is tedious and not all that precise. I finished up the letter outlines on the router table using a 1/4" spiral bit to smooth the edges and provide clearance for the letters to fit in loosely.

The first one was a surprising hit addition to my existing stock of wooden toys and I now have orders for a dozen more. Two customers have asked about name signs -- essentially the puzzle board without the letters -- to hang on the door to the child's bedroom. Sign to say

Bumpkin's
room

Since I fell into this item without thinking about it or even knowing what I was doing, any suggestions about fixtures and procedures would be very much appreciated. I'll try an upload my original effort so you can see what I am talking about and how very far I have to go.
"I have trouble seeing the bit and despite my best efforts the router jumps and wanders like a drunken roo."

I'm not familiar with your router but my policy, which I've espoused so many times on this forum is to use a BIG powerful heavy router for most types of project, it is far easier to control than a small lightweight one, even for a shortie like me! I also believe in having plenty of light on the subject. By the way, when I suggested using a "V" bit, I should of course have stated that any profile end cutter could be used.
Here are three methods of additional light that I use
 

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Just one more way to add light to the router :) see video on the same web page..

On-Point Universal Laser Guided Router Plate

====

"I have trouble seeing the bit and despite my best efforts the router jumps and wanders like a drunken roo."

I'm not familiar with your router but my policy, which I've espoused so many times on this forum is to use a BIG powerful heavy router for most types of project, it is far easier to control than a small lightweight one, even for a shortie like me! I also believe in having plenty of light on the subject. By the way, when I suggested using a "V" bit, I should of course have stated that any profile end cutter could be used.
Here are three methods of additional light that I use
 

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There was a picture here a couple years ago, where someone duct-taped a flashlight to the side of the router.
I thought that was you Mike, also the "economy router table"
 

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Hi Peter

Router was making fun of Harry when Harry started to light his up in many ways.

I recall one time he stuck a elec. hedge trimmer out of the router table :) for doing ruff cuts from the tree to the router table in one quick flow.. :):jester:

===

Was the first one a joke? If you are going to strap a torch on, the ones off those LED head sets are much more practical.

Cheers

Peter
 

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I have a dinky sign-making kit but I need to upgrade to something that will let me make larger letters -- 4 or 5 inches high. The template holder in the kit isn't adaptable. Is there a more flexibile holder on the market or plans to make one? I saw harrysin's elegant fixture for making raised letters -- I need to make incised ones,

If I make my own templates can I cut them with a scrollsaw? What would be the best material to use?
Hi Fishlore:

Harrysin's suggestion of using a v-bit, free hand style may not be a bad idea at all. I've tried it several times in the past, but it's important to map out your letters first. A trick I use is a word processing program with the capability of making banners. Some are on the market for under 20 bucks and you can make an entire room banner with standard 81/2 x 11 paper. The printing stage helps with that. The program I have used is by Hallmark Cards (on website). It may be worth the bucks if you do frequent sign work. Also a great help is a product sold by MLCS of Ohio (mlcswoodworking.com). It's called the On-Point router plate. I bought one and it's great for many free-hand routing purposes. The plate is adapatable to numerous routers (plunge also) ans is a clear lexon, equipped with a laser guide light and s series of leds (to replace the duck taped flashlight method). I bought it 2 years ago for about 70 bucks, but I noticed they have it on sale for $49 with free shipping (I've used MLCS many times and their cs/return reps are great to deal with). The router plate is over-sized to give extra support and controls "tipping". The website has videos, more info and is worthy of visiting. Their toll free customer service/tech number may also be able to assist with your question (believe it or not, at no charge). These are only suggestions and I realize that everyone's on a budget, but if you're making signs often, these helpful tools may be worth looking into.

Good luck!
- Bob
 

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Bill, mark out the letters as I described and use a "V" cutter with the depth set so that the cutter touches both sides of the letters. This will be faster and far easier than having raised letters. Have plenty of light so that you can see the outlines clearly and use a plunge router. Routing freehand for me at least, was far easier than I had imagined and I was age 73/4 at the time. I, and I suspect all members eagerly wait to see your results. Any questions, just ask and I or other members more experienced at freehand routing will, I'm sure answer you.

About ten years ago I volunteered to make about 40 - 50 signs out at our councils Boy Scout Camp. Fortunately at the time I had access to a manually operated router cutting machine. All the letters were 3" - 4" in size and I used a round nose bit approximately 3/8" deep. For what I was doing it work well as I would put two coats of a very dark stain on all the wood and then let them let it thoroughly dry, after that I painted the undercut portion with three coats of OSHA yellow. The signs are still up and after the rain washes the dirt off they look pretty good. :dance3:
 
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