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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone!

I have been doing a little research in support of my desire to make a few signs for family member gifts. Thanks to all here for their experience and insight so willingly shared.

I have a an opportunity to purchase Cricut Expression Machine 2 (Craig's List) and I was wondering if this machine would cut vinyl stencils that I could use to route my sign-lettering, borders, and other designs. I am thinking about both raised letters as well as recessed and thought this machine might make it easier to lay things out and really get "creative".

I am also wondering how these vinyl templates would hold up to sand blasting as I am also considering the use of High Density Urethane foam boards as the base of my signs.

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks! John
 

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I have used Cricut for some scroll saw work but have never tried to use it for routing. Since routing requires some way to guide the router, how do you plan to use the Cricut
vinyl output to do this? I could see using it with a scroll saw to make a template for the router to follow, but not to use it as a direct application for router use.

Charley
 

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Hello Everyone!

I have been doing a little research in support of my desire to make a few signs for family member gifts. Thanks to all here for their experience and insight so willingly shared.

I have a an opportunity to purchase Cricut Expression Machine 2 (Craig's List) and I was wondering if this machine would cut vinyl stencils that I could use to route my sign-lettering, borders, and other designs. I am thinking about both raised letters as well as recessed and thought this machine might make it easier to lay things out and really get "creative".

I am also wondering how these vinyl templates would hold up to sand blasting as I am also considering the use of High Density Urethane foam boards as the base of my signs.

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks! John
John, that vinyl is way to thin for sandblasting. Most vinyl your gonna use is 2-2.5mm thick. The vinyl used for sandblasting is 20mm or thicker. My $2k vinyl plotter will not cut the sandblasting material. As far as the cricut, it will cut the 2-2.5mm vinyl but I do not know how much tear out (pieces of vinyl catching the blade and removing themselves) on anything thing that is moderately to fine detail.
 

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I have used Cricut for some scroll saw work but have never tried to use it for routing. Since routing requires some way to guide the router, how do you plan to use the Cricut
vinyl output to do this? I could see using it with a scroll saw to make a template for the router to follow, but not to use it as a direct application for router use.

Charley
I disagree, I use vinyl all of the time to use as a template for routing a sign. Look at some of my previous threads like new sign from start to finish
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I disagree, I use vinyl all of the time to use as a template for routing a sign. Look at some of my previous threads like new sign from start to finish
Hi,

It was your "New Sign- Start to Finish" that got me thinking about creating a vinyl template. Of course you never gave your secret away on how you go about cutting your templates which got me looking towards a Cricut Machine. True, I don't expect the vinyl templates created on the Cricut to actually guide my router but only to provide my "pattern" for free hand routing/carving.

I am also not surprised to learn that the vinyl will not hold up to sand blasting although I was only planning to use sandblasting to create a background for raised lettering and only after having removed most of the material by routing (i.e. router skis).

As always I am truly grateful to all who have shared their experience and ideas.

Best regards to all!

John
 

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Hi,

It was your "New Sign- Start to Finish" that got me thinking about creating a vinyl template. Of course you never gave your secret away on how you go about cutting your templates which got me looking towards a Cricut Machine. True, I don't expect the vinyl templates created on the Cricut to actually guide my router but only to provide my "pattern" for free hand routing/carving.

I am also not surprised to learn that the vinyl will not hold up to sand blasting although I was only planning to use sandblasting to create a background for raised lettering and only after having removed most of the material by routing (i.e. router skis).

As always I am truly grateful to all who have shared their experience and ideas.

Best regards to all!

John
John,
I do all of the design work in a program called omega 4.0. After the design is created I output the design to my plotter which cuts the vinyl for me. After its cut I remove (weed) the parts I will be routing. As far as my secret? There is no secret, my vinyl plotter is a gerber gsx plus. This plotter accepts vinyl 15" wide. Depending on the size of the design I also have another plotter that accepts 30" vinyl. If you do a google search for vinyl plotter(s) there are several brands out there with different capabilities. There are plotters out there that will cut a sandblast mask but your looking at somewhere around 3-5K for one of those.
 

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I use cardstock instead of vinyl much cheaper
I'm sure that it is however you still have to line it up on your substrate keeping in consideration the spacing between lettering and to some extent temporarily keep it in place.... By using vinyl that time and frustration is no longer a problem thus, saving time and increasing your profit margin on labor
 

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Totally agree with you on the sign lettering Dan.I use it mostly for table legs and that sort of stuff. So spray glue and card stock suffice.I cut my template with the bandsaw and scrollsaw.
Tdog
 

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I use cardstock instead of vinyl much cheaper
Rene,

I did a little research and some math, the vinyl I use for sign making is $0.39 a square foot.... The application tape I use to hold the loose pieces in place when I transfer it onto the wood is $0.20 a square foot. So for $0.59 a sq. ft. I have everything lined up and ready to be routed. I don't need any adhesives to hold the vinyl (it has a self adhesive) and for me personally I can go 28"x150' in one piece if need be.
 
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