My neighbor is starting to brew his own beer, which is a great boon to me. In an attempt to curry additional favor I offered to make him a sign for his garage. My intent was to do a trial run in plywood, then do a final in maple with walnut letters. While doing a clearing operation the main portion of the sign, I got into a layer of plywood that had a very nice grain/color. I am no real wood expert, so I don’t know what it is, but it was very pleasing overall.
Got off easy on this project, just routed the letters down into the next layer of lighter colored wood, and I was set. Few coats of rubbed poly and off to the neighbors.
Lesson learned – look at the edges of plywood when routing, you may be able to use the various layers to your benefit!
Took a shot at making up a sign for the workplace. Learned quite a bit in the process, and wanted to document a few of those learnings for the proverbial ‘next guy’.
I used 3/4″ mdf.. and a 1/4″ upcut spiral bit to do most of the cutting. The circle logo and ‘aperture’ letters are .4″ above the surface, and the ‘laboratories’ letters are .2″. I profiled the letters after the overall pocket was created with a 1/8″ bit to get more definition. This all worked ok except for a few things:
- An ‘R’ and an ‘I’ in laboratories popped off. The MDF doesn’t hold well when the letters get small.
- I re-routed those letters and then glued them on. In that process I realized that NEXT time i would just route all the letters out of another (thinner sheet) and glue them on. It would save many hours of pocketing work.
- Glueing the letters would also allow for easier painting as you could paint everything seperate and then glue them on.
- On the topic of paint, for $3 for a 1/2 quart home depot will create color matched ‘sample’ paints… awesome for this kind of work.
- Be careful when shopvaccing around the machine while its working. At the end I looks like a skipped a few stepper moter steps on the x axis, so i have some rough edges on the right side of my letters. I vaguely recall the router pinching the hose against a letter while vaccuming.. that may have caused it. If it didn’t.. well thats a problem for another day.
So I learned a lot, and have a fun sign for the garage – its about 36″ long for reference.