router jig for sign making

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skeetstar

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Folks I want to make a name board for a grand child. Looking at the market place there are a number to choose from. Trend, Milescraft, Rutlands own brand, Rockler etc etc.
Anyone got any experience of a particular product or can recommend something...?

Any advice, as usual, gratefully received.
 

Lazurus

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I have a couple, one is a simple template of letters and numbers which is pretty good as long as your spacing is accurate. I also have the Rutland's which you place the templates in a frame clamp, and rout. Nice and simple to use. I would go for either type depending on how often you think you will use it.
 

blackteaonesugar

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The only thing with those template things is....the text looks dreadful! 😂
Like awful early computer word processor font from the eighties!

I've done a few signs where I've printed out my lettering in whatever text and glued it to the wood. Freehand routed away a decent area around and close to the letter edging, then crisp up the letters with a chisel.
I used a gouge in the areas I had routed away to make it look more hand carved.
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Course when we got a cnc router I stopped any of that hand routing nonsense! 😉
 

skeetstar

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Thanks for replies folks, bearing in mind what blacktea says, I think I'll look at cutting the letters out withva fret saw. I didn't think about font type, and now that I have, I don't really want anything too uniform.

Thanks again.
 
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The most variety of font and size is from a CNC router but it lacks the satisfaction of hand made/hand cut
I'm in Worcestershire not too far from you and run a small shop with one in, Happy to help if you bring your own wood and decent doughnuts.
Folks I want to make a name board for a grand child. Looking at the market place there are a number to choose from. Trend, Milescraft, Rutlands own brand, Rockler etc etc.
Anyone got any experience of a particular product or can recommend something...?

Any advice, as usual, gratefully received.
 

Stevekane

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I have an old trend set where the router bit cuts the letters rather than the background, but the relief effect shown above is very attractive I thought. Anyway Ive done several signs and they do turn out a bit robotic but never the less you can get a decent enough result and one thing I did plan to try next time is to router cut the letters then touch them up with a chisel, esp the rounded ends, maybe try to give them a bit of style,,,anyone tried this, is it possible?
Steve.
 

skeetstar

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Folks, thanks for advice, and CSM thank you for your kind offer. I plan to go the fret saw route and cut the letters through the board. I've done it before, a bit laborious in 20mm oak, but at least I can free hand the design.

Thanks again for all the inputs.
 

billgiles

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Folks I want to make a name board for a grand child. Looking at the market place there are a number to choose from. Trend, Milescraft, Rutlands own brand, Rockler etc etc.
Anyone got any experience of a particular product or can recommend something...?

Any advice, as usual, gratefully received.
I started making routed signs using a supplied template, then drawing the letters and routing them out. I recently took up carving and have made two signs with raised letters by hand. It is not too difficult but it is a lengthy process. it Is really hard to make machined stuff look anything bit machined. But hand carved stuff is very satisfying and worth the effort. I want to start making signs with incised lettering but that is a more skilful process so I am about to start practicing.
 

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skeetstar

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Bill, that looks good... I could have a crack at that technique. Do you mind me asking how much you had to do to gain that level of competency. I have the usual chisel sizes, but no carving tools... did you use anything other than chisels?
 

billgiles

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I am a hobby carpenter of about 7 years experience but I only started carving about 6 month ago. I fancy that anyone who has chopped out mortices and tenons can cut basic shapes. i use flat chisels obviously for straight letters (I, L, M, N etc). And I started with a cheap set of gouges topped up by some ancient second hand ones. For the letters I copy a font from Word or elsewhere and print it at a suitable size. I cut the letters roughly around as using the word as printed seems not to give entirely suitable letter spacing. I then glue the letters to the wood. Any English hardwood seems ok, definitely oak for outdoors. Don’t practice on pine, it is awful, nor foreign stuff which seems splintery. Use simple pva glue diluted 50/50 with water, otherwise it is hard to get the paper off at the end, just dampen to remove it works a treat.

To start I used a thin router bit (about 3mm) set about 5 or 6mm deep and went around the outline of the letters leaving about 2 or 3mm to chop away next to the letters. Now with an 8mm or so gouge out down to the bottom of the router groove being careful about not hitting the safety strip around the letters. I don’t worry about the ‘rough hewn’ look of the gouge marks - see below. However one could just as easily router out all of the background. Chopping it all out would be pretty tedious. I did the oak leaves with a vee gouge.

To finish the letters chop down at about 60 degrees along the letter outline to the depth of the router groove then cut under to clear the waste away. The only tricky bits are inside of curves (if you avoid using serifs) as the outsides of curves can be cut with a small flat chisel.

This is an example of what I mean . Although he does not use a router. Nor do I now but it helps to establish depth. One last thing - use seriously sharp tools. See Mary May on YouTube for sharpening gouges. Any further questions then you can PM me (I think). Good luck - go for it.

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