Have you ever cut out one of those routed signs? A family sign, Gather, or something similar? Maybe you’ve cut out a sign with a scroll saw, like I did with my Hello sign. That sign took a while using a scroll saw and a jigsaw. I recently took a class at Maker 13 in Jeffersonville Indiana, using a CNC Shop Bot!
Look! It’s my new truck! I wonder how long I’ll call it “new truck”. After all, I did buy it in November of last year, SEVEN months ago! Anyway, Maker 13 is a maker space that has lots of machines in their wood shop, including the shop bot. You may remember I took a woodworking class where I made the Cherry and Maple Cheese Board.
This is one of my more recent projects-cut on the shop bot out of plywood. I did that at the maker space, but then after bringing it home, I made this frame for it. So, let’s see how this all came together. . .
To cut something out of plywood, you create a file on the computer in Corel—then go to the shop to get the project ready. The plywood is screwed down, then after taking some safety precautions and opening up the elaborate venting system I was ready to hit start. The router was set to make 3 passes to cut through the thick plywood. It’s really a lot like watching my Silhouette cut out vinyl.
There were a couple of notches that held the word in place. They are more like tabs, because they are very easy to cut, allowing the sign to release from the plywood.
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It was really quick and easy with this Compass Saw. This saw was at the shop, I don’t have one, YET!
Because of the font, I had to leave the oodle/boodle of the I attached. After brining it home, I got busy sanding it—first with my orbital sander.
For the small areas, I used emery boards.
I also used some sanding sponges. After all that sanding, it was really taking shape, looking a lot better.
I have so much spray paint on hand that I took the easy way out and sprayed it in my small spray shelter from Homeright. I like to secure it with Irwin quick clamps to a work table. I always paint the back side first, then when I turn it over if there happens to be a scuff or something, it’s on the back—not the front.
Raising it on scrap 2×4’s makes the job dry faster.
To make the simple rustic frame I used 3 new fence boards. I generally use weathered fencing, but I wanted to stain these boards.
I cut three boards to size, then tested to see how the word FAMILY would look on them.
The boards were rough, so I quickly sanded them so they would be a little smoother.
To make the frame for the fence boards, I ripped the leftover pieces of the boards on the table saw.
Then I was ready to cut the ripped pieces and form the frame and backer boards.
I used a combination square to make sure the backer boards were equally spaced on each side.
Because these fence boards were not perfectly square, my miter corners were not perfect. No problem, a little sandpaper will smooth things out.
Look closely and you will see a lip on the front of the rustic frame . . . .
. . . as well as a lip on the back. This structure will give a nice finished look to this sign. I first used it for my rustic mirror frames, you can see more detailed instructions there. I picked up this dark walnut stain at Snap blog conference in April. I applied it with a cheap chip brush.
Then wiped it back with a rag.
I was testing how much slant I wanted to have on the word family.
I can’t find pictures , but I attached the word family to the rustic wooden sign with Gorilla Glue construction adhesive in a few strategic places. The boards are even, so I had to place the adhesive where the word rested on the boards.
The plan is to allow room for pictures to be added around the frame. My photos weren’t the right orientation, but you get the idea.
I haven’t figured out how to attach the photos yet. I’d love to get your input and ideas.
Please leave a comment about your ideas for adding photos. Have you checked to see if you have a maker space near you?