Part 1: Thoughts and Tools
This project belongs in the list of “Never done it, probably no problem” (NDIPNN from now on). I had never made a sign board before. I had never used acrylic paint to create a stain-like effect. I had never before used my router for anything besides making dados for the TV cabinet (article on this website). And still, I thought I could do it. And I did (spoilers).
Tools I used:
- Glue clamps
- Various carving chisels and gouges
- Router (BOSCH POF 1400 ACE)
- Narrow, straight router bit
- Belt sander
- Sanding block
Materials I used:
- Two boards (100cm x 50cm x 1,8cm)
- Carbon Paper
- Acrylic paints (black and red)
- Wood glue
- 20 Short (1,6cm) screws to hang the board to the fence
- 10 Pipe saddles, high seated ones (22mm)
Part 2: Glue and Paper
After purchasing the two panels at the local hardware store, I glued them up. I used a combination of beams that came with a wood delivery and my clamps. also glued up the design to make it traceable. I used some scrap pieces of carbon paper that I had previously used for the World Map Table.
Part 3: Routing, Carving and sanding
As you can, perhaps, see in the top photos, I ended up with the lines of the design transferred to the wood. I hooked my shop-vac up to my router and went to town. Because the wood is so very soft (pine) I had some unfortunate chips. I later replaced those with bits of other wood.
The routing took some time, but it was surprisingly fun to do. I used the chisel for the parts where the router bit was too wide to get the job done.
Part 4: Brushes and Paints
After I cleaned up the letters with sandpaper I painted the lower parts black. This was easy enough to do. However, even though I tried to work tidily, I made a massive mess. After the paint had dried fully, I use my belt sander to clean up the mess.
Here, I was totally pleased with the result, and, had the project been something for me, I’d had moved on to varnishing. Client, however, wanted red. Red red.
I ended up diluting this acrylic paint by about 50% and applied it to the board. I let it sit for ten minutes, then wiped off the rest. I was rather stunned by the “red-ness”, but apparently, the client loved it, which is all that really matters.
Part 5: Varnish against Tarnish
Five coats of spray varnish. I wanted to be extra safe, you see. Seeing that this was my first project that would be outside for ever, I thought I might as well go overboard. I applied the first half of the first coat inside, in the shed. I can tell you now, that stuff reeks.
Luckily the weather allowed for me to apply the rest outdoors. A few days after applying the varnish I helped hang it.
Lessons learned. Fun had.