Sign Board for How to Horse

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
  • Hammer
  • Router (BOSCH POF 1400 ACE)
  • Narrow, straight router bit
  • Paintbrushes
  • Pencils
  • Level
  • Belt sander
  • Sanding block

Materials I used:

  • Two boards (100cm x 50cm x 1,8cm)
  • Carbon Paper
  • Sandpaper
  • 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.

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