Gene E. Bloch wrote, on Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:34:32 -0700:
At first, I was looking for a "program" which would auto fit
the stencil letters onto the wood, given the length of the
text and the size of the wood.
But, then, when I googled, I found fonts, which were surprisingly
easy to install, and which printed just as easily - so - my tack
changed to cutting out the stencils.
Up until that point, I was ready to router, which is about where
this thread came in, but, I was soon disabused about the routering
idea, and ended up spray painting the stenciled letters.
The neighbor didn't bring it home (she graciously said it worked
perfectly, and she waved away my protestations about needing to
fix it up); but if I were to do it over again, I think I'd go
with the store-bought stickered letters, assuming that I could
find them in the proper size.
Are you kidding? That was always my first project for my carpentry
Step 1. Make a shop drawing of what you are writing, and include the size
of the letters and spacing and size of the board.
Step 2. Select wood, rough cut it a little large. Surface joint one side
to get any "rock" out of it.
Step 3. Plane the opposite side to the thickness specified on the shop
Step 4. Get one edge straight and square on jointer. Rip to width, adding
1/16" to be jointed off in one pass.
Step 5. Trim the end square then measure and cut to specified length.
Step 6. Layout the lettering onto the wood.
Step 7. Use the router to carve the letters. Used a 1/4" straight bit
usually, with 1/2" or wider letters.
Step 8. Sand, stain and clear coat.
You cut the center out of the letters, then get closer and closer to the
pencil line, just like when you bandsaw close to the line and use the
sander to get down to the exact line. Control of the router is achieved by
keeping the side of the hand on the surface, and using your fingers to move
it around It teaches about moving the router in climb cuts and how the
opposite can cause the bit to dig into the grain and cut deeper than you
want. Cutting and truing the wood gets them on most every piece of major
They get to make something pretty neat out of scrap. Some of them turned
out pretty darn good.
For those of you hat do not know, I was a high school shop teacher.
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