Durable finish for exterior wood sign.

It's late and I can't sleep. Been to our daughters wedding today, that's a reason, not an excuse.
I'm making a house sign for the newly weds home. This will be exposed to the elements. Made of solid oak. Fretsaw cut lettering applied to a solid base board. Intention is to stain the base dark and leave the lettering natural -ish. Any recs please for a durable and low maintenance clear finish for the completed sign? Thanks, Nick.
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Well, I don't know about Oak but a neighbour has one made from an unknown wood and did it with Polyurethane varnish. I do have my doubts though if the stuff will crack as the wood ages and moves. Brian
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On 26/05/13 05:15, Brian Gaff wrote:

+1 I am all oak exterior wise. Either resign yourself to it cracking and peeling - sepecailly if it gets rained on HARD, or simply leave it natural. a pressure wash in spring cleans off the gunk.
yacht varnish works for a few years.
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Thanks Brian, many years ago I was told never to use anything with poly in the name as a finish for an article that will be subjected to sunlight. Don't know if this is right or wrong but I've never forgotten it. Haven't used polyurethane varnish for a very long time. Nick.
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a
the

some sort of oil thin enough to penetrate rather than "sit on" the surface (and then start to peel off eventually). easy to recoat too just clean up and slap another coat on as required - no stripping, sanding or titing abt
Osmo? http://www.osmouk.com/osmocolorexterior.cfm?page=0&chapter=2
there are others about too
Jim K
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some sort of oil thin enough to penetrate rather than "sit on" the surface (and then start to peel off eventually). easy to recoat too just clean up and slap another coat on as required - no stripping, sanding or titing abt
Osmo? http://www.osmouk.com/osmocolorexterior.cfm?page=0&chapter=2
there are others about too
Thanks Jim,
I have used some Osmo stuff before. It is good but I am probably not up to speed with current products.Will have a look. Thank you for the link. Nick.
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On 26/05/13 01:04, Nick wrote:

If it oak, nothing at all
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Yes, it will me made of oak. Applied lettering to a solid base. Theory being that there should be some distinct contrast between lettering and base. If left untreated all will quite soon meld together. I normally use tung oil on oak. Once a day for a week, once a week for a month, once a month for a year etc. Not the right thing for this though.
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On 26/05/2013 01:04, Nick wrote:

The oak in my pergola has managed the past 15 years without any finish at all applied to it. That is one of the reasons for choosing oak surely?
Colin Bignell
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On 26/05/2013 18:23, Nightjar wrote:

+1
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After 15 years would you be able to discern any applied lettering that had been applied at the time of construction? Nick.
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On 26/05/2013 22:01, Nick wrote:

I didn't stain any of the wood, so I don't know whether the contrast you are hoping for would still exist. However, unless you are planning to attach the lettering with oak pegs, it will probably have fallen off after 15 years. Tannin corrodes most fixings eventually. IMO you would do better to engrave the lettering and pick it out with paint.
Colin Bignell
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On Monday, May 27, 2013 11:23:46 AM UTC+1, Nightjar wrote:

I'd just make the second one now
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