I need to route some numbers on a mailbox post. Actually quite a
few of them for a new subdivision. My problem is, all the
templates I have found are either 1 1/2" or 2 1/2" high. I need 3"
tall numbers to match as closely as possible to the existing
posts. I thought about enlarging to 3" and then printing out some
fonts that are close, then glue them to some lexan and cut them
out on the scrollsaw. Then I'll need to fabricate some sort of
jig to hold them in place while I route the numbers out...
Has anyone seen templates with the larger 3" numbers ? I'd rather
not go to the extreme if there is a ready made solution out
I've been there.
I ended up making a set of numbers using a nice round-ended font (think it
was PC Rounders, but I'm not sure now). I printed the number set slightly
larger than what I wanted the final numbers ((router guide bushing
diameter-router bit diameter)/2) and glued the patterns onto pieces of 3/8"
plastic blanks that I made from some scraps on hand. I used the plastic
rather than plywood because it is less prone to splitting and snapping apart
I then drilled holes in the waste area and used my hand-held scroll saw to
remove the waste material, following the line from the pasted-on templates.
After cutting, I smoothed the rough spots with sandpaper and a utility knife
as necessary, then removed the remaining template paper.
I made a frame that will accept 5 numbers, and also made a few uncut blanks
(two full size, two half height for 2 and 4 digit house numbers). The frame
slips over a pressure treated 4x4, and gets clamped into place. To remind me
where things get positioned, I marked the critical dimensions on the frame
in pencil ... so I wouldn't have to go looking for the instructions later.
I picked up a 1/2" bull-nosed sign cutting bit at my local woodworking
store, and picked up the appropriate sized bushing for my PC 690 router.
[Note ... you need to do this BEFORE making your templates.]
To use, slide the numbers into the frame, clamp the frame to the post, use
masking tape to hold the number templates in place, and fasten the post to
the bench. Cut your numbers ... make sure you don't eat the inside of the 6,
8 or 9 ... follow the outside of the template. If you feel the router is
trying to head inward, reverse your cut direction, and move slowly.
I then infilled my numbers with black enamel ... but as the posts weather to
a dark dull gray, the numbers are getting harder to see. I'd use white paint
next time ... and if I could find it, get some of that reflective glass bead
stuff the highway department uses on the stick-down traffic markers (center
lines and turn arrows mostly). Thus, when headlights illuminate the post,
the numbers will have a much higher reflectivity.
I carved 5 mailbox posts for friends and family ... still have the frame and
templates in the shop.
That was then. If I need to do that now, I'll simply clamp the post into the
Shopbot CNC router, and let it do all the hard work.
Hope this helps,
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