How To Make Your Own Sign

Let’s begin with the MILESCRAFT TurnLock SignCrafter Sign Making Jig, Woodcraft Item #146219. You can create professional horizontal signs in no time at all. The ready to use kit includes templates, clamps, template guide bushing and carbide-tipped router bit. “Easy-To-Use” self-spacing templates ensure consistent signs every time with no measuring.

Features:

  • TurnLock™ technology 7″ universal router base plate.
  • Low profile C-clamps provide secure clamping without obstructing router operation.
  • 3″ to 36″ long signs up to 18 horizontal characters can be used at once.
  • 2-1/2″ horizontal character templates include letters and numbers.
  • 3/8″ core box router bits and 5/8″ metal-nose guide bushing.
In addition to this kit, Woodcraft’s Product Development Manager, George Snyder chose the King ColorCore Sign Stock Green/White/Green 24″ x 24″, Woodcraft Item #153625 for this particular project to make his sign. This is an excellent choice for any outdoor sign.  It has contrasting colors and does not need a finish.  A plus is that it can be cut and routed with tools you already have in your shop.  If you have ever seen a polymer sign at the golf course or at your local park, it was probably made with King ColorCore. It also is available in a Tan/Green/Tan 24″ x 24″ stock, Woodcraft Item #153624, and a Black/White/Black 24″ x 24″ stock, Woodcraft Item #153626. Of course you may also choose from our wide variety of exotic and domestic woods to create signs with to use in conjunction with the Milescraft Jigs.

Product Information:

ColorCore® is a colorfast, environmentally stabilized polymer sheet that can stand up to thousands of uses, beautifully. This is the perfect product for routed and carved letter signs. ColorCore’s unique PolyFusion™ process is a proprietary technology that fuses contrasting layers of colors into a single homogeneous sheet.

Features:

  • Works with all common woodworking tools.
  • No need to ever paint or stain.
  • Will not delaminate or decay.
  • Color cap is .05″ for ease in routing or faster CNC production.
  • Easily forms for smooth contours and bends.
  • Sheet size is 1/2″ x 24″ x 24″.
  • Available in 3 color variety choices.
Sign Making:

George demonstrates in these photos, the step by step procedure in routinga sign using the Porter-Cable 1-3/4 HP Router, Model 690LR, Woodcraft Item #143163WH with this kit. (This router is currently on sale through July 26th, 2012.)

Start by placing the letters in the guide rail for your particular sign. Add a guide bushing to the router. A guide bushing comes with the SignCrafter Kit, but in this case George used a bushing from the 10 Piece Router Bushing Set with Case, Woodcraft Item #144625. The guide bushing will ride along the letter track for cutting each letter required.

Next, place the sign material on the workbench and clamp the SignCrafter Kit down. The guide rail can be clamped in a couple of different ways. Double stick tape, screws for actual clamps as George used in this situation. He was in the process of making several different size signs, so this was the fastest method. They all work equally well.

You may notice the blue painters’ tape which is used for protecting the material in clamping and layout marks. George also used the tape to cover the filler/spacing letters as a reminder for himself not to cut into that area. Before George begins his routing, he double checks his clamps, just to be safe.

This first photo shows the depth stop.  The depth of cut is determined by the amount of contrast you want and the profile of the router bit.  Test several cuts on scrap before moving on. When routing the letters, it is important to move slowly and keep the guide bushing touching the sides of the letter guide.  A successful cut is when the bottom of the letter is clean as this picture shows.  Depending on the depth of the router bit and the profile of the cutter you may need to make several passes through the center of the letter guides to have crisp letters.

The final step is to proportionally size and cut the sign material on the tablesaw,

followed by routing the corners of the material with your choice of Roundover Router Bit selections from Woodcraft.

This King ColorCore material and SignCrafter Kit is a great combination for signs that will last a lifetime in an inside or outside environment.

The MILESCRAFT Kit also comes in a SignPro Deluxe Sign Making Jig, Woodcraft Item #147862, which will accommodate vertical and horizontal sign creation.

All of these items are available at your local Woodcraft store or online.

 

 

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