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Thread: ‘Nuther newbie

  1. #1

    ‘Nuther newbie

    In spite of my best attempts to convince her that the gift of a small decorative box would be delightful, my daughter-in-law holds very sweetly to a request for a sign with the family name for their house.

    I have no experience doing this, and thought I’d be able to route it freehand if I were careful and followed a design applied to the surface of the wood. I am considering using my small “trim” router and a 1/4” spiral upcut bit.

    Can anyone alert me to pitfalls of this crude technology: suggestions, even just regarding bit choice would be welcome.
    Life is too short for dull sandpaper.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    49,212
    There's nothing wrong at all with routing a sign like this and if you are careful, you should be able to do it cleanly. Obviously, a "freehand script" design for your lettering is going to be the easiest to pull off by following lines you draw on the surface and you'll want to practice a few times on scrap before you dive into the real deal. This technique is best for a more "rustic" design, too. I did a few like this a number of years ago with success. Go slow enough to be able to smoothly follow the line but fast enough that you don't burn the material. You may want to use a ball nose bit instead of the spiral end-mill for the lettering as it will retain less moisture in an outdoor environment.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Hayes, Virginia
    Posts
    13,214
    If you can't seem to get the desired results hand routing a much easier technique is to cut out the letters with a scroll saw or band saw and glue them onto the surface of your plaque. I little hand sanding in critical areas should allow you to create a nice sign that looks great. If the plaque is a dark wood you might consider cutting the letters from white plastic for contrast.

  4. #4
    I freehand routed hundreds of house and property signs in hardwood, for 25 years, till we eventually got a cnc router.
    But I used a straight cut bit - the standard ones, rather than an upcut one, and later I modified a damaged 1/2" endmill, to have rounded bottom corners, and used that also.
    You learn how the fouter fights againt the grain, and also gets easy in places, so you can prepare for harder parts, and to resist runaway attempts and chipping out sharp internal corners...

    Have fun!
    Best wishes,
    Ian



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  5. #5
    Thanks — Tomorrow I’ll make some sawdust.
    Life is too short for dull sandpaper.

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