How to Make Wood Signs with A Router

For sure, there is a variety of wood signs available in the market. But what if you don’t want to spend money? Or maybe you prefer doing such projects yourself? Using a router is one simple way to make wood signs. A router is one of the most versatile woodworking tools for both professionals and hobbyists.

Crafting wood signs is not a task for professionals only. With a router and a few basic tools at hand, you can gift your loved ones with some excellent quality wood signs. You may even sell them and earn some money. Using a router will not only make your wood signs look polished and professional, but it also provides you with unique and customized designs.

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Types of Wood Signs

There are three kinds of wood signs. They include -:

  • address signs,
  • nameplates, and
  • humorous signs.

With the help of a router, you can easily make all these crafts. You can also craft your address, name, or information in your recreational, commercial, and residential space on the wood signs.

Things You Will Need

It is always best to prepare the tools and materials you might need for a project early. It saves time and boosts your efficiency. Here is a list of supplies that you will need to make the wood sign:

  1. Router
  2. V-groove router bit,
  3. Template or design letter
  4. Grip pad
  5. Tracing paper/ carbon paper
  6. Safety glasses
  7. Pencil

Factors to Consider

Now that you know the types of wood signs, tools, and supplies that you need for your project, there are some factors to put into consideration.

Board and letter size: The size of the letters and the board is one of the most crucial factor to consider. Ensure that the letters will fit the board properly without looking untidy or unproportioned. The letter size determines the board size and not the other way round.

You should also consider using spray glue to mark the letters on the board. This method helps you accurately marking and routing on wood precisely.

Another important factor that you should keep in mind is the type of wood to use. If you are a beginner, then you should consider using softwoods. Cider, pine, and redwood are great qualities for crafting wood signs. However, redwood is the best choice due to its durability.

How to Make a Wood Sign with A Router

Step 1: Making a decision

Just like any project, planning is an important step to get the best wooden sign that fits your needs. The first step to making a wood sign with a route is deciding the kind of sign you want. This also goes for the size of your board and letters. When you choose big numbers or alphabets, then you have to adjust the size of your wood and vice versa. Besides, you should also consider the number of words by the board dimension.

Although the dimensions of your wood are crucial, your topmost concern should be the type and size of your letters. Regardless of the size of your wood, the letters should be visible. Not too small nor too big.

Step 2: Choose a bigger board

It is in your best interest to always go for a bigger board to provide you with flexibility in terms of space. Having an exact size may cause some difficulty in performance. Prepare your wood by planning, trimming, and sanding the rough edges. Be careful when smoothening the board edges due to the sharp wood chips.

Step 3: Layout out the wooden sign

Now that you have an idea of how you want the craft to look like, the next step is to lay it out. This is where the pencil or stencil comes in handy. You can opt to use a computer print out to transfer the sign pattern on our wood by placing carbon paper beneath it and tracing over it.

Country style or homemade wooden signs look classy due to the freehand drawing. As or the business, regulatory, and traditional signs, it is best if drawn by a stencil.

Start by cutting out the sign on a white paper before making a duplicate. Use the second paper to draw the text and images and place them in position. The capital letters should measure at least five inches while the small ones an inch or more than the uppercase letters. Avoid using complicated images and detailed patterns. Cover the white sheet of paper with a tracing paper and draw over it with a black marker. You can then transfer the sign to the wooden board by using spray glue for precision.

Step 4: The routing process

After transferring the lettering on the wood, it now time to begin the routing process. Put your board on the worktable to ensure that the work surface is flat for precision. You can also use a grip pad because it will prevent the wood from moving around while you are working. Besides, the pad will allow you to easily move and lift the board when you need to adjust it.

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Choose a router bit to use depending on the type of your wood. You can use a ¼ or 3/8-inch-wide V-groove router. Attach it to the router and set its depth to half the thickness of the board. Setting it deeper than that may cause the board to weaken and split. Besides, when you are routing, do not cut the wood too deep because it may create smoke and burn. To avoid such risk, try it out first on a block of scrap wood to get the hang of it.

Another important tip of how to make wood signs with a router is to work at a slow and steady pace. You also need to ensure our router is constantly moving to avoid burning the wood. This is likely to happen if the board is exposed to the rotating bit for long. In case you want to remove the sawdust or rest your hands, simply lift the bit out.

Grab your tool with two hands and ensure that your forearms are touching your work table. With your router at the beginning of your lettering, begin moving forward, never backward. Using your wrists will help you to control the device, thus crafting correctly. Always ensure to wear your safety glasses because the process will flip the wood chips at your face. Be sure to take the necessary precautions when using a router.

Tip: Turn the router on before placing it on the wood.

Step 5: Finishing stage

After the routing process, you are nearly finishing up your wood sign. Use a brush to get rid of the wood chips. You can then varnish, paint, or keep the craft natural. When it comes to the finishing stage, this is the best step to crafting countless designs in your wood sign. Ensure that you sample some of the best designs before settling for the final look.

You may also find it challenging to paint the background with the lettering. This is because there may be some images that you would like to stand out. Note that the process requires patience to achieve the look that you desire, meaning that it is time-consuming. Why not just apply a clear finish to get the retro touch? Leave the wood sign to dry up and then sand off the excess paint for a smooth finish. Basing on your imagination, you can create many creative designs.


Tips for Working with A Router

There are effective tips that help you to achieve efficiency and best results when you are working with a router.

It is crucial to understand the type of bits available for various models. They include square route, V groove, or round nose.

  • Always use both hands when routing.

Note that with the bigger routers, the project will be done faster compared to smaller models.

Remember to hold down the tool while keeping your arms on the table to gain extra control. Without this, the wood piece can get destroyed, or you might hurt yourself.

Sampling your ideas is the way to choose the best option to implement.

If you want to maintain your wooden sign looking brand new, remember to vanish it once in a while.

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Final Thoughts

When it comes to how to make wood signs with a router, t involves three main processes; cutting, routing, and varnishing.  You should consider a few things, such as the message in the sign, the size, and type of lettering and the board. Besides, you must also know the exact locations of words, pictures, and numbers. Having all this in mind before cutting the wood is crucial in avoiding wastage of wood and time. Your final product will give you immense pleasure.

Making a wood sign is a fun way to craft names, images, addresses, or directions as you wish. It is an excellent decoration for your home or business. Furthermore, it makes a unique and thoughtful gift for your friends and family. With just a little effort and accessories, you can craft luxurious wood signs that may bring you some income.