Summer Camp Road Signs

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Project by MHarper90 posted 08-31-2014 06:56 PM 2752 views 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Summer Camp Road Signs
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This project started almost a year ago, but I have been very busy with the Navy since it’s completion and am just now getting around to posting… I hope you all enjoy!

I started working as the EMT at a summer camp in upstate NY several summers ago, and at the end of last summer they offered for me to stay on staff through the winter (until my Navy boot camp date) to take on this road sign project.

I made the initial designs in AutoCAD, built prototypes, ordered all of the materials, and did all of the carpentry for their construction. I had some help from the rest of the camp staff as we poured 12 tons of (bagged) concrete for the sign footings last fall, and I also had to leave the project before the final outdoor installation due to my boot camp ship date.

I also spent over 100 hours on the graphic designing to create the new camp map that is displayed similarly to a mall directory on 5 of the signs around the property.

Although I’ve done a lot of woodworking in my life, this was my first experience with post and beam style construction. Also, this project was my first experience with concrete and welding. And this project is definitely the largest scale and budget project I have ever worked on.

The truss design was taken from the plethora of exposed trusses on our camp buildings. The horizontal beam and metal conduit are designs taken from our pathway lights that were custom built and installed within the past 3 years.

Because this project is so big, I won’t go into great detail as to how I built them, but please feel free to ask questions in the comments and I can explain anything further if you are interested.

Also, I unfortunately don’t have a ton of great pictures since I was not there for the final install. These are all pictures that I have been sent by the camp after they finished up. I hope to be able to make it back there very soon to see them in person. Also, the camp has added stone and landscaping around the concrete bases to complete the package, but most of these pictures were taken immediately after their installation.

There are 6 different sign frame styles that are used in the 38 total signs I built for this project.

Here is my final design render of the 5 frame styles that were permanently installed outside.

This is the 6 foot tall speed limit sign style. There is also a 4 foot tall style used along footpaths that has a copper post cap instead of the chamfer. It’s hard to see in the picture, but there is a piece of chain welded on the opposite side of the post. The metal pipe is 2” metal conduit. Drilling those two holes perfectly parallel and welding the chain taught were possibly the hardest elements of this entire project.

Here one of the two pool/hot tub rules signs that I built. The frames of this sign and the speed limit signs above are coved on the top and bottom so that they actually saddle the metal conduit. Hidden in this design is that the inner frame can be unlocked and swung forward and replaced with the off-season pool rules after summer camping has ended.

These two pictures show the most plentiful style used around camp. The chain that suspends the signs is actually drawn taught by nuts underneath the horizontal beam that thread onto the machine-threaded J-bolts. This prevents any rattling in the wind and deters theft.

This is a large, double wide version of the previous style. Only used once; at the camp office entrance. This sign sits on taller footings that will have professional stone columns installed at a later date to match similar columns used other places on camp. Mason costs limited us to only doing professional stonework on just one of the signs.

And in case you have not seen the project page I posted several months ago, here is the last design I made to round off this project. There are two of these signs that are wall mounted at the camp. The plexiglass frames will hold the pictures of the hosting camp staff and also any important documents or schedules. Hidden in this design is actually that the frames are held in place only by rare earth magnets, allowing for a secure hold, but also quick and easy changes of the content in each frame.

4 comments so far

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14193 posts in 5325 days

#1 posted 08-31-2014 10:01 PM

Awesome posting and great read. Too cool.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View BJODay's profile


528 posts in 3286 days

#2 posted 09-01-2014 04:49 PM

Great work. They look like they’re built to last.


View CaptnJoe's profile


16 posts in 2814 days

#3 posted 09-02-2014 03:14 AM

Awesome. Nice work.

View Thewoodman2000's profile


822 posts in 3313 days

#4 posted 09-02-2014 02:02 PM

Great job taking care of this project for them and great job in taking care of the rest of us!

-- (the only thing in there she says is....tap on head..........tap..........tap..... saw dust) - James

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