Double-sided embossed sign

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Project by roha2236 posted 12-24-2017 07:08 PM 1336 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey folks, here’s my latest attempt at something new. Never made a sign before and certainly haven’t done any freehand routing. This is my first try, and it was intended to be a gift (so no pressure!) for my employers who’ve been very good to me.

Quick back story: The pub where I work has washrooms downstairs yet nothing to indicate as much to the guests, and we constantly get asked or see people wandering around for their location. So, rather than just chip in for a group gift I used the opportunity to go outside my comfort zone and hopefully make something useful and attractive for them. The front sign is black with a gold border and gilded (look) letters and a similar shape, and I wanted gold on black too, without overdoing the gold. Oh yeah, in order to read it from both ends of the restaurant it needs to be double sided too. The only practice I gave myself was a couple of test letters to get comfortable with free routing and then I was off!

26” wide, 1-1/4” thick white cedar with a 29.5” radius bottom that I decided on because that’s what the template for my Hal Taylor rocker was, and it looked good for this sign. With my marking gauge I cut the crisp inside edge of the border (1/4” border + 3/8” roundover edge). I wanted to use a pleasant Celtic type of font and settled on Dalelands Uncial. Printed it out and taped it along the two far edges so I could slide carbon paper underneath. Worked like a charm.

Started out routing (60* V-bit) around the pencil lines trying to cut the line in half, then moved to a 1/4” round nose bit to establish the border. I did two passes, ending at a 5/16” depth. With the sign clamped to my table saw I used the fence to butt the router base against for the straight edges, and cut a radius in 1/4” plywood for the base to ride against to cut the bottom edge.

Next I did two passes tracing the lines with the round nose bit and clearing out most of the material, finishing the flat sections with a straight bit. A fair bit of hand sanding and then sprayed a coat of 25% thinned black acrylic paint. Brushed gold metallic paint on the raised areas, then a bit of spray lacquer and I was done. The paint and lacquer have no sheen so imperfections are harder to spot (although no one will be getting too close to inspect anyway) and the letters really seem to pop. They received it yesterday and judging by their genuine reaction they’re VERY happy, love how it totally matches the space (and mentioned needing a sign like that)!

Thanks for looking!

-- Roman

9 comments so far

View observer100's profile


476 posts in 2393 days

#1 posted 12-24-2017 08:13 PM

Nice job on this sign! For a first attempt it turned out very attractive. I like the font type and overall size and layout.

-- Seeing is believing.

View TDominy's profile


205 posts in 3825 days

#2 posted 12-24-2017 09:02 PM

That is very nice. You did a great job. And what a thoughtful gift!

-- By hammer in hand, all things do stand.

View ralbuck's profile


6780 posts in 3549 days

#3 posted 12-25-2017 12:23 AM

A very fine job! For a first; it is somewhere past FANTASTIC!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View CaptainSkully's profile


1615 posts in 4841 days

#4 posted 12-25-2017 05:51 PM

Wow! It’s refreshing to see someone make a sign by hand instead of cranking it out on a benchtop CNC router. Very nice. Love the font! I’m a sucker for a good pub, especially if it feels authentic.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Grumpy's profile


26812 posts in 5134 days

#5 posted 12-26-2017 10:30 PM

Roman , nice job and congratulations on your ‘Daily Top 3’ award.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View RAP's profile


13 posts in 1883 days

#6 posted 12-27-2017 01:16 PM

Great Job! What size router did you use?

View Softshell's profile


45 posts in 1939 days

#7 posted 12-27-2017 01:45 PM

Nicely done. Came out great!

View roha2236's profile


45 posts in 2248 days

#8 posted 12-27-2017 02:33 PM

Great Job! What size router did you use?


Thanks! I used the fixed base for my 2.3hp Bosch MRC23EVSK on this sign, and a dremel for tight corners.

-- Roman

View Calmudgeon's profile


538 posts in 2710 days

#9 posted 12-27-2017 07:44 PM

Great job freehanding. I wouldn’t have trusted myself without a template. ;-)

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

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