Finger post road sign

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Project by FiremanJim posted 08-11-2019 04:12 PM 1073 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was commissioned to recreate this Finger Post road sign. The only thing the client provided was a photo from 1968, showing the sign from her fathers front yard when he was stationed in England.

The post and arms were simple enough, but I had two major concerns; 1, Was which font was used for the lettering, and 2, the spacing of the black and white painted sections.

I began researching online and found the font “Transport” that looked spot on. Then I researched and found some companies in England that still make these style of signs. After emailing the companies, and waiting over two weeks without getting a reply, I decided to just make each section 12” in length.

I used an 8’ 4×4 as the center structure, then used 4 pieces of 1×4x6” pine and covered the bottom 6’ of the post. The pieces lap over 3/4” as they go around the post. This effectively added 1.5” in width to the lower section. I did this to create the “stepped” shoulder.

I created a template so that I could use my router to create a mortise through the upper section in order to pass the long finger through the entire post. I had to route from both sides to cut all the way through the board. I squared up the hole with a chisel.

I used the same template and turned the piece 90 degrees to cut a notch for the single finger arm. I used two 5” long lag bolts to secure through the solid arm, into the end of the single arm, essentially locking them all together.

I applied 4 coats of primer and another 4 coats of semigloss exterior paint (all white). Then applied 4 coats of the black paint.

The only thing I would have done differently was to start with a 10’ 4×4 and 8’ 1×4’s, because once it was put into the ground, at least 1.5’ were lost to the foundation. You can see the height difference of the post between the two photos, one of me standing next to it (I am 6’), and the one of the recipient standing next to it once it was installed.

The project was a gift for his 74th birthday and his daughter, the one who commissioned it, said he became very emotional when they walked him out to show him his surprise.

-- "Creating sawdust since 1979"

6 comments so far

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

669 posts in 3543 days

#1 posted 08-11-2019 05:17 PM

It is always fun to research a “classic yesteryear’ project. Well done!

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

View FiremanJim's profile


41 posts in 4008 days

#2 posted 08-11-2019 07:44 PM

Thanks! It was a fun project to work on.

-- "Creating sawdust since 1979"

View doubleDD's profile


10932 posts in 3385 days

#3 posted 08-12-2019 12:09 AM

A job well done on the road sign. I remember making one years ago and it was a fun project.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

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