Name Signs for Children

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Project by GnarlyErik posted 12-22-2012 11:31 PM 2067 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Gifts for grandkids are always a puzzle, and since every child usually likes their own name, this Christmas my grandchildren all get personalized name boards for their bedroom doors or desks besides fun toys. While making these, I did a few for some neighbor kids too – it is always good to be on friendly terms with ones neighbors, and the little guys are fun.  (After four years, I’ve finally figured out what retirement is really for!) 

Four of the ten name boards made

The names were printed out in a chosen font and size with the computer, and the letters then glued to the letter stock, in this case, 5mm x 5 ply leftover Okoume plywood. A suitable length of 3/4” 1×6 white pine was split down the middle edgewise (resawn) and each resulting piece planed back to a bit under 1/4” for the backing.

Cut out letters with backing board they will attach to

(A hint on glue for paper patterns – using 1 part white “school glue” thinned with 2 parts water, the glue can easily be painted on with with a small brush; the paper will hold fine for scroll-sawing and then peel right away from the stock afterwards leaving very little residue to be sanded off.)

Some name boards were made by simply glueing the letters on, and then doing the finish work, but a much nicer job is by finishing the backing and the letters separately. Unfortunately those took more time since I did not trust glue to hold over the finish. In this case, countersunk #6×3/8” flat head wood screws were used for the letters, at least two per, reinforced by thin yellow glue in parts too narrow for screws.

At one end of each board I painted a little something suitable for each child’s interests, then clear coated over that. I am pleased with the results, and hope my ‘art work’ will not be judged too harshly by the recipients – ten in all so far!

-- "Never let your dogma be run over by your karma!"

7 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30441 posts in 2844 days

#1 posted 12-22-2012 11:36 PM

Nice job. They’ll love them.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View a1Jim's profile


117721 posts in 4083 days

#2 posted 12-22-2012 11:39 PM

Beautiful signs they look top notch.

View shipwright's profile


8378 posts in 3304 days

#3 posted 12-22-2012 11:48 PM

Nice Eric.
I could use a couple with “Friendship” on them for my rigging.
I’d be willing to add the port and starboard lights myself.
Nice work and do enjoy that retirement.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View GnarlyErik's profile


321 posts in 2640 days

#4 posted 12-23-2012 02:07 AM

Yes Paul – Here’s a little sea story about ‘signs’ – and is about the opposite of “Friendship”!

Twenty-five years or so ago I knew an old bachelor named Jimmy who lived aboard a boat in the marina. I worked on his boat off and on over the years and had gotten to be friends with him. Sadly, old Jimmy has passed on now to fish those sea mounts in the sky.

But one day, he asked if I would make him a sign to keep people off his boat. He said sometimes in the middle of the night someone – usually a drunk – would come aboard his boat and he would have to chase them away. I made a couple signs gratis to hang on his outrigger poles as appreciation for his business. And, as luck would have it, shortly after that I saw a bit on TV about the guy who ran Dominos Pizza – I think it was Dominos, anyway a pizza guy they did a special on.

What grabbed my attention was a big rubber stamp this CEO used on things he sent back through the mail, such as bills or service charges he disagreed with, promotional offer junk, etc. It was about 6” x 6” and he used it with gusto in the TV clip. It was an image of a huge letter “U” with a large screw driven through both legs of the U at an angle, i.e., “Screw You”!

It so happened at the time we were doing a job calling for big galvanized wood screws, about a #30×6” for fastening on a heavy worm shoe. On the spur of the moment, I grabbed a short piece of shoe stock about 2” thick, and quickly made a big wooden “U” on the band saw. Then I put one of those big screws through it like the pizza guy’s rubber stamp, only this was the real thing – and about a five minute job. When I had a chance I gave it to Jimmy and he flipped out like a kid at Christmas. He promptly hung it in his rigging, and proudly showed it off to passers by. In fact, I got several calls to make more, but was never interested.

It was so well liked apparently, that about a week of two later when he was away, someone went aboard his boat to steal it and broke poor Jimmy’s heart!

-- "Never let your dogma be run over by your karma!"

View shipwright's profile


8378 posts in 3304 days

#5 posted 12-23-2012 02:15 AM

Good story.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2798 days

#6 posted 12-23-2012 05:52 AM

Very nicely done—great job scrolling and the art work is cute. Also, enjoyed your story. Thanks for posting—always appreciate your contributions!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View hunter71's profile


3438 posts in 3693 days

#7 posted 12-24-2012 01:31 AM

Neat, they will love them. I do.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

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