Wooden Sign – Routed, Carved and Burned

Childrens Shelter
A friend from work is an avid biker and the group he rides with does a lot of charity work for different children’s shelters. One of these shelters is the White Mountain Apache Tribe shelter here in Arizona. He asked a couple of months ago if I could possibly donate some time to make them a sign to replace their laminated construction paper one.
This sign is what I came up with and I used it as an opportunity to try a new technique which of course required a new router and bit. You can watch the entire process here:
Check out the video for a quick view of the entire process. I had 2.5 hours of video that I got crammed down into about 7 minutes. I thought I was doing good taking less video of each process until I loaded it all into my editing software and it came up to hours worth..
Childrens Shelter - 1

Before plunging the spiral upcut bit into the Alder I got ready for the sign, I decided to practice a little on my monkey that has been laying around the shop for a couple of years. This monkey head was practice for another technique when I was getting ready to burn it into my corn hole boards.

Childrens Shelter - 2

Everything you see on the table is what was required to make the sign. I didn’t really end up using the Dremel on the sign but did use it on the monkey quite a bit.
Childrens Shelter - 3
I used the same carbon copy paper transfer technique as both of my full and half scale corn hole boards.

Childrens Shelter - 4

The use of a face mask and safety glasses were pretty much a requirement due to the amount of saw dust and wood chips that went flying everywhere. If you watch the video you’ll see piles of it around. At one point I had a pile 4 or 5 inches deep in my lap.
Childrens Shelter - 5 Childrens Shelter - 6

After everything was routed, chiseled and sanded down I burned the letters in and painted the border.

Lessons Learned

  1. Practicing new techniques on non “production” objects is a must! If I didn’t do the monkey first I would have probably cut off the last letter of the sign and wasted all of the material and hours of time.
  2. When routing out things with mass amounts of material to remove, it would be nice to have different sized router bits. I used a 1/4 bit for this entire sign and would have done well to get a 3 or more bit set. That way I could have gotten into tighter corners with a small bit and removed more of the blank material with a larger bit.
  3. I think it’s time to get a better work bench. While using my scrapers and hand planes, that little table moved all over. I can’t tell you how much easier it would be if things didn’t move when you tried to plane them!

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