I purchased a template set with numbers and letters on so that I could make signs with the router. I then combined this with some glow in the dark powder and resin, within which I could slightly infill the lettering to give a very effective sign.
These were made at various times in 2015 and are the sort of job where you try to do more than one in one hit if possible as the set up is probably the most time consuming.
The first one was a birthday present for my (now) sister-in-law, made on 20th June 2015. I had already cut and routed the letters before taking any photos, but there are more work in progress photos from other projects below. I used a cotton bud to clean out the letters and also to apply the oil to the insides of the lettering for completeness. It’s also useful to make sure there’s not too much oil before applying the resin.
The powder was added to the resin by eye and it’s hard to know how much of either is needed, but because it’s a pale yellow (snot?) colour and the 2 part resin is clear, you quickly get a feel for if you have enough or not.
I had a request to create a ‘Carol’s Den’ sign. Since I was certain that my basement workshop activity can be heard nextdoor, I wanted to make their children a sign each too, perhaps for their rooms or doors. This was all done on 26th June 2015 so the lessons learnt from the Chloe sign were still fresh in my mind.
Here, I’d set the router up with the bushing, a straight bit and set the plunge depth. It’s also connected to the vacuum directly. The template and wood is held down with clamps where possible, being careful not to clamp somewhere that the router baseplate would need to pass over. The small bit of wood under the template is a spacer block for me to line up the template with the top of the wood. I then eyeballed the letter spacing as using a set distance between letters didn’t look right.
Once routed, it was time to clean up the insides and outsides.
Once the ink and pencil marks were sanded off and the letters cleaned, it was time to cut them.
I decided to use the Micro Jig push block for this as I wasn’t experienced or confident enough to do it without. I cut both pieces to the same width and trimmed both edges to give the same spacing above and below the letters. The Micro Jig was particularly useful to allow me to get very close to the blade safely.
When marking out, I tried to avoid the worst of the defects. Routing through the knots in a softwood board wouldn’t be a good idea. This limited where I could situate the letters though and you do need some overhang to clamp the templates to. I used a spacer block to cut the signs off at a set distance from the end letters.
Once cut, it was time for the resin. Again, no photos of this process but I expect to make more signs in the future – I’ll document this part properly then.
I had another request before Christmas (22nd December 2015) to make one for a family friend. I think I used too much resin for this one as some letters were completely filled – you only need about 4 mm deep for good effect. Either that, or the router was not set deep enough.
I needed to clean out some of the letters again after the resin because some sawdust settled into it somehow.
This was easily picked off and better to do with the lights out so the interfering debris can be picked off.
The effect was particularly impressive on larger signs!