Post details: TurnLock Router SignCrafter System - Part 2

02/19/05

Permalink 08:04:09 am, Categories: Articles, 629 words   English (US)

TurnLock Router SignCrafter System - Part 2


SignCrafter SystemHow it works...

I am making a sign for my 2 year old's bedroom. Firstly, find a suitable piece of timber or MDF to make a sign with. The aluminum rails are a fixed length, so your timber must also be of a similar length to work easily. The rails are intended to work on boards as long as 30” and as wide as 4” to 12”. You can use it on longer boards if needed by simply sliding the whole Signcrafter jig over as you go, although you might have to do some measuring to ensure even spacing between letters.
SignCrafter SystemThese support bridges slide along the rails and help to eliminate flexing/bending of the aluminum rails when the weight of the router is added. While I'm on that subject, the templates are designed as such to provide even spacing between letters when your words are set up within the rails. This eliminates most tedious measuring requirements in the majority of signs you will make. Shorter signs can be made my working on a longer piece of material to begin with, then cutting it down to size later, or you can do them by disassembling the Signcrafter and using the rails themselves held in place by other forms of clamps. It's a little involved, but if you have a need, once you have used the Signcrafter the first time, its not too difficult to figure out how you could use it for shorter lengths of material.

SignCrafter System The supplied bushings and adaptor will fit most Skil and Craftsman routers, and some other models... Once you have your blank piece ready, you clamp one end of the Signcrafter to the piece (bear in mind the following was how I set things up). The clamps provided are not large, and look a little flimsy at first, however, once they are applied they hold really well, especially after you tighten the end brackets to the clamp rod. With one side clamped, you can slide your letters into the rails, in order, from the other end. You can use other templates to act as spacers if needed at both ends, and smaller, thinner spacer templates are included if you are making more than one word in a line, allowing you to nicely space between words.
SignCrafter System They didn't fit my smaller router, but I do have a bushing set for my big Triton router that works fine. You can use a combination of large letters and small letters, all large, all small, and mix in either large or small number templates as well. The larger templates will produce 2 1/2" sized letters/numbers, while the smaller templates produce letters/numbers of 1 1/2" in size. You are provided with the full alphabet of letters A through Z and 0 to 9 in numbers. There are 2 of each letter and number in each size. Essentially, you can create signs with any word/number known to man, or woman... It is very flexible in this regard. All letters are the same font.

SignCrafter System Note the position of the support brackets, helping take the weight of the 3HP Triton router. The font is block type, and it is quite nice actually. I have seen and used other letter templates before and the font used with those templates is rather unappealing, sometimes quite ugly!

 

SignCrafter System Note the "O" in the left. This is what happens when you forget to slide those same support brackets out of the way of the base! With your letters/numbers now arranged to make your word, slide on the 2 black supports and attach the other end bracket and secure it down. An adjustable clamp on this end helps keep letters snug up against each other so they wont move during the routing process.

Tools you'll need for this project

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