Post details: TurnLock Router SignCrafter System - Part 4

02/19/05

Permalink 08:45:29 am, Categories: Articles, 467 words   English (US)

TurnLock Router SignCrafter System - Part 4


SignCrafter SystemBasically, you just start on one end and move to the next, routing out letters and adjusting your support brackets as you go. It doesn't take long to make a sign once the initial setup is finished. I found sorting out and finding the actual letters I needed from the bunch to be the most time-consuming task. You can make multiple line signs by simply adjusting and moving the clamp downwards on your workpiece, and the same process begins again. There is no real brain-power involved with the task, just a few simple steps to remember as you go along. You may only need to change bushings half way through if your sign uses a combination of larger and smaller letters/numbers.

Ideally, for best accuracy, a router with a see-through base plate or a router that allows you to see your bushing riding around the template would ensure optimum results, because you can anticipate all the the turns in direction needed for specific letters, and not risk moving the router away from the template edge and spoiling the letter.

Conclusion

I have made four signs so far with the Signcrafter. The first two were practice runs and had a few errors... I just finished one out of wood the other day for a rushed birthday present. Hopefully I can get it back soon for a brief period to take some photos to add here. A natural wood grain sign looks really nice. What you can do to get a nice finish is paint the whole sign once lettering has completed in black, let it dry, then belt sand or plane the face away removing the paint on the surface (not in the lettered depressions). What this does is give you nice clean paint lines around the letters further enhancing their shape and borders. You can then apply your favorite wood finish, taking care around the painted letters, or even cover them with a clear protective finish.

Are their any major problems with the Signcrafter? Not many. Most problems you may encounter are likely to be a result of user error. It would be good if Milescraft offered shorter rails as an accessory to work with shorter material lengths. The product is by no means foolproof, no product really is, but for US$39.99 it is one of the cheapest sign making sets going around that does give good results with a little practice.

With Christmas coming up or just for family or relative's birthdays, wooden signs certainly make a very unique gift that will not be forgotten in a hurry. They can also be decorative or serve a practical purpose around the house or workshop. Every workshop should have a nice wooden sign don't you think? :-)

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