My friend opened up a boutique salon and needed some signage for her business to be found easily by cars driving on the street. As a Techshop member I was happy to tackle this new challenge. I will show you what I made & some tips learned.
The first step was to take her logo and turn it into a vector image using Adobe Illustrator so that it could be resized and used accordingly.
Using this eps file and the vinyl cutter I created the door sign. I got the vinyl right in the techshop at a great price. The hardest part was weeding at all the little details for the birds & intricate letters. I had to be careful not to tear the very thin parts & not disturb the parts I wanted to keep, like the dots on the i.
The buidling signs were significantly more challenging and made 2 as shown for the front and side of the building measuring 4'x6' and 3'x6' respectively. I used a high grade exterior plywood for these and if I had an unlimited budget would have looked into acrylic sheets or sign foam but those are significantly more expensive. Using the same logo file I added a free clip art floral design to go with the boutique salon theme.
Using the CNC Router table I cut out each piece as shown in the picture below. For the inner bird details and smaller parts of the design I set it up to use a 1/8" and even a 1/16" end mill where as most of it uses 1/4" end mill to cut it out. Being able to use the smaller 1/16" end mill gave me nice fine detail. However, it is good to be able to switch router bits and the smaller bits took 2x or 4x long since it has to make double or quadruple the number of passes.
After the pieces were cut, I sanded and painted them. Since we had some paint already I hand painted them although In the future I would suggest using spray paint to significantly save time. To connect the pieces on to the backing sign board I used wood glue and screws for the large pieces. For the top sign I kept the original plywood cut out board (shown in the pictures) and used it when laying out the pieces as a guide to line up things and not have to draw lines. Finally sprayed with some weatherproof clear polyurethane spray and mounted with sheet metal screws.
Overall this was a fun project, and had a great time learning and using the CNC table. There is nothing too complicated and the results are well worth the effort.