Introduction: Grandpa's Workshop Wood Sign

We made this wood sign to hang up in Grandpa's Workshop. It's a super simple design and was a lot of fun to make. One of the reasons we made it was to try out the routing technique we used in the video. Also, any excuse we can find to use the scroll saw, will be met with enthusiasm. We hope you enjoy this fun and relatively simple DIY project.

If you would like to make this you can get the Grandpa's Workshop pattern on our website.

What we used:

  • Standard Pine Board
  • Trim Router with V-Bit and 1/4" Straight Bit
  • Scroll Saw
  • Band Saw
  • Black Spray Paint
  • Enamel Spray Clear Coat
  • Grandpa's Workshop Pattern (linked above)

Step 1: Check Out the Video

Often times a step is more easily understood when you can see the whole process or see it in action. Take a couple of minutes and check out the short build video that we have included. It shows a lot more of the entire build than we could show with images.

Step 2: Applying the Pattern

You can find out how to get the pattern on our website. After you have that or a similar pattern of your choosing you can attach it to the wood.

We used a standard 3/4" thick pine board for this project.

The pattern we used was printed on full page shipping labels. This allows us to stick the pattern directly to the wood. For this project we made a two-page pattern. The pattern is printed larger, on two separate sheets of paper and then trimmed to fit together. Lining them up is easy, but takes a little patience.

Step 3: Routing the Letters

To create the recessed letters we used a combination of a 1/4" straight bit and a V-bit. Both were used in our trim router.

The V-bit was used to remove the letters in "GRANDPA'S". The V-bit allows for making thinner lines since it comes to a point. You will have to play around with it to get the depth set how you want it. The deeper you set it, the wider the path it cuts.

For the word "WORKSHOP" we used a combination of both bits. We first traced the letters out with the V-bit and then cleared out the rest of the material with the straight bit.

NOTE: take your time and be careful. The slower you go and the more control you have over the router, the better the lines and cuts will look.

Step 4: Cutting the Outside

We used a combination of the scroll saw and band saw to make the outer cuts. The scroll saw was use for the finer curved cuts and the one inner cut and the band saw was used for all of the straight cuts.

Step 5: Paint

Once the outer edges were cut away, we put down a layer of painters tape that covered everything except the letters and the areas closely surrounding it. We didn't want the paint to get into the recesses of the blade or on the outer edges, since this would be harder to remove later.

We used a flat black spray paint to paint the letters, making sure that all of the inside edges of the letters were covered in black.

Once the paint had dried, we removed the tape and began to sand. We used a 220-grit sandpaper. The idea here is to remove the surface paint and leave behind all of the paint in the recesses. Be careful here and don't go too deep.

Step 6: Finishing Mistakes

One problem that we ran into was with finishing. I had thought that a simple wipe-on polyurethane would look nice on this piece and while it may have, it didn't jive too well with the black spray paint. The result was black smears across the face of the sign. So we decided to try another method, but had to redo some of our work to get there.

Step 7: Fixed

We fixed our mistake by sanding the sign back down slightly. Then we routed the letters just a little bit deeper, reapplied the spray paint, sanded the surface paint off once again and then clear coated it. This time, however, we opted for a spray enamel clear coat. This worked much better and there were no runs or streaks from the paint.

Step 8: All Done!

That's all there is to it. It is a fun and simple project, provided you dodge the mistakes we made.

We hope you enjoyed this DIY project and the video that goes along with it. If you have any questions or comments please let us know, we'd be more than happy to help you out. Thanks for checking out this Instructable.