We needed an entrance sign for the house to make it more of a home. I wanted something that looked and felt old and worn in. It was great fun experimenting with my tools and seeing what I could come up with.
As always, let's start with the finished product :) If you want to see the video, click here:
I highly recommend this lettering set if you want to do something like this with less hassle: https://amzn.to/2AqsbUu
Step 1: Printing and Gluing the Template
I started by printing and gluing the template to a piece of wood. The wood itself was just two short cedar boards which were jointed square and straight, and then doweled together together for strength.
Step 2: Choosing the Right Bit
The bit set that I have is pretty paltry and low quality, but as they say: use the tool you have. I used a flush trim bit which is about 4mm in diameter. It worked really well and gave me the look that I wanted.
Step 3: Get to Routin'!
The actual routing process was way more easy and straightforward than I expected. It was easy to control the router and I didn't make any huge mistakes. The only thing that stopped this from being absolutely perfect was the fact that the paper itself got torn up as I was routing and it made it hard to route up to the edge of the letter. In the end this worked in my favor as it gave the letters a slightly uneven shape which made them seem hand-carved.
Step 4: How It Turned Out
You can see that the letters are a bit uneven here. Sanding helped a lot in getting the look I wanted.
Step 5: Speaking of Sanding...
The amount of glue that I used was over the top and so the sanding process took way longer than I liked. God I hate sanding.
I hand sanded the insides of the letters. This removed the router bit marks and smoothed out the inner recess of the letters.
Step 6: It's All Too Straight and Boring
It turned out ok, but the block of wood felt like.. a block of wood. I wanted something with much more character so I broke out the grinder!
Step 7: Awwww Yeeeaaaahhh!
I love using power tools :)
The grinder broke up the edges and as an added and unexpected bonus it also burnt them slightly. It gave a huge amount of character to the piece and I will be using this technique again in the future. It looks great!
Step 8: Almost Done, Let's Add Some Stain
The stain that I like using recently is a teak oil-based one. It gives a rich, lively tone to wood which makes it feel both old and expensive.