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Routing with uncommon wood.

Discussion in 'Dimensional Signs' started by Joe Crumley, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. A case for the router.

    Everyone, I know, who dives into CNC signs ends up going in a totally different direction than they intended. The reason, it opens so many opportunities it's hard to choose which direction to go. That's one reason workshops are so popular. However you should choose a workshop that helps you go in the right direction.

    Here's one of the opportunities. At one time all my signs were blasted but when Clear Heart Redwood became so expensive and rare I was left HDU. That material has no qualities of it's own and has it's own limits. Never before had I even considered using Yellow Pine or Rough Sawn Red Cedar. Now that's my main materials. It's available at the local Lowe's and is cheap.

    I had mentioned earlier it's necessary to have good depth with letters standing above the background. With most lumber that's almost impossible by sandblasting alone. Blasting works best on soften woods. With the router it's possible to hog out the background and lightly blast. This gives the best of both worlds using otherwise lumber that wouldn't work.

    When I started this adventure, three years ago, Yellow Pine would warp, split, and bugs would eat it alive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Same goes for cheap rough cedar.

    Another advantage is I no longer use sandblast mask. If there's a need for blasting I cut 1/8" pvc and brad nail it down. What a good resist for blasting.

    Joe Crumley

    Attached Files:

  2. Z SIGNS

    Z SIGNS Very Active Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    Trenton NJ
    Nice tip.We don't sandblast any more but when we did we used a technique that was similar.We would coat the blank out lay down a low tack gerber mask ,spray glue (with photo mount)1/8" pvc onto the mask rout the first pass with a v bit or a down bit then hog the rest out with an up bit staying away 1/64 from the letters so as not to tear the mask ,blast the b'grnd ,paint then remove the mask and the sign was done.
  3. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

    Jun 4, 2007
    Home Office
    Thanks for the post Joe. Maybe this will be the year for CNC at our shop.
  4. Thanks guys,

    If anyone is interested in purchasing a CNC, feel free to as any questions. It's kind of a lonely process making this kind of decision.

    I'm amazed at the number of retired people thinking this would be a fun hobby, buy the equipment, and quickly give give up. There's often some good purchased with seldom used equipment.

    Joe Crumley
  5. Sign Up Graphics

    Sign Up Graphics Very Active Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    Sign Up Graphics

    :thankyou: for the tip.
  6. RJ,

    This equipment will change your business by opening up whole new markets. Another advantage to CNC work is it gets you out of the tight pricing restrictions of vinyl.

    Joe Crumley
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2013

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