Kindergarten Cop

It was a while ago that I was asked if I could make some traffic signs for my daughter’s Kindergarten, as they were planning on painting their trike track to be a road.  The road got delayed, so I didn’t feel too guilty that the signs were delayed as well.

This year the story is a bit different.  My wife is now the maintenance officer on the kindergarten committee, so I guess the road will be happening, and during the next working bee in a couple of weeks time, so suddenly the pressure is on to get the road signs made.

I’ve always known how I’d do the road signs, and the Torque Workcentre is central to the plan.

The first sign was always going to be a Stop sign.  Octagonal outside, which is nothing more than a few quick slices on the tablesaw.  Starting with a square of timber, then bisecting lines corner to corner to find the middle.  Next, a compass is used to draw a circle right to the edge of each side.  Finally, with a 45 degree square (and the Australian Wood Review square was the perfect size for this one) 45 degree lines were drawn across each corner so they touched the outside of the circle.  That gave the octagon, which was cut on the tablesaw.  The other option was to use the Sewing Revolution, and it was whichever was closer at the time – this time I found the compass first!

Sewing Revolution

Next, the octagon was mounted on the Torque Workcentre using a couple of Walko surface clamps.

Some of the MDF letters purchased from a local craft shop (hardware outlets also often supply them) were then laid out and secured down, ready to be duplicated into the surface of the sign.

Laying out the job

These are quite fragile, so plenty of screws were used to secure the letters down as much as possible.  Using the Torque Workcentre copy attachment, with a 1/4″ copy pin matched to the 1/4″ straight router bit, each letter was carefully routed around.  To ensure the best result, I first used the 1/2″ end of the copy pin to get close to the letters, before reverting to the 1/4″ end.  A second pass around each letter, getting close but not necessarily touching  ensured that the final pass needs very little material to be removed and a better result ensues.

Even so, it has been a while since I tried the copy attachment, so was a bit rusty.


Once the outlines had been done (including one around the border, done (semi) freehand.  (Done by locking one of the axes, then plunging and running the bit parallel to the edge, then rotating the workpiece 45 degrees.  Rinse and repeat all around)) I then changed to a larger straight bit to waste away the remaining timber leaving the letters, and the edge proud.


Next step will be to clean up the recessed area a bit more, then make the stand.

I’m planning on making 2 each of Stop signs, Give Way signs, 60 and 80 speed signs.  Think that should suffice, and the working bee can paint them 🙂


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