Signs o’ the Times

Fun to make, and hopefully fun for the kids!

Stepping back to the process itself, I continued with the same technique that I used for the first test sign. The Torque Workcentre played a huge part in the construction. Without it, I would have gone a completely different (and much simpler) result.  There is no doubt that the direction I have gone here is quite special. (Which means to say that I’m surprised by the result – it came out as I imagined, but much better than I expected!)

Duplication Process

The “Give Way” signs were created in the same way as the Stop signage, with MDF letters secured to a board, and the Copy Attachment used to duplicate these into the workpiece.

Just to give an idea of the various tools that get involved in a process such as this (and covering a number of the tools previously mentioned on here, just to show they actually do get used, not just admired!)

Tablesaw, w Flai U blade to dock the boards, cut out the Stop signs etc

Incra 1000SE Mitre gauge to get 90 degrees, as well as preset angles for 45 degrees for the stop sign, and 35 degrees (from memory) for the Give Way

Rockwell Cordless drill for predrilling holes the the letters, and Impact driver for screwing everything down (with Kreg Robertson Screws)

Aust Wood Review/Woodpeckers square for centering the text on the board (among other quick roles)

Incra T Rule for drawing lines parallel with the edge of the board for aligning letters

Walko clamps for holding down the work

Torque Workcentre (obviously) for doing the overhead routing (with a Triton router and Carbitool Router bit)

Walko workbench for some post-routing work

Hock and Pfeil chisels for hand carving any work needed after the router

Festool 150/5 sander

Rockwell Oscillating Tool w sander

Carbitool surfacing bit

Titebond III glue

Carbatec thread cutter for the post

And, well, you get the idea.  Even a simple project can involve quite an amazing array of tools.  It obviously depends on what you have to what you get to use. I certainly enjoy having the right tool for the job, rather than having to compromise (at least any more than is necessary).

Routing Heaven

I decided to cut the letters in the first Give Way sign so I could work out the necessary final outside dimensions after the fact.

Speed Signs

Where it came to the speed signs, I used the circle cutting method (previously documented in a previous Shed.TV video) to cut a couple of tracks to define the outside ring that Aussie speed signs have inside a rectangular sign.  The numbers then were carved out from within the inner circle, and extra material removed to the edge of the ring.

Sanding adjustment

I wanted to do some sanding around the letters as much as possible, and the best solution I (currently) have is the Rockwell Oscillating tool with a sanding attachment.  I couldn’t get into spaces as tightly as I wanted, so I took the delta sanding pad to the disk sander and shaped the teardrop shape version of the sanding pad.  This got right into tight spaces (and I still have a second, non-modified delta sanding base).

Building the stand

The posts for the signs are 1″ diameter broom handles (one of the cheapest way to buy dowel!).  They were each held down tightly with the Walko clamps ready for a bit of machining.

Surfacing bit

I then used the Carbitool Surfacing bit to flatten the area of the pole that will be behind, and against the sign.

Flattened area for sign

This then had 3 holes drilled in it, Titebond III (outdoor (waterproof) glue) added and the sign screwed on.

Cutting threads

To create a strong base, I decided to cut threads on the other end of the poles, and tap a hole in each base.  These were glued together (with the threads increasing the glue area), and a screw screwed up into the threads from underneath to lock them up permanently.

Entering Liliput

I am quite ecstatic with the result – they look very cool – better than I was expecting.

Meeting with Approval from the Munchkin

And they met with enthusiastic approval from my resident tester.

Either this is testing out the result, or driving from Geelong to Melbourne….

So the signs are constructed, and I just have to figure out how I want to finish them. I have 2 options I can see:

Head down the expected route, and paint them all, or leave them wood with just paint on the top surfaces, then sprayed with a varnish.  The jury is still out.

So that is my little road sign project.  A lot of fun for sure!  It will be good to see them in use. I could have gone down the route of just a basic outline with the sign details painted on, or go the whole hog and come up with something just that much more refined.  Obviously, I preferred the second option!


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