Routering An Edge on a Sign plus Using Part of a Stencil

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  We are STILL waiting for our house to sell, quite a few showings but not any offers.  I feel so … stuck.  Also I am going crazy with not making things in the shop.  I have enough to move that I don’t really want more but, as you creative people know, there is a constant need to make something!

So, I will show some older signs and things and maybe work on something new just to get myself out of this rut.

Most of my signs have just plain 90 degree square edges, but sometimes I change it up with a router.  I LOVE my routers (I have three) and all the different bits that can make unlimited changes to a piece of wood.

The round over bit can be used in a few ways, depending on how much of the bit you use:

If you just want to round the top or bottom edge of your work, you set the bit so that only the curved part of the bit hits the wood.  (Round over bits come in different sizes for different thicknesses of wood)
You will get a rounded edge like this:
If you want top and bottom rounded you pass the router over both sides of your wood and get this:
However, if you want a small vertical edge along with the rounded edge you allow the vertical cutter on the bit to also hit the wood and you get this:
This is what I did with my “Welcome” sign.  I used the round over bit in my router, with the router hanging in the router table and the sign face down on the table.
I don’t do this in one pass, I usually make about four passes, starting with the bit lower in the table and just taking a small amount of wood off the four edges of the sign.  Then I raise the bit and take more wood off.  This is easier on the wood and the router and safer for the operator.
Here you can see the sign is face down (already painted, sorry I forgot to take a photo while I was routering):
You end up with a nice edging around your sign:
I first stained this wood with my steel wool and vinegar concoction and then painted over that with turquoise paint.  I sanded some of the paint off to distress the sign, then I used white paint on just a part of my “Paris Flea Market” stencil on each end of the sign.  Many stencils can be used in pieces to create different looks.  This one from Mudaritaville in full is quite different:
I hand painted “Welcome” in white with a grey edging:
This sign is 23″ long x 5 1/2″ wide.
Hope I’ve given some of you some ideas for your own creations!

                      Showing this at the following blog parties:              

Thanks to My Repurposed Life and  DIY Vintage Chic for featuring me!
Photobucket           DIY Vintage Chic

Horse Heads Coat Rack

Here’s another coat rack I made with my router.

I used a pine board and removed the background behind the horses heads.  I also routed some vertical lines to make the appearance of a fence along the bottom.

The horses are then painted black and the rest is stained.  I added 3 black pegs to the board.

This was inspired by a work by Thomas Molesworth who is well known for his “cowboy style” furniture. He made a bed with a similar image of horses heads on the footboard.

My horse head coat rack is 28 3/4″ long and 7″ high.  The three pegs are each about 2 1/8″ long. I routed three key holes on the back for hanging.  The price is $125 plus shipping.

This, as all my other work, is also available by contacting me personally, or through my etsy shop.

Girl on Horse Coat Rack

I am posting some of my work that is currently for sale either through me here at my blog, or through my etsy shop.

This is a coat rack (or it could be used as a jewelry hanger) made of reclaimed pallet wood.

I cut a half circle for the top part and left a straight board on the bottom where the pegs are.  I glued three boards side by side to make this piece.

This is my own design, the background is routered out.  This leaves the top edging as a frame and the girl on the horse, protruding out from the background.  The horseshoes, as well as the frame and the rider and her horse, are painted black. The bottom board is also painted black and the rest is stained.

Three 5/8″ diameter wooden dowels are wrapped with twine to add to the rustic look.

This coat rack is 24 1/2″ long and 9 3/4″ high.  The back has two triangle hooks for hanging.

There are a few holes in the wood because it was previously a pallet. I think it adds to the character of the piece. The price is $125 plus shipping.

Here are some other items I’ve made by routering out a design:

Golf Motif Box

Bar Sign

The Serendipity House – A shaped sign tutorial

This post is a tutorial about a sign I made for Cindy who blogs at Cottage Instincts and sells her painted furniture at The Serendipity House .  I offered to make Cindy a sign, just because.
Cindy’s business has a really nice logo that she put together with an interestingly shaped graphic from The Graphics Fairy.  I thought it would look nice cut out of wood.
The first step was printing out her logo, which I got directly from her website and enlarged to about 22″ long. I printed it out in black and grey on two pieces of legal sized paper.

After cutting it out and taping it together, I then found a nice solid piece of pine (oh dear, can’t remember the thickness, I think just under 1″) and drew the middle section accurately and a rough outline of the outer curvy parts.

I decided that this logo sign would look great if the middle section, with the wording, was raised up from the background.  I thought flat would be a bit, well, boring.

Now, this added much more work to my sign than a flat sign would be, but anyway, away I went with my small router.  Using a straight bit I began to take away wood from the outer edges, where all the fancy design is.

With a router, it’s best to work at this gradually, taking about 1/8″ depth off on the first pass:

Subsequent passes go deeper and deeper.  This is time consuming, but necessary:

Here you can see the right portion is deeper than the left:

This is a photo of the whole thing routed away.  Unfortunately I don’t really know how much I took off, and I’ve already sent the sign, so… I just took it down to where I thought it looked good:
Here’s a close-up where you can see the different heights. Again, the middle part was not touched: 

Now, if I had a good quality scroll saw, I would have used it, but since I don’t I was stuck using a jigsaw.  I drew the final outside shape on the BACK of the sign, being sure to line up properly where the design was on the front:

I cut on the back, since it was flat and the jigsaw could run on the even wood.  This is after turning it over to get a peek at how things were going:

Here’s the design all cut out, including holes where they appear in the original design:

I used a wood stain and stained darker on the outer portion than the middle:

Here’s a close-up: 

After the stain dried I used carbon paper to trace the lettering and birdie for the logo.  Then I hand painted it with standard craft paint.

So, this shows the website logo and below, the wood sign I made:

I hope Cindy likes it, she will be hanging it in her brand new home.

Can I make one for you with your logo?

Showing at the following parties:
No Minimalist Here
My Repurposed Life
French Country Cottage
Jennifer Rizzo
Funky Junk Interiors
too much time on my hands
Elizabeth & Co.
Coastal Charm

Making Interior Pine Doors – Part 8: hanging the doors

This is Part 8 of a series that starts here

Finally hanging the doors is the next step in this long process.

I stand my doors in the opening they will go in and put them on a flat scrap of wood, just enough to give the clearance under the door that I want. I use about 1/8″ – 3/16″ up off the floor.  Then I mark the top and bottom of the hinge recesses I’ve already cut out on the doors. I tape a hinge onto the door frame at the correct spot and trace around it with a pencil:

Then I carefully cut around the pencil marks, to a depth of about 1/16″, with a sharp knife:

As I showed in the previous post, my router bit was set to the thickness of the hinge:

Then, I routered out the space by hand being very careful to stay inside the cut lines. I could have tried to clamp some type of stop blocks on the frame, as I did for the doors, but I didn’t do that.

This was a little difficult to do the top hinges, since I had to stand on a chair, but anyway…

I was very careful and watched through the opening in the router base to see where I was:

I cleaned up the uneven spots and squared up the corners with a chisel and the hinge fits right in:

My dogs watched the process intently!

These are hinges with removable pins so I screwed each hinge side to the doors and the other side to the frames.  Then I lined them up and dropped the pins in. 
I have not finished the door rails and stiles with polyurethane yet, just the panels and the door frames, so the colour is different, but here’s the doorway between my shop and my front room:
and here is the doorway between my shop and my husband’s garage:
Now I need to make some door stops, the narrow strips on the door frame that doors butt up against when closed.  Also I have to cut the windows and make strips to hold them in.  
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Making Interior Pine Doors – Part 7: hinging the doors

This is Part 7 of a series that starts here

Time to put hinges on the doors.

I’m going to use 3 hinges per door, so I mark with pencil by tracing around where they will sit right on the door edge.  I then use a sharp knife and cut the outline out to no more than a depth of 1/16″.

Then I get my hinge and set it on the base of my trim router which has a straight bit in it.  The cutting depth of the bit (the amount protruding out of the base) is set as the thickness of the hinge, which in my case is about 1/16″.  I don’t measure it, I put the hinge there and then adjust by feel until the end of the bit is even with the face of the hinge.
(Always do these adjustments with the router unplugged)

Next, measure the distance (A) from the edge of the router bit to the side of the router base:

Then I clamp scrap wood to the edge of the door so that there is a “fence” exactly at the distance A away from the marked line of where the hinge will sit.  As you can see here, there are two pieces of wood even with the door’s wood, to make the distance A.  Then there is another piece of MDF clamped higher up so that it makes an edge for the base of the router to ride against.

 This photo will show how the router will ride against the fence to clean out the hinge’s recessed spot. Having this fence will stop the router from making the recess for the hinge too wide.

In the same manner I also clamp a stop block on the left side of where the hinge will go. You can also put one on the right side, I don’t because my router base has an uneven back side so it doesn’t ride neatly against wood.

Here you can see how the router bit will cut right along the left pencil line and then along the top line. You can do this without stops, but they make it pretty fool proof.

This shows the cut.  After doing this I would go back and remove the rest of the space and then use a chisel to get into the corners:

Here is the hinge fitting perfectly in it’s spot:

You can also buy hinge jigs for hinging doors, where the jig has a preset opening for the hinge and you just ride inside that with your router.  I find those limiting, but if I was a professional door hanger and doing many hinge recesses of the same size, I’d buy or make a more permanent jig.

Okay, now since I have 2 door openings with 2 doors each and three hinges per door that means I need to install 12 hinges on my doors!

In the next post I’ll (finally) hang the doors.

Making Interior Pine Doors – Part 5: the glue-ups

This is Part 5 of a series that starts here
Now that the parts of the doors are ready for gluing up there are a couple things to do first.  
Because the tops of the doors will have plexiglass panels as “windows” I need to take off one side of the groove I made.  This will allow the window to sit in from one side.  I don’t want to glue the plexi window in the door just in case it gets broken sometime and trapped in there.  So I will take off half of the wood and then put the plexi in and fill in around the edges with small wood strips.
Hard to explain, but I want to get to this:

And I’m starting with this:
So I will put the plexi in and trap it like this with the small strips:
To get rid of the extra piece (the one side of the groove) I use my router table.  First I mark the starting and stopping point of the place where the window will sit and then take off the wood with a straight bit in my router.  I use two passes, running my door stiles and rails along a fence and taking off the wood just where the openings will be.

 * If there is anything you don’t understand, please don’t hesitate to ask me for clarification.  Some of these steps are hard to explain in writing *

The other thing I need to do is to finish my panel pieces. Because they are solid wood, they will be expanding and shrinking with the seasons and therefore need to be coated independently of the doors. As I said previously I would not use these 3″ pieces again for this application.  A piece of plywood would be much easier, plus it does not change size and could therefore be glued into the doors.  I put five coats of wipe-on polyurethane on all these darn pieces.

The first glue up is gluing one side only, so the four rails (horizontal pieces) are glued into one side stile (vertical piece):
I do add the other stile as well when I glue up but without glue on that side, this keeps the door aligned well while the glue dries on the one side:

Now that the door is half glued, I have slots for the panel pieces to fit into:

I slide the finished pieces in, one at a time from the unglued end:

Then I can glue the other stile on and pull the door together with clamps:

Here’s just one of the four doors drying:

After the glue is dried I run my orbital sander over the door rails and stiles.  When YOU do this, pay attention and do not fall off the edge of the door rail, or you will take off some of the poly that took so long to apply!!!:

Okay we are getting there, next time, gluing the big door and adding hinges…

Routed out Serving Tray

I decided to use some of my wood stock to make some trays. The first one I made is a routed out serving tray.

I started with a piece of birch that I planed down and cut to the size of 25″ long x  7 1/2″ wide x 13/16″ thick:
For 3″ at each end, on the underside of the piece, I routed out a depth of  5/16″ using a bowl bit:
(This was cleaned up afterwards with a sander.)
Here you can see the profile of the tray from the side:
I then drew out a rectangle 17 1/4″ x 6 1/2″ that I would route out inside the tray on the top side:
I proceeded to route out  3/8″ deep
Once it was routed out I sanded, sanded and sanded some more:
I coated the whole board with mineral oil, let that soak in and then coated it again:
This tray will be available for sale here at my blog or through my website
and also at the upcoming 
Witty Artisan Christmas Craft Show
on Dec. 2, 2012 at the Portage Restaurant in North Bay, ON
Sharing at the following blogs: