Routing a Sign - Part 3 - Finishing the sign

I've finished the horizontal and vertical portions of the letters and now move on to the straight angled parts.  This would include both sides of the V, as well as the A and the leg of the R. These are basically done the same way, by clamping a scrap piece of wood at the offset distance away from the letter being routed.  I had to brace underneath my scrap piece to clamp it securely.

The router then rides again along the side of the clamped piece.

Now... the hard part!  For the remaining curved parts of the letters, such as the top of the R's, the B, the bottom of the U and the C and of course the very curvy "&".  You really need to hold tight on the router and try to keep within the drawn lines.  As I said in Part 2, it's not perfect and it helps to practise a bit first!  Here are the finished letters:

First I take off the support wood underneath and trim the wood to size.  I then give the board a good sanding which can help remove some of the fine bits you sometimes get around the edge of the routed out letters.  It also removes any pencil or carbon markings and any small scratches that the router may make while moving across the wood.

I fill the letters with black craft paint, using a fine brush, carefully. Some people spray their whole board and then either sand or plane off the black on the flat parts.  I have not had success trying this, perhaps I need a different paint for that?

I did a second coat of black in the letters and checked for places where it wasn't solid enough.  With wood grain, the paint can sometimes soak in in places and leave small gaps in other places.

Once the black paint has dried, I use an exterior wood finish that soaks into the wood.  I used "Deftoil" by Deft which is supposed to "Protect Exterior Woods from the Harmful Effects of Rain and Sun."  This product is brushed on liberally and then left for 30 minutes to penetrate into the wood.  You then apply a second coat and wipe after another 20 minutes.

Here's the finished sign:

Please ask if you have any questions, this is meant to help others try out routing a sign so let me know if you make one.

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