Thursday, 9 October 2014

Garden Gate Part 10 - More signs and preparation

As there were many more letters to be carved I decided to have a look at the Milescraft Signpro. Essentially this is a routing template comprising letters, numbers and some punctuation marks.
The set I have is the 1212 which has a full range of 2.1/2" high and 1.1/2" high characters. It also has 2 different diameter long series router cutters, various low profile clamps, universal router base and various accessories to enable the user to make long signs.

In use the template couldn't have been simpler to use but after routing some letters still needed some work with a chisel to clean up. Also some light sanding cleaning up the routed characters was needed.
The finished results were acceptable and saved a lot of time. I know I could have done it using Norm's manual method as mentioned in a previous post but I'm all for time saving measures.

I then had to route pockets in the oak cross rails to inset the signs into. The reason for this is the stock I used to make the signs was 3/4" thick and I only wanted the signs to protrude around  5/16" or so.

Cleaning up the end of the pocket
in the mid rail

The mid rail pocket ready for the road sign

The sign with the house number on needed a routing template making due to the various curves. This was very easy to do using a guide bush and collar to produce the template using the sign as a model.
Then using the template the shaped pocket was easily routed with the collar on the guide bush.
Plywood routing template made from
the finished house number sign.
Finished pocket for the house number

The 3 other signs were rectangular and is was easy to define the edges using a marking knife. The routing of the pockets for these was  by hand holding the router with its edge guide. I also arranged a series of stop blocks to limit the travel of the router stopping the cutter around 1/8" before the knife line. Then using bench chisels the ends of the pockets were chiselled out.
Starting to cut the minor sign pockets.
Cutoffs are used as limiting stopblocks

Gradual movement of the edge guide
position the cut

Rough routing done

Squaring the ends of the mortise with a corner chisel.
The glove is to stop blood dripping onto the work.
Yes I cut myself with a chisel!

All the mortise pockets completed

There was a little more work to do on the lowest cross member to cut biscuit slots for the diagonal pieces. Also corresponding biscuit slots were cut in the bottom of the mid rail. Of course the diagonal pieces needed mating biscuit slots to complete the joinery.
Cutting biscuit slot in the top of the lower rail.

Now I just have a big pile of parts to glue up.

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