freehand router work

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Monte Pittman posted 479 days ago 1887 reads 3 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

To go with the poker table is a custom bar. Engraved on the front. Thought I would share my misery with you.

To start;

I print it out and cut it out one letter at a time and spray with Marsh ink

Hopefully it looks like the picture when you’re done. Then I use the Bosch Colt compact router with a 1/8” bit to cut the outline.

Then I switch to a 1/4” bit to clean out the letters.

Then I get to play graffiti artist and spray ink in the letters. Now is where the patience is required. It’s tempting to sand it offin a hurry. Don’t do it. Give it plenty of time to dry so you don’t have sawdust sticking to wet ink. Before I sandi spray it with shellac.

For the finished product, check out tomorrow’s post. :-)

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

16 comments so far

View JSB's profile


676 posts in 676 days

#1 posted 479 days ago

Here is a MUCH easier way to get that font on the workpiece!

I freehanded some lettering once with a router. Notice you have never seen my post of it! I butchered mine. Good job on yours!

-- Jay - or

View Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor's profile

Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor

4934 posts in 1906 days

#2 posted 479 days ago

Looking good so far Monte….Anxious to see the finished sign…

-- Every step of each project is considered my masterpiece because I want the finished product to reflect the quality of my work.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13250 posts in 936 days

#3 posted 479 days ago

I started with the Milescraft letter templates. I quickly decided that it was nice, but limited. I am sure that there are easier ways to do it, for now this is mine. Ever trying to learn.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14589 posts in 2274 days

#4 posted 479 days ago

Should I hold my breath?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View JoeinGa's profile


3091 posts in 605 days

#5 posted 479 days ago

So far, so good. You doing bar stools to go with the set?

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13250 posts in 936 days

#6 posted 479 days ago

No stools. They said they had their own.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

#7 posted 479 days ago

Just another idea on using the laser print transfer:

Laser prints are really toner printers and the toner is a wax based material colored in a number of colors.

Design your label in either B&W or color, make it a mirror image as demonstrated by Jay and take it to your favorite copy center if you have no laser printer. Color laser prints are more expensive, but can be very pretty, indeed.

Because the toner is basically a heat activated material it will also transfer by heat, not just by solvent. Place the toner print face down on a very smooth surface and iron it with a household iron. The design will transfer nicely. If you want to stay with the transferred imprint spray it lightly with a clear finish.
If you wish to rout the design, make it just an outline image.


-- Will trade wife's yarn for tools.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13250 posts in 936 days

#8 posted 479 days ago

I will definitely try that. I like both ideas for ink jet and laser printers.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 1676 days

#9 posted 479 days ago

Looks like you’re just having way too much fun for one person, Monte! :-}

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View gfadvm's profile


10557 posts in 1288 days

#10 posted 478 days ago

Monte- This is my favorite of everything you have posted!!! Waaaay cool!!!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Mauricio's profile


6747 posts in 1749 days

#11 posted 476 days ago

Pretty cool.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View helluvawreck's profile


15404 posts in 1465 days

#12 posted 476 days ago

Another thing that you might want to try, Monte, is sandblasting. You can get sandblasting mat material that sticks to the wood and use a knife to cut through the mat material to make your letter templates. We use to make hundreds of country plaques this way. The sand just bounces off the mat material and doesn’t cut the wood.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View clieb91's profile


3251 posts in 2533 days

#13 posted 476 days ago

Monte, The Laser Printing is how I am doing my game boards. It works great. Let me know if you have any questions about it, I keep tweeking it everytime I do it.
Nice looking job on the bar with that and the Poker table in that room it is quite a place to hang out I am sure.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Blackie_'s profile


3290 posts in 1110 days

#14 posted 463 days ago

Nice demo Monte and congrats on making the Lumber Jocks monthly emag.

I viewed Jay’s video on labeling projects with signature, (as for as signing your work) though I think I have even a much simpler and easier method to signing projects, my method is using a wood burner and signing the bottom of all my projects, I’m not saying this would work for what Monte is doing though.

Colwood, wood burner much faster then the printing method and works great also no need in coming back over with a spray lacquer, simply purchase from a local hobby store very small stencils of the size and font you are looking for pencil them onto the project and burn, myself I’m pretty good and freehand so I just freehand burn my signature.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View trolleyman's profile


5 posts in 494 days

#15 posted 462 days ago

I had to repair a big sign for the Seashore Trolley Museum by replacing the board with the word SEASHORE in a slanted, script font.

I used a plotter to print the word full size and then traced the outline of each letter onto the board using graphite paper. Freehand routing did the rest.

The key for me was slow, smooth movement of the router and tons of light illuminating the surface of the board. And since I had to bury my head close to the router to see the outline, good hearing protection was an absolute must.

My letters were about 8” tall so I could use a bowl shapped bit to give me rounded sides and flat bottoms for all the letters which had no sharp tails or serifs. Stencils are great for some things but you cannot get that many fonts and sizes without going broke.

If only I had one of those new shop-bots! Hey, I can dream, can’t I?

-- Paul, MA - Experience is what you get just after you needed it!

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase