Subsistence Sign Carving

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Project by Tooch posted 123 days ago 853 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Subsistence Sign Carving
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Here is my first real attempt at using a palm router to carve out a sign. My neighbor asked me for this piece to hang at his cabin so he had something to point to when his buddy’s wives (not mine) complain about the lack of amenities. In exchange, he sent some of his old Landscraping clients my way, giving me some new business for the summer.

The slab is a piece of maple about 12” wide by 50” long that I scavenged from a relative’s house, out of the burn pile.

All lettering is 2- 1/2” tall, and was carved freehand, sans use of a sign-making template. To get everything looking as straight as possible, I first drew out my text lines with a framing square, then printed out the words I wanted, traced onto the slab using carbon paper, and simply took my time carving.

The sign was left bare wood at his request, just a real nice sand-job to get it smooth as a baby’s bottom. Sorry for the crappy picture quality… I was dropping this off at his house right after work and the only camera I had available was my prehistoric Flip-Phone.

Thanks for looking

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

5 comments so far

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


874 posts in 261 days

#1 posted 123 days ago

That’s impressive free hand routing.
I can’t even read my hand writting, so a freehanded sign would look like the craters on the moon…


-- Jeff NJ

View Hawaiilad's profile


1913 posts in 1648 days

#2 posted 123 days ago

You may say you “simply took my time carving”..., to me it looks like you spent several hours or even days on this very nice looking sign. I have used Maple and found it to be a nice wood to work with.

-- Larry in sunny and warm Hawaii,

View hoss12992's profile


2571 posts in 520 days

#3 posted 122 days ago

That looks great. Love the saying on it. Great job buddy

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Blackie_'s profile


3376 posts in 1139 days

#4 posted 118 days ago

Nicely done Tooch, you did a fine job.

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

View Roger's profile


14318 posts in 1431 days

#5 posted 98 days ago

Very impressive free-handing with a router. WowZa!

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

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