Router carved walnut sign

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Project by wastedalf posted 08-31-2013 02:48 AM 1369 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is what I consider to be my first real project (since it’s actually leaving the apartment). Everything before this was just practice.

My friend just got a new house (today), and it has an awesome man cave in it! Problem is… she isn’t a man. A few weeks ago, when she was showing us pictures of the new place, she said “It can’t be a man cave anymore. I got it! I think I’ll call it the cougar den! I should get a sign that says that!”

Of course I knew immediately what our housewarming gift to her would be, and this is how it turned out.

Walnut board from the clearance rack at wood craft, trimmed up to size: 27 1/2×8 x 1. I used the old Craftsman router to do the letters freehand… obviously the Rs turned out the worst, but from every book I’ve read, if it looks perfect, then what’s the point of it being handmade?

My wife helped paint the lettering, I did the Cardinal Head by hand with a computer printout, some carbon paper, then acrylic paint. My friend is a huge Louisville fan so I know this is what puts the sign over the top.
Finished with a sealer coat of 75% Minwax gloss poly 25% Mineral Spirits, then 2 coats of straight poly with 320 grit in between. Front got a third sanding with 600 then a topcoat.

Thanks for viewing. Any comments, advice, or criticism is greatly welcomed. I need and appreciate the input :) Next project will be more than one piece of wood… I promise.

-- If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed. - Ecclesiastes 10:10

6 comments so far

View maplerock's profile


521 posts in 1217 days

#1 posted 09-01-2013 04:30 AM

Nice job! I’m sure she will love it. The back of the sign is beautiful too. I think you did a really good job of cutting the letters freehand.

-- Jerry... making sawdust in the Knobs of Southern Indiana

View workerinwood's profile


2716 posts in 2484 days

#2 posted 09-03-2013 12:08 PM

Well done, looks great!! Welcome to Lj’s and thanks for posting.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 1592 days

#3 posted 09-04-2013 02:26 PM

Cool and thoughtful gift for a friend. Like the design and colors, very personalized that I’m sure friend will appreciate.

View scrollsaw's profile


13032 posts in 3271 days

#4 posted 09-05-2013 09:58 AM

Great job GO CARDS!!!!

-- Todd

View Sanding2day's profile


1001 posts in 1263 days

#5 posted 09-09-2013 01:20 PM

Birds Great sign and IMO great work on the freehand lettering, I have been wanting the Rockler stencil kit for some time now… Love the little kitchen time which I presume you are using for time hacks between coats, should really do the same as I find myself saying close enough more than I should :P Welcome to LJs and thanks for sharing…

-- Dan

View wastedalf's profile


57 posts in 1149 days

#6 posted 09-09-2013 04:12 PM

Yeah the timer helped. There’s a ceiling fan directly above the table, so drying went faster than expected anyway. I’m guessing that I was lucky little to no dust interfered with the project.

-- If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed. - Ecclesiastes 10:10

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