Routing Like a Pro

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Forum topic by John posted 12-04-2007 04:44 AM 1365 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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100 posts in 3941 days

12-04-2007 04:44 AM

I would like to learn how to route signs, letters, plaques with words, and the like. Maybe even learn how to do a fancy design or two. Can someone tell me how to begin learning this skill? I already have several routers, but have not used them for much beyond pattern routing.

Where do I begin? Any good DVD’s or books you would recommend? Who is a real master at this and has made good material to read or view?

What about kits used to make letters? Do they work? Any specific ones you could recommend?

Any input would be greatly appeciated.

-- Thanks!

8 replies so far

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4046 days

#1 posted 12-04-2007 06:23 AM

There’s a couple of videos here John.

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View toyguy's profile


1654 posts in 3862 days

#2 posted 12-04-2007 03:20 PM

No sign maker here, but I have seen this demonstrated at a couple of shows. Looks like it would be just the ticket:

LeeValley Tools

router letter template

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View John 's profile


100 posts in 3941 days

#3 posted 12-04-2007 09:24 PM

What about the “RoutaSketch Routing Template” that Rockler carries? Has anyone used that?

-- Thanks!

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3906 days

#4 posted 12-05-2007 12:10 AM

I have done a fair amount of Vbit signage with my CNC, but I believe that is not what you are looking for. You can do the same kind of thing by hand, and I have seen Norm do it (yes, freehand). Chuck a half inch (or so) Vbit and plunge and slide the router by tilting it while always keeping one side of the router base touching the work surface. The trick is to go deep for wide and shallow for thin, just by controlling the tilt of the router. Use a PC to print out a MS Word document with the font that you like, and transfer that to the work piece like you would for a scroll saw.

I must admit although that I tried it once by hand and it didn’t look so good. Maybe you are a bit more artistic than I.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View John 's profile


100 posts in 3941 days

#5 posted 12-05-2007 11:25 PM

Actually, I recently contacted a Shopbot representative and received a quote of $5,400 for a small machine. However, I am not sure I want to go “all in” until I have test-marketed my idea. Thus, my interest in learning to “Route like a pro.” What kind of CNC are you running?

Also, I am having trouble getting my edges to seal on veneered MDF? I stained and then polyurethaned them, but they are still ‘fuzzy?’ Are you using your CNC to route MDF? If so, how do you treat/seal the edges to make them “look like wood” – if that’s even possible. Any advice would be very helpful.


-- Thanks!

View wrkswood's profile


1 post in 3810 days

#6 posted 01-14-2008 09:29 PM

use diluted yellow wood glue.

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100 posts in 3941 days

#7 posted 01-14-2008 10:50 PM

How diluted? Should I mix it in a separate container ? Would it be two parts glue to one part water? I already have some glue and can’t wait to get home to try this! Will it still take stain, or should I stain, then glue, and then seal with polyurethane?

-- Thanks!

View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

953 posts in 3837 days

#8 posted 01-23-2008 02:02 PM

I carved letters using nife and chisel – catastrophe. If I get some information I tell you.

-- Jiri

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