Need advice on Lettering

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Forum topic by John67 posted 03-28-2010 06:35 AM 1128 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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31 posts in 3029 days

03-28-2010 06:35 AM

I’m making a toy box chest for our grandson and would like to engrave his name on the face. I went to WoodCraft store today and they had a Milescraft lettering kit, but it looked cheap. I wondered if there was a better kit out there or something else you could recommend.

If possible, I would like to make a 4”-5” letters.


7 replies so far

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3092 days

#1 posted 03-28-2010 11:52 AM

Which one. I have the panograph, I love it. The other one did only letters that I know. The panograph can do a lot of stuff..

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View Catspaw's profile


236 posts in 3842 days

#2 posted 03-28-2010 02:39 PM

I’ve always had to do this by hand. So I make a printout of what I want, use spray adhesive and glue it down, then cut away the object(s) and sand off the rest of the pattern.

-- arborial reconfiguration specialist



53 posts in 3825 days

#3 posted 03-28-2010 04:39 PM

I made one for my Grandson over 25 years ago, what I did was use to use corel software to create his name in
4 inch Bold letters, printed it out and glued it to a piece of walnut. I then cut it out with my bandsaw, sanded
it on both sides and used my router to slightly round over the top of each letter. I then carefully glued it on the Toy Box. Another way would be to print the name with your printer, place a piece of carbon paper on the wood of your choice put the paper with his name on top of the carbon paper, transfer the letters onto the wood and then take your router with a decorative bit and freehand cut the letters. This method can be a challenge so do not try doing it on the toybox itself as you may ruin a great project.


-- never enough time in a day so use it well

View TheDane's profile


5441 posts in 3690 days

#4 posted 03-28-2010 06:50 PM

I have the MilesCraft SignCrafter … I have made a lot address signs, etc. and used it on project with my grandkids this week ( ). It is actually pretty easy to use.

I also have a Vermont-American Pantograph … I have never been able to get the hang of it so i just hangs on the wall in the shop.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3315 days

#5 posted 03-28-2010 07:05 PM

the Signcrafter is the best and most easiest to use too i have one and tought my doughters friend how to set it up and use it he’s only 7-8 years old. The pantograph everyone’s talking about i wan to get cuz i have some old english letters i want to try it on so i will be getting one of those too. The only other thing to do would be carve them by hand or use a CNC both of wich need alot of prctice and other tools/equipment. GOOD LUCK!

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View John67's profile


31 posts in 3029 days

#6 posted 03-29-2010 12:32 AM

Thanks Everyone!!

I’m going to try and trace the letters on the wood and see how well I can follow the lines. I’m not sure what my freehand looks like, but might as well try on some scrap wood. If I don’t like the results, I can always try plan B and look at Milescraft again. I’m surprised that there aren’t many kit versions out there with various fonts.

Thanks again!

View laketrout36's profile


200 posts in 2054 days

#7 posted 07-30-2013 12:28 PM

Recently I picked up the Milescraft sign kit. Everything was packaged good, nothing was damaged. I layed everything out on my bench and assembled it and selected my letters for my sign. A smooth and easy setup.


I have a Bosch 1617evspk router combo and the two different sets of screws that come with the kit are NOT compatible with this router. DON’T use their screws on this router or you’ll destroy your threads for your router. I referred to my router manual and located the correct size screws for the base plate. What’ya know. I did this once before and picked up a few sets of compatible screws from the hardware store to keep on hand. That did it. If I recall the size of screw needed for this router is a M4×25 x 3/8”. I bought a couple sets of screws M4×25 by 5/8” long. Perfect fit and length for using their thick baseplate.

The single holes on the baseplate for the kit didn’t line up so I had to focus on the slotted holes. No problem.

I’ve read a few reviews of people saying they just touched the letters with their router and the letters were destroyed. Hello, that’s why you use the guide bushing provided, set the router over the letters and let the bushing sit in the letter and then lower your bit into the wood. You can’t mess it up. Unless you’re rough, aggressive, and not following the directions I really don’t see how you can mess this up. Very straight forward.

The one point I will pay attention to in the future is if I make another full length sign I’ll need to find a way to brace or immobilize the midpoint of the sign. A clamp on the top side of the sign and one on the bottom side of the sign bracket will keep it in place and prevent the miniscule movement noticed during routing. You clamp each end of the sign prior and should clamp it in some way at the mid point. I don’t have any pictures yet but I’m satisfied with the product.

Bottom line; Works well for the hobbyist and well for the woodworker. Take your time, use additional clamps at the mid point of the sign IF you’re making a full length sign, shorter length signs only need the two provided clamps. If you need absolute precision you should use a CNC process. What’s the difference in cost between the two setups? I’d bet considerable and almost all could use this kit and do just fine.

Thanks for reading and hopefully this helps someone considering this product.

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