Type of wood for signs?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by Eddy_1287 posted 05-28-2013 09:43 AM 880 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Eddy_1287's profile


44 posts in 2253 days

05-28-2013 09:43 AM

Topic tags/keywords: carving tool router

I wanted to get some advice or recomendations of different types of wood that would be great for carving/engraving a sign?

-- "Kneeling in Order to Stand"

6 replies so far

View SteveKnnn's profile


66 posts in 2063 days

#1 posted 05-28-2013 03:13 PM

Will the sign be indoors or outdoors?

-- Steve in Richmond, VA

View Underdog's profile


1207 posts in 2210 days

#2 posted 05-28-2013 04:00 PM

Traditionally, Redwood has been the best wood material for outdoor signs. However, other woods have also been good for outdoor use: Spanish Cedar, Cypress, Teak. Others that might work well are White Oak, Locust and Osage Orange. White Oak has closed cells, and will last a while if kept finished, Locust and Osage are well known for their durability as fence post and ground contact.

All of them will have to have the finish renewed every so often.

As far as how well they machine… Redwood is probably the worst of the bunch with Cypress a close second. White Oak, S.Cedar, Teak, Locust and Osage will machine well, although Locust and Osage will dull your tools more quickly. Generally, the softer the wood, the worse it will tear out. Close grained hard wood is better for machining.

If it’s an indoor sign and you’re not worried about being weatherproof, just about any good hardwood will do. Cherry, Walnut, Oak, Maple….

If your sign is and outdoor painted sign, then sign board (a foam product made for signs) is the very best way to go. It’s lightweight,paintable, durable, easily machined, and weatherproof.

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View Eddy_1287's profile


44 posts in 2253 days

#3 posted 05-28-2013 04:09 PM

Thanks a lot for all the info! It will come in handy whenever I make an outdoor sign. But as I should have stated earlier, the sign I’m making will be strictly indoors. So with the woods you described for indoor use, I think I night try walnut or cherry. Thanks again!

-- "Kneeling in Order to Stand"

View southernelle's profile


19 posts in 2020 days

#4 posted 05-28-2013 05:22 PM

I was searching for info because I also wanted to know what woods were best for signs…glad I read this …thanks Eddy_1287 and Underdog!

-- Southernelle

View rrww's profile


263 posts in 2288 days

#5 posted 05-28-2013 07:00 PM

underdog hit it on the head!

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2461 days

#6 posted 05-28-2013 07:21 PM

For outdoor signs, I started using SignFoam whenever budget allowed. It ain’t cheap, but it machines like a dream, takes paint wonderfully, and doesn’t deteriorate outside. Cut it, route it, carve it with hand tools, even get interesting textures by sandblasting it. It carves like butternut, but it has no grain so you can go any direction you want.

Haven’t bought any in quite a while as I only ever did signs as side work. But I have some holding up perfectly IN a waterpark. :)

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

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