By Gene And Katie Hamilton
Just for you or your apprentice - a personalized name board that can be hung on a bedroom door or wall. These boards can be made in a variety of ways. Here are two different versions that are easy to make.
The first design reads horizontally. It is cut from an inexpensive piece of lx8 pine and framed with trim molding glued to its face. The 4-inch-high wooden letters are available in home centers and lumberyards. Several coats of spray paint decorate the sign board.
The second design reads vertically. It is cut from a lx6 pine board, with angled top and bottom corners. The wood is finished naturally, and the sign is trimmed with a brightly colored ribbon glued around the outside edge. The sign hangs from a decorative hook on the top.
Basic construction is the same for both signs. Measure out the sign board (A), following dimensions on the Cutting List for the design you have chosen. Sign One has square corners, but Sign Two has corners cut at a 45-degree angle. To lay out the angled cuts for Sign Two, measure 1 1/4 inches from the end and side of each corner, and mark along the edge. At each corner, draw a diagonal line connecting the two points, then cut along these lines.
One sign is trimmed with decorative molding. Cut the top, bottom, and side trim (B and C) to length using a miter box for accuracy. If the pieces come out a little short, don't worry. It is important, however, that the top and bottom be the same length, and that the sides both be the same. Because the trim is hardwood, pilot holes must be drilled for the nails so that the wood won't split. The older carpenter should drill the holes, because the 1/16-inch bit needed for this breaks easily. Drill a hole about 11/2 inches from each end of the C pieces. Then drill a hole 11/2 inches from each end of the B pieces and another at the center. Attach the molding to Sign One with wood glue and small finishing nails. These nails will hold the molding in place while the glue dries. Wipe off any excess glue with a rag while it is wet.
Sign Two has 3/4-inch ribbon trim around its sides attached with carpenter's wood glue. We chose a red and white decorative ribbon. Apply the glue to the sides, top, and bottom of the sign; use sparingly so that it won't soak through and stain the ribbon.
Both designs use the same precut wooden letters. Use spray paint to color them before affixing to the sign board. Several coats will be necessary, so use plenty of newspaper to protect your work surface. Open a window for proper ventilation, and don't paint in the basement near a hot-water heater or open flame because mist from a spray can is highly flammable. When the paint has dried, use 1-inch wire brads to attach the letters. Drill 1/16-inch pilot holes through each letter to prevent the wire beads from splitting the wood. The older team member should supervise placement.
Hanging brackets go on next. Sign One uses back-mounted picture-hanging brackets. Nail them in place with the brads that come with the brackets. Hammer carefully, making sure that the nails don't go all the way through the board.
Sign Two is held up by a decorative hook that screws into the top of the sign. Make a pilot hole for the screw by gently driving a finishing nail partway into the top and then removing it. Screw the hanger into this hole.
Eight hours for cutting, building, and assembling each sign, plus drying time for glue and finish.
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Find helpful advice and tips about tools, finishing, safety practices and a glossary of woodworking terms at Before You Begin