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Made By Hand Shoppe
Custom Routed & Raised Letter Signs

Crafting a Custom Sign

Routed Sign (Left), Reverse Routed Sign (Center) and Raised Letter/Graphic Sign (Right)

Photos of three Routed/Scroll Cut Sign types after creation but prior to finishing

Preparations for Crafting a Sign

A great deal of preparatory work goes into making a Routed, Raised Letter/Graphic or Combination sign. The first part of the process is obtaining the necessary information from the perspective customer to determine how they want their sign to look. The theme, color(s), shape, size, wood type, shade, type style(s), graphic(s) and graphic placement are all necessary components required to design a sign that will meet with their approval.

Utilizing this information, a sign design is created (Sign Layout), priced out, converted into a .jpg file and sent to the perspective customer for consideration via E-Mail, with the .jpg file sent as an " Attachement". The prospective customer is presented with all pertinent information they will need to make a decision about their proposed sign. If something about the layout does not meet with their approval, they contact me (usually by E-Mail), explain any changes they would like to see and a new layout is created and sent to them. Once the prospective customer has a layout they are happy with, they can place an order for their sign referring to the "Layout Reference Number" they have chosen and either place their order via E-Mail or call to verbally provide the order information.

Credit/Debit cards (Visa, Master Card & Discover) are the most common methods of payment, however checks (Pennsylvania residents only) and money orders are also accepted. If payment is made by check or money order, the creation of the sign is not begun until the check or money order has ben recieved. If payment is by check, sign creation is further delayed (five to seven working days) while the check clears the bank. Credit and Debit card payments are instantaneous and will not delay the sign creation process.

The Creation Process

Creating a custom Sign is a fourteen (14) step process with a great deal of the work being performed prior to the actual carving or scroll cutting of the sign. When creating Raised Letter, Raised Graphics or Combination Signs, each individual component must be carefully crafted and made to exacting sizes which will not get attached to the sign until step eleven. The Process is as follows . . .

  1. Click for Photo Designing the sign and creating a Template utilizing a computer and sophisticated graphics software.

  2. Click for Photo Printing out a Full Size Template of the sign and carefully indexing and taping each piece of it together.

  3. Click for Photo Selecting just the right piece of Wood for the sign project.

  4. Click for Photo Click for Photo Click for Photo Crafting the raw material into the proper Size and Shape which will be transformed into the "Sign Blank".

  5. Click for Photo Click for Photo Carving the Coved Edge, when applicable, around the perimeter of the sign blank using a high speed router.

  6. Click for Photo Sanding and Fine Sanding all surfaces of the sign blank.

  7. Click for Photo Transfering the Computer Generated image to the sign blank while allowing appropriate space for any Raised Letter/Graphics components.

  8. Click for Photo Click for Photo Carving the sign blank and/or raised graphic(s) using specially modified, lighted, high speed routers with 1/8" & 1/16' straight cutting, solid carbide bits (Routed, Reverse Routed & Combnation Signs).

  9. Click for Photo Click for Photo Cutting out the lettering and/or Graphics using a professional scroll saw (Raised Letter, Raised Graphics or Combination Signs).

  10. Click for Photo Sanding and Fine Sanding all surfaces of the sign after completion of the routing operation.

  11. Click for Photo Hand Painting all routed areas of the sign using two coats of high quality Exterior Acrylic Paints.

  12. Click for Photo Final Sanding the finished sign using Fine (150 Grit) Sandpaper.

  13. Click for Photo Click for Photo Click for Photo Click for Photo Assembling and Affixing (Nailed and Glued) any Raised Components (Lettering and/or Graphic cut-outs) to the sign.

  14. Click for Photo Click for Photo Applying four (4) coats of Exterior Lacquer (Sanded between each coat using 320 Grit Sandpaper) to all surface areas of the sign, literally sealing it in a protective envelope.

Once the "Sign Creation" process is completed, the sign is set aside to thoroughly dry & cure for two to three days before it is packaged for shipment. Each sign is wrapped in plastic , sandwiched between two pieces of cardboard, for additional protection, placed in a cardboard box filled with either popcorn or crumpled up newpapers and finally sealed, labeled and shipped to the customer. All shipments are sent via United States Postal Service and usually take from 2 to 5 days for delivery.

As you can see, there are many steps to the process of planning, creating and crafting a Custom Routed or Raised Letter sign. Numerous hours go into making each sign to ensure it meets or exceeds your expectations and provides you with many years of enjoyment and service. With periodic maintenance, your Made By Hand Shoppe Sign will maintain its beauty, continually broadcast your "Special Message" to all who see it while enduring the elements for many years to come.

Thank you for considering a Made By Hand Shoppe sign!

- Customer Options & Sample Pages -
( Click on the page(s) you wish to view )

Click for SIGN SHAPES page Click for SPECIAL SHAPES page
Click for TYPE STYLE page Click for COLOR page Click for GRAPHICS page
Click for SAMPLE PHOTOS page Click for SAMPLE PHOTOS 2 page Click for SAMPLE PLAQUES page

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