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wanted: black locust signs  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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I keep thinking that we will go fetch a black locust tree, mill it up and start making signs with the wood. Signs for roads, points, etc.

It seems to me that there are lots of folks out there that have lots of black locust and the tools to make signs. Maybe the thing to do is to get a dozen signs made and then have them sent over.

Anybody out there have the tools and wood for something like this? What would you charge?

 
Allen Herod
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I used to work in sign fab and have recently ventured out on my own and have the things needed to make any kind of signage. I used to make "simulated" sandblasted wood signs out of a dense foam type material. I've always wanted to make some with real wood. When wood is sandblasted it gets low spots along the grain but the hard veins stay high (best I can describe) Here is a google search of examples...
https://www.google.com/search?q=sandblasted+wood+signs&newwindow=1&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=mXOqUuqjIqnf2AW40YHQDA&ved=0CE0QsAQ&biw=1707&bih=1103
Although, Im guessing you would like at least most of the wood left natural looking. Seems like I may have noticed a couple black locust trees on my property, I'll have to go see if I can find them. I do have lots of Osage orange and cedar that might be good. Shoot me an email with more detail of what you want, maybe we can work something out. travelingpen@yahoo.com
 
paul wheaton
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bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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If I was going to do it, I was thinking I would carve the name, maybe with a router, then torch it to make the letters black and then run it through a planer. Zero paint.

I suppose a good first sign would say "beach road" - maybe 4 inches high and 18 inches wide.



 
Noah Jackson
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We are purchasing some nice 5/4 and 8/4 birch slabs, Paul. Live edges are still on them and they would make great signs. Some of the boards from the sawmill are curved. We could make signs if you think birch will do the trick. Routing, torching, and planing is a good way to go. A layer of beeswax and oil as a finish coat could work as an additional protection. Let me know if you are okay with birch and we can talk! Right now, birch slabs are all the hardwood I have access to.


paul wheaton wrote:If I was going to do it, I was thinking I would carve the name, maybe with a router, then torch it to make the letters black and then run it through a planer. Zero paint.

I suppose a good first sign would say "beach road" - maybe 4 inches high and 18 inches wide.



 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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As with so many of the things I do, I very much wish to conduct a series of experiments.

I like the idea of not treating the wood - and then the sign lasts 40 years without anything further being done to it. Plus, untreated is easier to create than treated.

I suppose it is possible to have a sign post where there is a junction between two roads - one sign is black locust (and maybe we can engrave that in somewhere) and the other sign could be birch and beeswax. ??
 
paul wheaton
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I just spent about an hour visiting with folks trying to come up with names. The three signs for now would be: "McDaniel Road", "Pearl Road" and "Pascal Road"
 
Zach Weiss
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I have access to a number of species as well as a shop right now and could make up some signs, along with some blanks for later use. We have Black Locust, Cherry, Ash, Pine, Maple, and Birch on hand.

It would be interesting to have 2 or 3 different species all together, maybe Locust, Cherry (also pretty rot resistant), and then Pine or Fir from the project. Then when people come 10, 20, 50 years down the road they can observe how each of the different species has held up.
 
paul wheaton
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Cool!

Well, Zach, I too would like to see some comparative analysis of the different woods. Maybe on the bottom edge of the sign could be burned in "cherry wood" or "black locust" so we could know which is which and see how it weathers. That would be fun.

Plus, now that I think of it, it would be good to have a total of four signs. Pearl Road and Pascal Road each intersect McDaniel Road. So there would need to be two signs that say "McDaniel Road".

Let the experiment BEGIN!
 
Noah Jackson
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Sounds like you are all setup for this project, Zach, so I'll let you have full dibs. Good luck. I think the idea of scorching and then sanding or planing is great.
Noah

Zach Weiss wrote:I have access to a number of species as well as a shop right now and could make up some signs, along with some blanks for later use. We have Black Locust, Cherry, Ash, Pine, Maple, and Birch on hand.

It would be interesting to have 2 or 3 different species all together, maybe Locust, Cherry (also pretty rot resistant), and then Pine or Fir from the project. Then when people come 10, 20, 50 years down the road they can observe how each of the different species has held up.
 
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