Camp looking sign

Hello everyone, I was wondering if anyone could share with me how you can go about making a sign that looks like the signs you see for state parks? I can’t seem to figure out how to give that deep rounded look that you see in those signs a lot where the letters are carved out of what looks like a gigantic ball nose bit.

Not sure if this is what you mean or not, but this guy did one that looks like it could go in a camp Log Family Sign made on the Shapeoko XXL - YouTube

1 Like

There were a couple of posts about that starting here in one of other threads a couple days ago.

And before I bought the Shapeoko I bought the National Park set of router templates from Rockler if you want to go a more traditional route.

1 Like

Use a single line font ( I design the text for these in F-Engrave, a free download). In F Engrave some .cxf fonts are single line. From F Engrave save as dxf and import into CC. There is probably an easier way to get single line font text.

Cut with core box bits , 0.25 inch or 0.125 inch bits as a contour with no offset. You can tweek the letter width a bit by depth of cut. I have a 0.0625 core box bit but that is for really small letters. Use MDO for long life signs outside. Round off the perimeter edge on a router table. First paint the sign background brown. Mask with oramask. Cut the letters, numbers, arrows etc. Paint the letters, numbers etc.cream,. Unmask. Done and looks better than most you see.

Happy hiking!

I think most of the park signs are done with a “gigantic ball nosed bit”. Probably a single cut as well.

There are several ways you can simulate that if you don’t have a ball nosed bit that big.
Use the largest ball nose you have & pocket the letters out. Set your max depth to 1/2 of the tool dia to get a nice radius in the corner.

Another way would be to model the letters & subtract them from your workpiece, then use 3D roughing & finishing to cut them with your largest ball mill. You will need CC Pro, and you will also need to set the finish stepover pretty small to keep the scallops to a minimum.

A 0.5 inch core box bit is probably larger than you need unless making road signs. Two documents; “National-park-service-uniguide-standards” and “Sign and Poster Guidlines for Forest Service” , willl tell you more than you want to know. If you live in the USA, you will see what some of your tax money does. There are familiar parts of many NP signs, the “National Forest” , the “National Recreation Area”, and “Wilderness”. These are logotypes, not fonts. Just pocket them out with the same core box bit.
national rec area logotype

1 Like

Thanks for all the great responses guys!
Now I’m a little bit laughing inside because making it looks like the easiest thing on the CNC maybe actually easier to do with a stencil, and big bit!
I am pacing around waiting for my machine to get here. It’s on the way, but I have never used a CNC machine yet, so I have to play with these ideas and see how they come out. Thank you all so much.!

Best things to do while waiting:

  • clear off a table and work out where in addition to the machine you will set: computer, wrenches and collets and tools, workholding, and where you will prepare stock for cutting and post-process parts after cutting
  • design stuff and preview how they will cut
1 Like

Are you looking at my to do list sir! @WillAdams
But for real thank for the good advice :wink:

This is the set from Rockler. It comes in various sizes. the kits come with guide bushings but you have to supply the bit.

Using their wizard for letter layout it is pretty easy but you are locked into their sizes so you have less flexibility than doing it on the CNC. Most likely you will have multiple passes with different stencil setups to achieve what you want. You could do the lettering with this set and then add flourishes with the CNC if you wanted.

One real advantage of this set is that it’s portable. That and a battery powered trim router and you can make signs in the field of you need to.

I need some new tools all mine still use a plug! Lmao :rofl:

I bought a Dewalt cordless trim router last year to replace my ancient corded Bosch one. I think it was part of a get a free tool when you buy 2 batteries deal at the big blue store. I needed the batteries anyway.

I use it mostly for putting roundovers on edges and not having the cord in the way is very nice.

The National Parks Font(s) are actually in the public domain and there are several places that they are available for free download. Here’s a couple:

Hope this helps.

This topic was automatically closed after 30 days. New replies are no longer allowed.