Small sign/plaque

I have been asked to make a very small plaque by a family member. It is to measure 1 inch high by 6.5 inches wide and .5 inches thick. On that plaque the following German words are to appear (upper and lower case specific): Aller Anfang ist schwer, aber das kriegen wir hin!

I have very little experience at this, but I did create the file, made the letters .5 inch size, used Bookman Old Style font, used an 60 degree V-cut bit and did it in soft pine. I was less than impressed with the outcome. In particular the lower case letters e and a, their centers came out and some of the letters were so close together that they almost over cut one another.

If this were to make it to production I would cut it in black walnut overlaid with Oramask so that afterward I could spray the letters with gold paint and leave the surface the natural wood color.

I might have had a dull cutter and it might cut different in hard walnut rather than soft pine, but I don’t know. So, I am hoping that some of you with more experience might chime in and give me your suggestions, thoughts, and ideas.

Thanks in advance

Pine is hard to V carve well, esp. at smaller sizes.

First though, verify that your machine is mechanically sound.

If it is, post the file and we’ll do our best to look into this with you.

A similar case was discussed earlier today and could be of interest:

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I am sure Will can help. In the mean time the fonts are meant for print and not carving. Inkscape is free to download and you could turn the fonts into an SVG or edit the word and space them out (kerning). But as Will and Julian said the pine is hard to carve small letters because it tends to break and chip out. If you must use pine then try putting dewaxed shallac and/or a few coats of wipe on polyurethane before you carve. This helps make the pine a little harder so it does not chip out so bad. The shellac takes 20-30 minutes to dry. The poly takes overnight to dry. Maple carves very well, oak not so much, but you might try poplar. Poplar can be obtained from any big box store. Although poplar is considered a hardwood it is quite soft but harder than pine. The definition of hardwood has nothing to do with actual hardness but if the tree drops its leaves. If you use the shellac and/or poly you can sand it off after carving. I also use either Oramask 813 or Easy Liner Adhesive Shelf paper over a project to mask it off for painting after carving. I use a J roller on the mask to get a good adhesion so it does not peel up during carving. Sometimes it still does but it makes it easier to clean up the surface after painting.


Will: You suggested I upload the file and I have done that. Feel free to make any changes to the file because I obviously still have the original.

Margies Plaque3.c2d (851.6 KB)

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