What’s it cost to produce this 3-by-6-ft. monument?
Applied letters add dimension and the woodgrain background adds texture
By Chris Lovelady
Posted on Thursday, October 26th, 2017
HDU board: $973
Pressure treated lumber: $75
Paint and misc.: $85
Hardware, concrete mix: $55
Total materials: $1188
Design/sales: 2 hours
Cut letters/panels: 11 hours
Paint letters/panels: 12 hours
Installation: 6 hours
Total time: 30 hours
We donated this sign to a Christian summer camp in North Carolina. Our kids have been a part of it for years— first as campers, then later as counselors. Debi and I have always valued their program, and this sign was a way to give back and say thank you.
The CNC router is relatively new to our shop, and I wanted a job that would stretch us to try new things a bit. On this sign we used the router to cut out components, cut individual prismatic letters and cut the pockets to accept them, and to simulate a woodgrain background.
Cutting the letters out and applying them to the routed panel is a great way to add even more dimension to a 3D sign. Routing a pocket in the face makes installing the letters easy, too. The pieces of the trellis on the top were cut from pressure treated wood on the router.
The woodgrain texture is a file from Dan Sawatzky’s Texture Magic – Woodgrain collection
. It includes several variations, so I used a few different textures to create the look of multiple planks that had been laminated to make the panel. The fonts are Tidewater Script and Ross 1929 Roman from LetterheadFonts.com.
The faces were primed with Jay Cooke’s Sign Primer and finished with Sherwin Williams All Surface latex enamel paint. I’ve also been using Benjamin Moore DTM Acrylic Enamel on a lot of my work. It can be used over wood, PVC, HDU and aluminum without any primer. The mounting is finished with Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Solid Stain. It’s thinner than acrylic paint and it soaks into the pressure treated wood very well.