Help With A Project

I know you guys probably hate these but I really need some help! I had posted on my facebook a dogbone plaque I made for my dog. Nothing Fancy, I didn’t really bother sanding it to much.(Pic Below) Anyways I landed up having a few people interested in having me make some stuff for them. The most notable was a guy wanting 4 large signs made. He has an example of what he wants done (that picture is also below) The sign measures: the inside piece is 27" wide x 9.5" tall and the outside board is 31" wide and 13" tall. He says his budget is 50$ per sign, he doesn’t need the legs made or anything. I am no expert with wood, so I am not to sure what type of wood to use, what would you guys recommend? Is 50$ per sign going to allow me to profit or is it to little for such a large sign?

Fortunately it is a fairly simple style of sign…but materials will really cut into a $50 budget for an outside sign that size made of a solid wood.

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Yeah I would agree $50 per sign is a rather tight budget. For outdoor signs you really need to either get a weather resistant wood and/or put a good weather treatment on it. I would highly recommend sourcing some solid hardwoods in those sizes. If the buyer doesn’t want a specific species you might be able to swing it but your margin for profit will be small. You might be able to bet buy on the back board by just making it as a frame so it doesn’t need to be one solid piece (Keeping it hollow in the back. This would cut down on cost since getting a 31" x 13" solid board in my area would set you back a pretty penny.

With all that said I now think I know what to may my father-in-law for christmas. He likes to go camping and a sign like this would look nice outside his camper.

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Tell him $50 and he supplies the material. Its still cheap, but its a start.


I agree with Bill Leach. $50 per sign plus material costs sounds like a good starting point.

To extend on BenjaminFord’s recommendation on weather resistant wood:
Use cypress if you can find it - it is decay resistant and doesn’t require a weather-resistant coating. After cutting, give it a good sanding after carving to 120 grit with an orbital sander. Finally, put a buffing pad on a drill and use some brown Tripoli compound to buff that to a nice finish. The buffing makes it look great and will help the wood shed water.

You will need a sharp bit to cut cypress.

Go to a big box store and buy some cedar fence pickets and glue them into a panel. Cant get much cheaper outdoor wood than that…

Here is a Xmas tree box I made out of cedar fence pickets. Was one of the first projects I did when I got my Xcarve last year.

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