V-Carved Signs - Finally Done!

After a lot of trial and error, alot of experiments, and a lot of advice from people here, I finally wrapped up 2 signs last week. These are my first completed projects for a customer. The large sign is 11" x 17", the small one is 11" x 11". Single piece of Red Oak (customer specifically did not want joined pieces, despite the size). Because of the width, I could only get 5/4 rough sawn lumber to start with. Had to plane it down. Sprayed it with clear poly in an attempt to seal the grain to prevent bleeding. Didn’t really work, though. Then I covered the face with Oramask, then carved the design. The Oramask cut really clean with my 90-degree bit, but the 60 didn’t cut cleanly at all, and it didnt cut clean on the small letters either. I think it melted more than anything. The bit spent too much time in the small confines of those particular letters… I’m overall not at all happy with the 60 degree bits I’ve tried so far. Once I carved, I sprayed the black on the letters and edges, then peeled the oramask. The grain still sucked in the paint, so on the first one where it was more pronounced, I ran it through the planer and aimed for about 1/64th to come off. The second one wasn’t as bad, so I sanded the trouble spots. Once it was all cleaned up I sprayed clear satin poly. Customer is thrilled. I see all the things that could be improved!


Nice job - what did you use for the vcarving?


I have V-Carve Desktop software. I used a 60-degree v-bit for the lettering and ring, as well as the small reveal line. I used a 90-degree v-bit for the bevel on the edge, and a 2-flute spiral upcut bit to cut it out.

This sign looks great! How did you create the beveled edge. What depth did you set to carve? I’ve been trying to determine the best course of action for a simple sign, I am running around in circles with all the small issues that I am having to figure out as I go along. So many small, yet very important details, that I didn’t know I didn’t know. Great opportunities for learning for me around every bit! Thanks in advance for any advice!

These signs were a really big learning experience for me. Learning V-Carve software, learning how to work with oak, learning my overall process. The next time will be easier…unless I tackle something more challenging!

I first ran the toolpaths for the lettering and designs, then the toolpath for the small relief line that is inset from the edge, both with a 60-degree v-bit. Then I had a separate line for the profile of the sign. First I ran a 90-degree v-bit on path to a depth of 1/4". After that I came back with a 1/4" straight bit and ran that on the same path as the bevel. It left me with a bevel of about 1/8".

I’m still pretty green myself, but feel free to ask if you have any more questions. I’m glad to try and help. Good luck!

I guess I should also clarify that I’m using Vectric V-Carve software. I’m not sure if you’re using that or Easel.

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I am using vcarve pro 8. I keep running into lots of learning curves. The first sign is a labor of love, as I have come to find out. I tried using a chamfer gadget with the software, but I ended up not trying to run it, because it wasn’t the edge that I wanted. Thanks for the the tips on the bevel!