Do you mean my carving workflow or my finishing technique? I cut down on my carving time by not cutting 24" long signs and by not cutting so deep. to finish, I still use polyshades (spray can or wipe on), cut, sand, shellac the last name, and now I use a blend of boiled linseed oil, mineral spirits, & poly (equal parts) over the whole sign front & back. Let that dry and spray on a final coat of satin or gloss clear coat. That’s how the last two were done anyway. I’m still trying to perfect my technique. The shellac dries fast when cut with DNA and you can apply multiple coats on in one day.
I’ve tried several variations of this:
- I use minwax polyshades bombay mohagony over the whole board,
- wait around 4-6 hrs to dry,
- cut (2.3 hrs for this one),
- sand away fuzzies and tool marks(toothbrush sander).
- 10-15 coats of Amber Shellac (cut with DNA) on the last name with a small brush.
- Several coats of heavily diluted shellac (or BLO/Min Spirits/Gloss Poly) over background to blend in dark shellac that overflowed.
I’ve had best luck with barely dipping my brush in a bit of DNA, then the shellac and brushing it on. I’ve been using 4-5 coats that way.
I carve, use Minwax pre stain conditioner, stain the base, paint the letters and border. Or change up what gets stained/painted depending what the customer wants.
How much are you selling yours for if you don’t mind me asking? I’ve been doing $65 painting and stained, $50 they paint/stain but I use the pre-stain conditioner for them.
I’ve only sold one so far for $60 finished and all of the rest have been gifts. Hadnt thought about selling unfinished. I dont use and of the prestain conditioner at all even though i shoud with pine and poplar wood. I will tri the more expensive oak from lowes when i perfect my technique some more. I probably made 15 or 20 though before i felt satisfied with the results. 5 bad carves and about 15 ugly finishes. I just plane them down and start over now that i do shallower cuts.
I can’t count how many projects I’ve sent through the planer haha. All part of it.
These signs all look great! Would you mind sharing what fonts you used for the “BALDWIN” sign?
the script looks like Lavenderia (or something like that)
I do believe you’re right. Thanks!
BlueLocktite was right. The BALDWIN is Baskerville font & the script text is Lavanderia.
Thanks Ivan. The signs look great! I want to try some stacked text once I finish up a few other projects.
Ed just remember you don’t have to go real deep with the layers… it works well with 1/16" steps. The first couple of experiments I tried were too deep at 1/8" steps. it would not have been alright but the thin lines were too weak and would flake off during the carve
What cut rates are you using? I designed on of these and keep showing 11 hours to carve.
Hey David. I use a 1/16th bit and cut 60 in/min and .06 depth per pass. To get 11 hours you must be cutting really deep. I only go as low as .1 or .12 and it takes me ~ 2.3 hours to carve. Try going down in .05 increments. Top text at 0 depth, Last name down to .05 and background down to .1. My signs are usually 7.5" X 18".
I think one of my belts is looser than the other. I keep getting weird angles on my borders even though I square up before each carve. Even though I pointed this flaw out to the customer, She still wanted to buy it.
Wow. That is very nice Fat Kat. I really need to try some new as far as finishing goes.
How much are you selling these for now and how long does it take you to produce them. Can you provide number for both finished and unfinished.
I usually sell the smaller 7.25X18 for $60 finished and $40 unfinished. I also offer a longer 24" sign for $80 finished and $60 unfinished.I have not sold any unfinished yet, lol. Machining time is around 2.5 hours normally. I would guess I have about 30-45 minutes of hands on time with each one, not including time for the paint to dry. I start by painting over the whole board and if I use regular brown paint it will wait about 2 hours before I carve. Minwax polyshades takes 4 to 6 hrs to dry. If anyone is interested, I’m in the process of editing a video of my whole process, from start to finish, and will post here soon.