Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Making Trail Signs

Image result for where am i, forest

We wanted some trail signs at Nicholdale Farm and Willis Woods to help hikers find the right trail. These are Land Trust properties, but the City has a couple of grant-related trails nearby that connect to the trail system: Pearmain Path and Stockmal Trail. We want to help hikers find our trails, so with permission from the Land Trust, a trail-making assembly line was set up. Of course, trail names are only useful if you also have a trail map :)

Projecting the lettering onto a board
After cutting some cedar boards to length and printing out what the signs should say, a simple projector was used to beam an image of the lettering onto one of the boards, and a pencil used to trace the lettering.

A Sharpie darkens the letters
A Sharpie was then used to darken the lettering, because it can be hard to see while routering.

Hand-held router gives character
A hand-held small router was used to trace over the lettering (no template). The router tends to go off-track once in awhile, which gives the lettering that hand-crafted charm.

The background stained brown
A coat of brown deck stain was then applied to all sides, carefully on the front so it wouldn't drip down into the lettering (the front was facing down when the stain was applied). The lettering really popped after that was done.

Lettering painted white
Finally, some white trail paint was used in the lettering. This part takes the longest and cannot be rushed. All that's left now is installation.

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