Making a Solid Wood Sign with Resin Infill

Step 1

I started by gathering some white oak flooring; this was reclaimed as surplus from a local build. I am lining up the tongues and the grooves appropriately to give me the best fit. Then I inserted a healthy amount of Type II Titebond inside of the groove and flipped the tongue in, pressing it together until the glue squeezed out. As I crimped down, I noticed the glue-up was bowing, so I added weight to keep it as flat as possible.

Step 2

The next day, I unclamped the sign. Brooke trimmed the edges with the jigsaw, and then I ran it through the drum sander. I spent a little extra time on the back to remove the grooves. Then we repeated this process to make a second panel, since the finished sign would be two-sided.

Step 3

I then used a Forstner bit to make some recessed areas in a piece of scrap to test some colors for the resin fill. I mixed up a little bit of the TotalBoat epoxy, and we used various color selections so that we could see how they looked with the wood.

Once it had been about 24 hours since we did our samples, we checked to see how they came out. We had charcoal, black Rit, red Rit, ink, and mica powder. We also poured the excess into a little mold so that we could get a better concept for what each color was without the backing of the wood.

The charcoal was pretty good. The black Rit was actually more like a navy blue, and the red Rit was more of a magenta. Meanwhile, the red ink looked more like an orange or magenta color as well. The winner was definitely our mica powder!

Step 4

Next, I needed to see whether the colored resin seeped into the wood or if it would leave a nice sharp line when sanded down. I brought the test piece over to the drum sander. After running it through, I realized that I would need to make the slots for the lettering a little bit deeper to allow for sufficient sanding of the excess resin… but the colors didnt bleed.

Step 5

After concluding our color test, we loaded up the X-Carve and set it to carving the logo and the letter. It came out great, so we repeated it on side two.

Step 6

I did notice that we had a few gaps in some of our boards, so we reinforced those by filling them with clear resin. Next I mixed up our colored resin to fill in the lettering and the logo, and Brooke and I worked together to apply the resin using syringes.

Step 7

After the resin cured overnight, I trimmed the edge of the sign on the bandsaw and then flattened the face on the drum sander. It looked great, so we repeated this process on the second side before doing the final glue-up.

Step 8

Next, we used Titebond III to bond both sides of the sign together. After letting it dry overnight, I took the clamps off and did a final sand up to 220 grit with the random orbital sander. I then cleaned the sign with some paint thinner and applied three coats of varnish.

Step 9

Now the sign was ready to hang! I drilled holes for some stainless steel eye hooks in the top, and we made a simple mounting board using a 2×6. I pre-drilled holes and mounted the bracket on the mounting board using stainless steel bolts.

It’s important to remember when hanging signs that every town and state has different building codes. Before hanging a sign, you should always check with the local rules!

The Final Result

Overall, I think this sign came out fantastic. I was very happy with the contrast of the white oak to the resin. It had high visibility, and it should weather very well and last that business for years!

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