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  • Shop Advice Needed!

    I am disabled and have found woodworking in a serious manner about a year ago.

    I want to start a small wood sign shop by the end of the year. I am in need of some information from someone who has experience doing signs. What kind of equipment is definately needed? What kind of equipment just makes life easier?
    Any good suggestions on setup? I really like the wooden signs that have some carving and graphics as well as text.

    Due to my disability I only will be making a few signs a week/month. Just some extra money to try to make ends meet.

    Please drop me a post if you have any experience whatsoever. I know from reading some of your posts that you people know what you are doing.

    Thanks,

    Dan
    )Benttwigg(

  • #2
    Dan

    A router and a few bits is a start. You may want to look at one of these:

    http://www.rockler.com/Rockler/images/67821-lg.jpg


    which can be bought from:

    http://www.rockler.com/ecom7/product...r=sign%20maker
    Support Our Troops!
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    • #3
      A scroll saw would be useful too.

      You didn't specifiy what your disability is, so there isn't much anyone can recommend to help you accomodate any special needs. For instance, if you are wheelchair bound, you'll need lowered workbenches, or one that is at least height adjustable (and they do exist).

      Good luck.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks guys for your help. At this time I do not have a scroll saw, but I do have a 9" band saw. The Rockler product does look like an easy place to start. Sgt: My disability is I have a stainless steel spine. Tremendous chronic pain and difficulty lifting. At this time I am not wheel chair bound but most likely will be in time.
        I still can kick up alot of saw dust, if you know what I mean.

        Pappy on the Ryobi forum suggested a blast cabinet to do signs. I have never thought about that approach and not sure where to start.

        Thanks again for your help. It is a pleasure to hear your ideas.

        Benttwigg.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm guessing that the blast cabinet is to get either a weathered look or to have protruding grain, by blasting away at the softer parts of the wood. You might be able to get similar effects with a wire brush or wire wheel on a drill, etc.

          I would say you'll find a scroll saw much more versitle than a bandsaw----but most important, it would be much easier (requiring less reaching) to change blades in the scroll saw.

          As to a shop set-up, it's difficult to say. Many with back problems require a sit-stand work place, where they can alternate between standing and sitting. But, the design would be, again, different for wheelchair access.
          Dave

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by daveferg:


            I would say you'll find a scroll saw much more versitle than a bandsaw----but most important, it would be much easier (requiring less reaching) to change blades in the scroll saw.

            Right. A band saw just cannot make the cuts that a scroll saw can. While a band saw will be very useful in sign making, it is the scroll saw that can make sharp turns and make really detailed signs if that's what is needed.

            If you think that you may be in a wheelchair in the future, then IMO, an adjustable workbench is going to be a must. Most scroll saws are benchtop to begin with and of course any router work will be on a bench. Delta makes a fine 16" scroll saw that is about 90 to 100 bucks. I've got one and it does a fine job.

            Good luck

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            • #7
              I'd think a router and some letter making templates would be essential. Also an electric wood burner.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm guessing that the blast cabinet is to get either a weathered look or to have protruding grain, by blasting away at the softer parts of the wood. You might be able to get similar effects with a wire brush or wire wheel on a drill, etc.
                I would think that they are talking about using a rubber mask/stencil and sand blaster. This is how granite is carved for headstones and such. Sand bounces off the rubber but will eat away the granite. This is one of those oddball material properties that's counter intuitive. We don't genrally think of rubber as more durable than granite.

                All you would need is an exacto knife, a blast cabinet and gun, and some of the mask material. It looks alot like shower pan liner - perhaps it might be worth a try.

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