A quick sign project

Started by aetherltd, May 14, 2014, 12:18:35 PM

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Here's a quick project I just completed for Clockwork Alchemy - a simple sign post. This was just a quick job. Fanime rules - nothing can be attached to the walls. So any sign needs a signpost.

The parts

Two pieces of scrap lumber, and a wooden dowel from Home Despot.

Assembled, but  unfinished.   At TechShop Menlo Park

Simple job. Cut, sand, screw base parts together for gluing.

Only unusual thing here is that the hole for the pole was drilled in a drill press with a Forstner bit, which scrapes out a flat-bottomed hole. Then a little glue, bang the pole into place with a rubber mallet, and the pole is straight. About 3 hours of work.

Still looks like cheap wood. That's the next step.

Project complete!

The Clockwork Alchemy sign artwork is from Dave Horner, who does the official CA graphics. The sign itself was printed on an inkjet printer, and framed in a cheap frame from Target.

The wood of the sign post was steampunked. Minwax wood stain (Red Oak color here) makes cheap pine look like old hardwood.  Lots of steps. Paint on pre-stain, wait 15 minutes. Paint on first coat of stain, wait 15 minutes. Wipe off excess stain. Wait 3-4 hours for drying. Paint on second coat of stain, wait 15 minutes. Wipe off excess stain. Wait 24 hours for hard dry. Finish with furniture polish.

This isn't quite like painting. The stain sinks into the wood. So after painting it on, it takes lots of dry brush strokes, following the grain of the wood, to put the stain in the right places. This takes a little practice, but isn't hard.

Disposable gloves for this, or you will get stain on your hands. Cheap disposable brushes. This is a messy operation, best done outside or on a dropcloth in a garage.

Staining is a nice project for a hot day, because the stain dries fast. I did a project like this once during a damp winter, and it took a month before the stain dried hard.

This was a quick job. You'll see much fancier signposts at CA this year. Gene Forrer and his crew have been busy.  CA adds new props each year and saves the old ones, so, each year, the hotel looks more and more like a steampunk world. There are a lot of volunteers behind CA, who have been working for months.