I am a wood worker and I use a variety of different woods in my signs. I make signs of different designs. I use oak, oak veneer, maple, fir, birch. All different types of wood. I make custom signs with pictures or graphics. I have a wood lathe with two or more bands and a band saw. I use it all the time. But of course there is more to it than just woods.
How much wood do you use for outdoor signs?
Well, all over the United States, we use the same type of wood to make our signs. We use 3 or 4 different woods on a sign…and you never really know what is what.
If you buy a sign at the local store, maybe you will find “oak” in the wood table. That’s fine, we don’t sell that. We find all types of woods, including oak. Some signs are made of oak. If the sign you are buying is made of oak, then you are going to have that oak sound on your sign. Many of those will use birch. For example, at my store we sell a sign in that is made of birch. It will have a birch sound on the sign. But it may appear to be an oak sign with something else. Oak and birch are not mutually exclusive.
Is it true that the first signs were made of balsa wood?
Yes, it was true. Most of our signs were of balsa wood. I also learned some of the lessons. When I was young, my dad used to make signs with balsa wood. He did it for about 10 years, up to our old house (about 45 years ago), and he was a master craftsman and did all the projects. We never had a problem. But as I got older, I learned about signs and what we should not do. It was so complicated, and not everybody was able to do the things I could. So the wood I am now using I use more for outdoor signs. It’s not a problem.
How long does a sign stand up for, or do you buy a piece of lumber so that the sign remains upright when the fence is opened?
That depends on the type of sign you are making. Signs used on fences are made to be turned right side up and be upright when an opening is made. Signs
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