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wood type for outdoor plaque

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  • wood type for outdoor plaque

    I'm interested in carving a plaque/sign to hang outside our house. I want to carve only words into the sign - some of the text may be somewhat intricate. What kind of wood will withstand the weather (both extreme cold and extreme heat)?

    Also, I don't have any tools at all, and would like to keep costs down if possible. I don't mind spending money on the wood, but I would prefer not to have to invest in lots of expensive tools right now.

    : Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: wood type for outdoor plaque

    For outdoor signs or plaques,I generally use cedar.How do you plan to do the lettering{carved or scrolled}?{I just re-read your post,You want to carve the letters}Do you have a knife or can you get your hands on a carpenters chisle?However you do the lettering,be sure to use a good outdoor varnish.This will protect your wood from extreme heat or cold.
    good luck.

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    • #3
      Re: wood type for outdoor plaque

      An excellent outdoor wood that has kind of been lost over the years because of lack of availablility (comes mostly from China) but is now available but hard to find is Teak. If you can't find any or it's too expensive, go with the cedar.

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      • #4
        Re: wood type for outdoor plaque

        cypress is also good for outdoor applications. I must say, I am a little concearned that you dont have any tools but you want to do something that requires tools. If you just get the cheapest tools you can find, you might not get the results you want. Plus, if you try to do letters with nothing but a carpenters chisel you run a great risk of slicing up the ole digits. It may be wise to wait till you can get some good tools to use, or hire somebody to carve it for you. Just a thought.
        I Cut It Six Times And It's Still Too Short!!!

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        • #5
          Re: wood type for outdoor plaque

          Dependining on the size and design of the sign you may be able to get by with a chip carving knife.
          Home Depot has an inexpensive five piece set of carving tools.
          They aren' the highest quality but for one project they may suffice. As far as wood the three mentioned above are your best choices.

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          • #6
            Re: wood type for outdoor plaque

            I learned to carve my first signs with a router. Just plug it in !
            Whatever wood you choose use a good preservative when your done. Slant the top edge back so your hangers won't send rust stains down the face.

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            • #7
              Re: wood type for outdoor plaque

              You can also use M.D.O. board, sign writers use it for outside signs and it holds up well and paints beautifully, it has a treated paper on both sides...you might consider that and paint the wording on....a well done painted sign is just as effective as a carved one!

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              • #8
                Re: wood type for outdoor plaque

                The wood i have seen being used around my area for small signs and plaques is redwood.. Most of the local tourist traps have sign shops that use routers to make custom signs out of redwood.. it looks good and seems to route well..

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                • #9
                  Re: wood type for outdoor plaque

                  I use Mahogany and coat it with West System epoxy. Then cover it with 1 shot sign paint. Redwood is OK but very soft and carving is harder because your tools will bunch up the wood instead of cutting. Mahogany is real easy to carve clean straight lines, and holds detail very well. If you use Epoxy to seal the wood, make sure what ever finish you use has UV protection, has epoxy alone will break down from sunlight.
                  Visit Easton, Md's Waterfowl Festival November 8th 9th and 10th.

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                  • #10
                    Re: wood type for outdoor plaque

                    I guess any kind of wood will work outdoors as long as you protect it with some kind of varnish or somethin.... try somethin ,,,, if that don't work ,,,, try somethin else,,, then let us know !!! we will all learn sumthin !!!

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