Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Carving a name sign

There have been precious little leisure time on the ship lately, mostly because we have been relocated to another assignment, so instead of basically serving 1 rig, we are now serving an entire field. It is kind of like a grocery delivery round. 

So instead of starting some large fancy projects (another chest), I decided to carve a name sign for Gustav's pony.

The pony that belongs to our friends was recently moved to another stable, so now there is just our own 2 ponies and the horse left.
The horse and the small pony each have their own carved sign, but We I have never taken the time to make one for the last pony. I doubt that he cares, but I would like to make a sign, because it is a cosy little job that can be done basically everywhere.

I picked a piece of wood (from a pallet..) surfaced the four sides of it, and that was the entire stock preparation.

I am sure that there are a lot of skilled carvers out there who are able to draw their own letters, and make any sign look great. I am fairly sure that any attempt from my side to design my own letters would be downright ugly.
Therefore I use the same method that I have used for the other signs I have carved:
The name for the sign is written on a computer, then printed out and taped to the stock. 
Normally I would use the font: "Clarendon bold". But I couldn't find it on this computer, and the Internet connection was so slow the other day that I was unable to download it. Instead I found another font that looked OK.
The text to be carved is enlarged to a size that will seem appropriate for the sign. In this instance I used
a font called "Mongolian Bait", font size 160.
The starts are "Windings" size 110.

Once the text had been printed out and taped to the stock, I carefully cut the outline of the letters / symbols with a hobby knife. The tip of the blade leaves a very fine line on the wood so the letters can be seen when the paper is removed.

I start by carving in the middle of the letter / symbol, then gradually increase the depth and width of the cut. I guess that my angle of the knife is 60 degrees. That leaves a nice and fairly deep carving that will look good once the sign is painted. 

The print out taped to the board.

The letters have been cut out.

Faint lines mark each letter.

The first carved star and the tool used for the job.


  1. You certainly do a lot with basic tools.

    1. Thanks.
      Once in a while I wonder what carving would be like with proper carving tools.
      The hardest thing to make with a hobby knife is any round or curved object, but with a little patience it can be done.


  2. The star cut with a stanley knife looks great!

    1. Thanks, I managed to make the cuts of the same angle, so it looks really crisp.