Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Carved name sign for Bernie

I found a piece of wood from an old pilot ladder that was broken, and since the name of the horse is of an appropriate length, the piece of wood was just the right size.

At first I ripped the plank to the desired width, then it was re sawed to a thickness of around 5/8"

I flattened the stock with my plane and squared the edges.

As usual, I taped on a print out of the name to be carved, and I also taped on two logos for the Danish Warmblood horse.

Transferring the outline of the letters to the wood is done by following the outline with a hobby knife. Just a bit more pressure than what is needed to cut through the paper results in a thin line on the wood that I use while carving.

The carving was done in my normal way i.e. with a hobby knife. For the rounded parts of the B and the R, I used a small scalpel like carving tool intended for carving linoleum. It was a bit easier for me to make the rounding look nice with the smaller tool.

The logos were also carved by means of the small scalpel.

When I get home, I plan on painting the name sign. It will be red background with white letters and white logos.

The carved name sign.

The broken step from a pilot ladder.

Layout of the name sign.


  1. How appropriate that you made Bernie's sign from a 'Bent' step!

  2. Ha ha :-)
    I have tried a new trick with this post. I am adding the glamour shot as the first photo.
    If I do it the usual way, all my "appetizers" on the net will just show a crappy broken piece of wood, and nobody will want to check out what it is.

    1. Good trick. I started doing that recently also. Some pages, like FaceBook and G+ let you pick the photo for your teaser, but most, like Unplugged Shop, Norse Woodsmith, etc., just take the first photo.

      I like it.

  3. Looks good. Nice and clean work. Always love seeing your "get it done" projects. A scrap piece of wood and a sharp knife and away you go.


    1. Hi Greg

      Thanks for the comment.
      This was a rather quick project, I think it took me longer to get myself in gear and get started than it did to produce the carving itself.

      The good thing is that we are pretty much stocked up on name signs for now. So unless someone I know gets a new horse sometime soon, I can put carving on the shelf for some time.


  4. Very nice work yet again! The Logo really sets it apart. When you paint, will there be something special done to keep the paint from bleeding, or will you just have to be very careful? I once saw an episode of The New Yankee Workshop where Norm had raised carvings painted black on top of a painted field. He painted the carvings first and then coated them in a lacquer so that when the field was painted it would not stick to the carvings. I thought that was a pretty good idea.

    1. Hi Bill.

      Thanks for the nice comment.
      I have tried various techniques on the last couple of name signs, some a lot less successful than others..
      The way I have found to work best is to spray paint the sign. First a primer, and then bright red.
      Once that is dry, I use a small model brush and carefully paint the letters. I used to paint tin soldiers when I was a child, and they have a lot smaller details, so it usually works out fine.

      The worst method I tried was to prime the thing first, then I painted the letters, and deliberately a bit over the edges. Then I tried to roll on a layer of red with a lacquer roll. The idea was that it would just stick to the flat surface and not seep into the letters at all. To make a long story short, that idea didn't work..