Not many people are aware of the fact that a wooden sign can bring more appeal to a property, but it can. Wood signs are so retro and classy at the same time; they can help your home stand out. Wooden signs are a great gift as well, and you can customize it as much as you want until you get exactly what you needed. Making signs is not that hard at all. Continue through the text, and we’ll give you a step by step process of how to make a polished and professional looking wooden sign. All you need is a router and a couple of hours of your time. Now, let’s get to the details.

Step 1 – Figure out Precisely What you Want to Achieve

Most projects have to begin with some planning, and that goes with making wooden signs as well. The first thing you have to figure out is the size of the board and the size of the letters you want to carve in it. The bigger the letters – the smaller the board. You will have to sacrifice something depending on the number of letters you want on it. The dimensions of the signs are critical, but the lettering should be your first concern. The letters have to be visible, but not too large or too small. Try to put it on paper first, to get the best idea before transferring it to the wood.

Step 2 – Prepare the Wooden Board

So, there are two ways in which you can address this problem – you can either create a wooden board of the correct size yourself, or you can start with a finished board you bought somewhere. What matters is that you prepare the board correctly. If you want to make it from scratch, make sure you get the right dimensions, then trim the excess off and sand all of the rough edges until you get a beautiful, smooth finish.

Step 3 – Draw the Letters and Details on the Board

Well, this can be done in some different ways. Today’s technology allows you to draw perfect letters with a computer, but you’ll need to do it by hand if you want that countryside type of sign. If you want a business sign, you’ll have to find the right font and make sure that everything is super accurate. When you apply the letters to the wood with a pen, don’t worry about the marks because you’ll sand them off later on. Just don’t bore the lines too deep into the wood because you might end up sanding the sign for days.
Draw the Letters and Details on the Board

Step 4 – The Routing

Believe it or not, the routing is the easiest step in the wood router sign making process. The first thing you have to do is to place the wooden piece onto your workbench. Make sure that it’s nice and stable before you start working by clamping the wood down to the table or putting a rubber pad beneath it to stop it from sliding around. The router bit you use is significant. Use either a V groove, a round nose, or a square end, depending on the type of finish you want. Keep in mind that the V groove and rounded bits are easier to control when plunging into the wood. When you’ve set that up, it’s time to cut the wood. Don’t dive deeper than 1/4 inches or 3/8 inches because you’ll have a hard time grinding it later and you could also have problems with burn marks. That could also happen because you’re using a dull router bit. Test the bit on some scrap wood before using it to route your sign.
Routing the sign

Now, with all of that se tup, you can start the routing. Know that bigger routers get the job done faster and easier than smaller models. Use both hands when routing. Hold the machine down and keep your forearms on the table while plunging for extra control. Plung the router and then use your wrists to move it through the wood.

Never plunge the router without securing your forearms on the table because you could easily destroy your piece, and even hurt yourself in the process. Remember that safety always comes first, no matter what.

Step 5 – It’s Time to Finish Your New Wooden Sign.

When you’re done with the routing, it’s time to give the sign your desired finish. The creative ideas are limitless. You can paint the sign sloppy and then sand off what you don’t need, but you can also paint everything in detail by hand.
Finishing Touches For Your Wood Sign
The toughest part of the painting process is the background because of the letters. You have to work around them, and that often takes a lot of time and nerves. The clear finish of the wood is the best in our opinion because it gives you that retro look that’s always in, and you don’t have to be careful when painting the sign. Once you set the sign outside, you’ll go to have to use some polyurethane or varnish from time to time to keep it looking brand new, but you can also let it absorb the sun and turn gray, to get that vintage look. You can also decide to redesign you sign at any time by cutting or sanding it, or you can even use other tools to create new marks on it. Everything depends on your creativity and energy.

Where to Get Ideas?

Well, if the internet is not enough for you and you want to see some signs with your own two eyes, visit your local craft shows. Many woodworkers gather there to show their latest ideas and techniques to other people that share their passion, so it’s a pretty good place to get up to speed with your knowledge.

Wood router sign making isn’t that popular these days, but the oldest of carpenters have a trick or two to share with an enthusiast, that’s for sure.


Wooden signs are a great gift idea or a way to advertise your business. In fact, you can put a wooden sign anywhere for any reason, and it can really touch up the place. They are not that hard to make, and you can let your imagination run wild with it. So, what sign do you plan on putting up?