Case Study - 3D Church Sign

Featured before on this web site. Tim Hornshaw runs a woodworking business - Hornshaw Wood Works. The example below shows how Tim designed and machined the pictured church sign using VCarve Pro 5.

Tim built the sign for the Pigeon River Baptist Church.  It is 4 feet wide and about 3 foot tall.  Made from clear Cedar about 1.5" thick and is carved on both sides.  It is painted with three colors and the exposed Cedar is sealed with Thompson's clear deck seal.

Step 1 - VCarve Pro Design Preview

Tim created a number of quick concept design for the client to preview and choose from. The picture below shows the final, chosen design.

Multi-color Toolpath Preview

Finished 2-Sided Sign at the church

Step 2 - Preparing the Cedar blank

The cedar boards were cut to length and glued together to form the sign blank. Tim then cut out the shape of the sign, beveled the top edge and etched in a 0.05" deep vgroove around the areas that were to be painted the various colors.


Step 3 - Primed and Painted

Tim then primed the areas that would be painted with a rustoleum primer (spray can). After about twenty minutes the primer was ready to accept the paint.  Tim masked off where the areas he did not want painted and sprayed a rustoleum Navy Blue around the edges and where the address would be.  This was done on both sides of the sign. Then over the next few days the the other areas of the sign was painted white and gold.


Step 4 - Machining

Tim then mounted the sign to his router aligning the side and bottom edges to zero the piece.  He then vcarved through the paint leaving a perfect paint edge on the text.


Step 4 - Finishing

Tim lastly ran the toolpath for the hand-carved texture, and cleaned up the sign with a small amount of hand sanding.

A coat of Thompson's deck sealer was added to finish off the sign and make it weather proof.

To see more of Tim's work visit his web site,

Hornshaw Wood Works >

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