How to Make a Carved Wooden Sign Post

What You'll Need
Wooden Board or Plank (at least 1 inch thick)
Wooden Post (of desired length, thickness, and stain)
Paper, Pencil and Stencils
Straight Gouge or Chisel and Mallet
Nails and Hammer
Paint and Stain, Brushes
Rotary Drill and Bits, optional

How to Make a Carved Wooden Sign Post

At this age when sophisticated laser cutting machines can easily finish intricate designs on wood surfaces in no time, a carved wooden sign can still hold its own. Homemade ones may only display simpler designs, such as the house number, but they can add some rustic charm to your front yard. Starting with plain letters and numbers will allow you to get used to the carving basics needed for this project.

While blank wooden boards can be purchased and used for signs, you can choose to recycle wooden planks or boards from discarded furniture or pick up wood barks from anywhere. Pine or ash are softer to carve on and will show off a nice wood grain. Staining the signs can protect it from the elements and make it last longer.

Step 1-Prepare the Wooden Board

Saw off the edges of the wooden board according to the shape intended for the sign. Use a rotary drill and bits for fancier edge designs or leave it untouched for a more rustic look. Sand the edges to make them smooth.

Step 2-Lay out the Design

Draw on the paper the design to be carved on the surface of the board. Transfer the design to the wooden board freehand by using the pencil directly on the surface or by tracing a stencil design on the board. Check that there are sufficient spaces in between figures, letters and numbers.

Step 3-Create the Borders

Angle the V-Tool along the design and carve out a channel to create a border. Examine to make sure the depth of this outline or border is uniform throughout the design.

Step 4-Carve the Design

Using a straight gouge or chisel and a mallet, dig out the inner portion of the outline. Work in small areas and take care to not go over the border. Carve until the depth of the depression on the board's surface is the same as the outline initially created.

Step 5-Smooth out the Surface

Sand the design and edges to smooth out the nicks.

Step 6-Paint the Sign

Brush paint on the carved design and allow it to dry. Brush some stain on the rest of the surface, if desired, and allow it to dry.

Step 7-Attach Sign to Post

Place the wooden post underneath the sign, making sure that it is centered well. Hammer down one nail on the top part of the design and into the wooden post beneath it. Hammer down another nail on the bottom part of the design to secure the finished sign on the post.

You can opt to chisel the other end of the post to sharpen it like a stake. The wooden sign post would then be easier to drive down to the ground. These simple steps not only serve some function, but they add a homey feel to your front yard as well.