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Sign Making Material

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  • Sign Making Material

    I'm about 2 weeks into using my new Shark II and so far having a good time experimenting. Carving is going well and my quick laser test went well too.

    Since I'm the guy on the block with a new CNC, some neighbors asked if I could make a sign. Mostly indoor signs.

    My question is based on your experience, what material is best for that purpose?

    I tried MDF, Poplar and Pine so far. I think the Poplar seems best, but I'm new I'm not sure if mine was a good test since I'm still learning feed rates, speeds, stepover rates, etc.

    All suggestions and opinions are appreciated.

    Thank you,

  • #2
    I personally like hardwood for any detailed work such as V-Carving (inlays using V-bits) or 2.5D (ball nose). Specifically, I use cherry, maple, cedar or walnut. They tends to carve clean and less fuzzes and they are readily available at my local lumber mill.

    For sign making ... if I'm just using flat end-mill bits, poplar worked Ok. But, if I'm carving serif typed fonts, I switch over to V-bits (60 or 90 degrees) to get the narrow areas and sharp corners to come out clean. Or if I have arts that have details ... I will use V-bits. Then I prefer hardwood.

    For testing the softwood is cheaper so no worries ... for final product ... hardwood for sure.

    I have never used MDF except for waste board. I have not used a laser ... on my wish list.



    • #3
      Thank you. I appreciate the advice. Did my first inlay on a cutting board that I made. It came out pretty nice. Also did a few signs. Things are moving along and I'm getting the hang of it. Next step is 3D.