Last fall Augusta Sign Company was contracted to make a low profile entrance sign for a home in historic Rockbridge County, Virginia. The customer wanted a carved wood sign. He had found us on a Google search and liked a few of the black and white carved cedar signs we had manufactured for other customers, so we agreed on a design and the cost came to about $2,000.
I found the customer had a similar living situation as my family, where two families are sharing the same house. In their case, a mother/mother-in-law resided with them, in ours its a father/father-in-law situation. The customer recently built a new home and the customer’s mom dreamed of having a nice entry sign with the name of the property and address. These signs are very commonplace and popular here in Virginia, and I remember reading a magazine article decades ago that you can actually increase the value of your country property by giving it a name! After learning about his mother’s sign idea, my customer was excited about getting the new sign up by Christmas.
A carved or sandblasted wood sign generally takes approximately 6-8 weeks to complete, especially if there are posts and installation involved like in this particular case. After receiving a deposit and final proof approval, I ordered a cedar blank and cut the outside shape with a jig saw, and had the V-carved letters cut on both sides with a CNC router. The next step was to thoroughly sand the panel, ease over the outside edges of the sign and then prime with a stain-killing exterior oil-based primer. Once the primer was dry, I chose to use an oil-base sign enamel for the background finish and then lettered the recessed lettering with a squirrel-hair lettering quill and black lettering enamel.
The customer liked the look of an iron scroll bracket, so I ordered a standard black 36″ wide bracket which conformed well to the 30″ wide wood sign that would hang below. I inserted 2 stainless steel eye bolts and epoxied them into the cedar. I fastened the scroll bracket to the custom 4X4 post I made. The custom post was adorned with a nice CNC-turned cedar ball finial at the top and included a build-out portion at the bottom to give it more meat at the base.
After having the underground utilities marked, I dug a 42″ deep hole and planted the sign post in 800 pounds of concrete to keep it plumb. The rural area gets lots of wind so I wanted to make sure the sign and post could endure years of harsh environmental treatment. The cedar wood should last a lifetime, but will need maintenance to keep it looking like new every 5-10 years or so. The treated post should last at least 30 years and probably more, and the iron bracket and stainless steel hardware should easily last a lifetime.
My customer was very happy to see the sign installed by Christmas and I am sure his mom was too!
If you are interested in having a custom carved cedar sign designed and fabricated for your home or business, please contact Mark Hackley at 540-943-9818, or e-mail him at email@example.com.