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Thread: garden signs

  1. #1
    gartenzwerg is offline Junior Member Junior crafter
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    Default garden signs

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    Hi I am new to the forum! I want to make some garden signs, in fact many of them to keep track of what I have. I don't want simple signs like 'parsley' or 'oregano' I want in most cases the Latin name and in many cases the cultivar as well - that means that enough writing has to fit. And I want the signs to be boldly visible - no searching around the plant! I have a lot of plants to label and it should be durable.
    My idea so far was to go with reclaimed wood (I haven't got a table saw) like pallets or what the local window maker puts in the box for people to take away. So the wood will be of different qualities, colours and roughness (I don't mind rustique look).
    My first idea was to buy a wood burner, but when I read the reviews of woodburner on amazon I got the idea that either I spend more than $100, closer to $200 or I get rubbish which breaks in not time.
    The other idea was to engrave with a dremel and to colour that later (or other brands) reading the reviews - they seem to be cheap and break in no time either.

    My questions are:
    1. Which technique is the best for the purpose? Does the timber has to be sanded smooth with both techniques?
    2. Which tool could you recommend - something which does not break after a short while.

    Thanks for suggestions!

  2. #2
    MornieG Jewellery's Avatar
    MornieG Jewellery is offline Senior Member Try and catch up with this one.. What a crafter!!!
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    Hi.

    Pyrographed signs don't survive very well outside, they fade and deteriorate quickly. You could try coating them in yacht varnish but I depends on how long these signs are to last and you would probably have to refinish them from time to time. As I assume you are in USA it will depend on the weather conditions they are subject to. You would have to burn them quite deeply on a presanded surface. In the UK you can get a very good pyro machine by Peter Childs for 100.

    Even writing with a permanent marker will fade in sunlight. The dremil will certainly carve out writing or there is an electric carving machine with small interchangeable chisels but both may take some practice.

    Good luck with it.

    Mo.XX
    Mo. MornieG Jewellery.
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    gartenzwerg is offline Junior Member Junior crafter
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    Thanks Mo, probably you are right and the burning thing is not a good idea. Maybe the idea with the electrical carving machine would be better. Or maybe I need another idea altogether. There is a lot to mark....I want it big enough to read and big enough for long Latin names. I had a look at pinterest but most ideas were not really suitable. I am in Australia!

    Quote Originally Posted by MornieG Jewellery View Post
    Hi.

    Pyrographed signs don't survive very well outside, they fade and deteriorate quickly. You could try coating them in yacht varnish but I depends on how long these signs are to last and you would probably have to refinish them from time to time. As I assume you are in USA it will depend on the weather conditions they are subject to. You would have to burn them quite deeply on a presanded surface. In the UK you can get a very good pyro machine by Peter Childs for 100.

    Even writing with a permanent marker will fade in sunlight. The dremil will certainly carve out writing or there is an electric carving machine with small interchangeable chisels but both may take some practice.

    Good luck with it.

    Mo.XX

  4. #4
    MornieG Jewellery's Avatar
    MornieG Jewellery is offline Senior Member Try and catch up with this one.. What a crafter!!!
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    Bit warmer where you are then then here ATM LOL

    Permanent signage in garden centres and stately homes seem to be on metal or slate slips which have been etched or carved out which is another ball game all together. I'm sure there will be dremil attachments that will do this. On the slate they seem to be shallow etched so the letters have an opaque finely roughed surface. You may be able to achieve this with acid etching too.

    Mo.XX
    Mo. MornieG Jewellery.
    Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage..Lao Tzu.
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  5. #5
    Geeves's Avatar
    Geeves is offline Junior Member Junior crafter
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    The advantage of using reclaimed pallet wood is that it's only really going to cost your time, so give it a go. While I'm no expert on pyrography I did burn a pattern into a chair that I made out of some scrap pine for my kids using my old cheap crappy soldering iron. It worked pretty well once it got up to temperature. The detail would depend on your skill and the tip, but I'm guessing you couldn't get too small regardless as you would have to be very light touch which would mean it would be less durable. I would recommend trying it out with a cheap soldering iron before dropping over 100 bucks on a pyrography machine.

  6. #6
    Billieanne is offline Senior Member 100+ crafts club
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    gartenzwerg, Why not make a stake from the reclaimed wood, sand the upper portion of the stake and use a paint pen or waterproof marker to write the botanical name and variety. You could paint the tops of the stakes with colorful paint.

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