Monday, January 27, 2014

More Trail Maintence Stuff--Esp For Whitetop66

Whitetop66 left me a comment to a trail maintenance post I did back on 18 Dec.  I just posted a reply there but he/she may not see it.  So in the public interest here's a dedicated post that gets into the nitty-gritty of creating a trail sign (just in case you thought trail signs magically materialized in place on posts that dug themselves). 

This post is in the weeds, but we Ultrarunners love us some weeds, right?

[image credit  Gary]

I am sorry I did not see your email till now—I have blog comments dumped into a folder that I do not see as regularly as I should. 

1. DREMEL TIP: My Dremel tool is the Model 4000 Series, about the size of a large cucumber.  The Dremel tip I used is # 117 (on left in photo).   

2. DREMEL CUTTING GUIDE: I put on the Dremel Cutting Guide (item on right in photo) that comes with the tool, which allows the Dremel to rest vertically on the wood and you just guide it along the traced letter outline.  I think it’s much like using a router.  I set the depth of the cutting blade to be between ¼” and 1/8”. 

3. FONT: The font I used is Arial Rounded MT Bold.   

4a. CREATING THE STENCIL, EXACTO KNIFE METHOD:  In Microsoft Word, I used Insert and Word Art to create a text box with the right signage and font above.  In Word Art you can stretch the text box horizontally and vertically.  I used  1.5” high; on length I just used a gut feeling to gauge the appropriate length.  In Word Art there is an option to vary the space between letters, so I maxed that spacing out.  Then I printed the words of the sign (which will likely be individual words that you must align for the mock-up of your sign).   I then used an Exacto knife to cut the letters out into a stencil, then traced the letters onto the wood in pencil.  

4b. CREATING THE STENCIL, TRACING METHOD:  Create the printed words as above, then skip the cutting out/stencil part and use some type of carbon paper to transfer the letters to the wood.  I just bought this craft tracing paper but have not used it yet:  “Saral Transfer (Tracing) Paper blue non-photographic 12 1/2 in. x 12 ft. roll”   I got it from Amazon for about $12.00.  It should work pretty well and save the cutting-out step. 

5. PAINT: I painted the whole board, with cut letters, in basic Rustoleum Brown, then painted the cut letters in white. 
[image credit Gary]

Hey, way to go on your AT hike!  That’s not realistic for me but I’m with you thru-hikers in spirit!

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