2021 Christmas Gifts: Name Signs

Published Sunday, January 2, 2022 by Bryan

A little over a year ago, we moved to a small town in the Upper Midwest. A relic hanging around in the rural areas of the US, from the time before GPS, smartphones, and fire numbers, is the "white arrow board". Or, at least, that's the only official name I've found for them. It's common to find a stack ten or twenty high at a semi-major rural intersection, listing names of families living down one road or the other.

While cruising the lake this summer, we got to talking about these signs with our neighbors, and learned that each one in the stack at the end of our road is deeded with the house it points to. Neither of our properties came with a sign, so we live comfortably anonymous in the woods.

But there's nothing saying you can't put up your own version inside your home anyway. It was absolutely a joy to watch the youngest kid get so excited spelling out the letters of their name on their sign. (No, the youngest's name isn't "KIDB", and the other signs don't actually say "FAMILY" or "PARENTA" or "PARENTB". I would love to show you the results of hours of stenciling work that my wife did, but the internet is a weird place, so we're going to obscure actual names in this venue.)

Instead of trying to cut the tail out of one large piece, I cut strips that were half the width of the sign. That made the cut the same on either end. With a miter gauge and a stop block, I very quickly had eight matching small halves and two matching large halves. Realigning them to glue together was a breeze.

The final step of assembly took extra care. The signs are hung together with eyelets and hooks. They're all reversible (names on both sides), and the hooks all align, so the names can be flipped and reordered as desired. But getting those hooks in such thin stock required pre-drilling holes about a half-inch deep, with diameters about a third as thick as the wood. No scratches, no cracks - whew!

Merry Christmas, neighbors!

Categories: Woodworking