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How to Make Wooden Signs with a Router – A Guide To DIY Routing Signs

Wood Signs with Router

Have you ever wished to make a customized wooden sign to hang on doors in your house or maybe gift someone? After all, it’s not much difficult to make one, at all. A CNC router is one of the most important and flexible woodworking tools anyone can ever have. With the help of a sign router, you can do any woodwork activity. Wood routing is a fun pastime hobby and a great profession. You can make art or use wood to make signs. Interior designers and furniture stores understand the aesthetic value that a wooden sign may add to your space. It’s an easy process. Even still, most of these people have no idea how these wooden signs are made. In this article, we plan on taking you through the procedure of ‘how to make wooden signs with a router.’

You can go deep, shallow, or even cut around your letters for a font effect. You can use a stencil or a reusable router template to draw and cut your letters. CNC Router brings endless opportunities. Wooden signs have a special allure that you won’t find in printed ones. Because wooden signs seem difficult to construct, people frequently choose printed alternatives. but the printed ones never look as good as the wooden ones. However, with the help of a few wooden tools, you can simply make wooden signs at home instead of printing them. Wooden signs are cool and retro. They can make a lovely gift, and you can modify them to your heart’s content until you find the perfect design. But ‘How to make a wooden sign with a router?’. You don’t need much more than a router to get this job done.

Wood Signs with Router

How to Make Wooden Signs with a Router

It’s easy to make wooden signs. Today, you’ll discover how simple it is to make wooden signs by reading this article. We will show you the procedure of making wooden signs with a router that not only looks detailed but also professional in a step-by-step procedure.

Things You’ll Need:

There are a few things you’ll need before you start working on your wooden sign.


Before you start any project, you must plan. You can get the best wooden sign for your needs with the appropriate planning. When creating your best wooden sign design, the first thing you must determine is the type and size of the board that you will use. Take the size of the letters you want to cut into it as well. The size of the wooden sign is important. The size and type of lettering, on the other hand, must be your primary consideration. Your letters should be visible regardless of the size of the board you’re using. Nonetheless, they should not be excessively huge, nor should they be excessively little. Our recommendation is to measure according to the space you’ll be putting on your wooden sign. Keep in mind that the larger your letters, the smaller your board will be. In brief, depending on the letters you want to carve, you’ll have to compromise size or space.

Step 1: Drawing and Tracing

Wood Drawing and Tracing

Now, let’s start making wood signs with a router. The first step is to lay out your wooden sign now that you’ve created a mental image of what you want it to look like. Begin by cutting out your sign’s shape. Before you can produce a replica, do this on white paper.

There should be two types of papers. The exact shape will be cut out of one piece of paper. The design will be laid down on the following piece of paper. Take the second piece of paper and draw out your image and text in their exact size for the layout design. Make certain that each letter is in the exact location where you want it to be. Cover your white paper with tracing paper before using a felt-tipped marker pen to draw over all the lines on that tracing paper. This increases the chances of getting an accurate result.

Step 2: Choosing the Wooden Board

Choosing a wooden board

After you’ve completed the layout, the next step is to prepare the board you’ll be using. You can prepare your wooden board in one of two ways. The first one being, you can either make your wooden board while keeping the proper dimensions in mind, or you can purchase a readymade board. If you have money that you can use to buy a readymade board, then go for it. Because it will make your task 10 times easier. Whatever you do, make sure you have the correct measurements. Then, if there are any extra layers, cut them away. If you require a flawless finish for your product, sanding the board is recommended to achieve the desired attractive and smooth finish.

Step 3: Carving With a CNC Router

Wood carving with a router

For anyone learning ‘how to make wooden signs with a router’, this is the most difficult step. Nonetheless, you need not be concerned. There are two different ways you can do it. You can either use a computer to draw the letters or do it by hand.

The former is for efficiency, while the latter is for those who enjoy the natural beauty of the countryside. You can choose which choice is best for you based on your requirements. Also, computer design may give more efficient and clean results if you’re a beginner. But if you’re a professional with a lot of experience then don’t hesitate to do it by hand. You’ll notice some drawings on the wood while marking the letters with your marker. Do not be concerned about these; you can always send them out once you are finished. To avoid sanding for a lengthy period, keep the lines shallow.

Step 4: Routing

The easy yet technical part of this project is router sign making. It’s easy, quick, and a lot of fun to do.

1. Secure the Board

To begin, set the plank of wood on top of the table. Make sure the board is in a good spot. You must also make sure it is stable. Clamp the wooden board to the table to guarantee that it is stable. A rubber pad can also be located beneath the wooden board to keep it from slipping or skidding. When using the router to cut into the wood, it’s best to keep your hands on the table for better control. However, once you’ve inserted the router, wriggle your wrists to effortlessly move it through the wooden board.

2. Choose the Router Bit

Bear in mind the router bit you’ll require. The router bit that you should use is either a V groove, rounded nose, or square end router bit. Nevertheless, the piece you choose will be determined by the type of finish you intend to use. Note that when you plunge the V groove and rounded bits into the wood, they are very easy to handle.

3. Cutting the Wood

It’s time to curve the wood after you’ve set everything up. Keep in mind that you should never dive deeper than 1 by 4 inches or even 3 by 8 inches to achieve the outcomes. You will have a difficult time routing if you go beyond the depths that have been stated. There’s a chance you’ll have a few issues with the burn marks as well. But the routing sign technique is to remember not to thrust the router into the wood without first fastening your forearms to the table, since this will quickly ruin the piece. 

Step 5: Finishing

Wood Carving with router

Once you are done with routing, it will be time to give your wooden sign the proper finish. You have a limitless number of concepts to choose from in this step. If you want to go with a painting, you can always go with a trendy painting with a sloppy touch and yet get great results.

If you go with the sloppy and rough natural look, you’ll have to sand the sections you don’t need later. You can, however, produce a comprehensive painting of whatever you require. You can also use a wood Stain if you want to change the color of the wood. The most difficult component of applying finishing paint to a routed sign board.

You’ll have to work around your routed wooden signs and be patient. This, however, will take a long time. As a result, giving a clear finish to the wood, such as varnish, is the greatest option because it will give it a retro feel.

Safety Guide on Making Wood Router Signs

woodworkers protective gear

Working with any woodwork equipment can be dangerous if you don’t know how to use it. So, we have compiled some safety instructions that you should keep in mind. 

  • Images with complex patterns or high-end details should be avoided.
  • Make sure there’s adequate room around the edges for borderlines.
  • Before using the router bit for the signed routing, test it on some scrap wood.
  • When routing, remember to always use both hands.
  • Apply polyurethane/varnish to your wooden board regularly to maintain it looking new.
  • Always try out a few different options before deciding on the ideal one.
  • Keep in mind that larger routers will do the job faster in routing signs than smaller router models.
  • While looking for greater control, maintain your forearms on top of the table and hold the routing machine down.


Making a wooden sign using a router is always entertaining. It is full of creativity. You can not only use this wooden sign in your own house but also gift it to someone or maybe even start a home business with it. To enhance the product’s appearance, you can create signs, photos, names, addresses, and a variety of other designs. We have listed all the things you should know if you want to learn how to make wooden signs with a router. It will be a valuable addition to your skillset. We hope that this guide will be of great assistance to you in learning how to make these designs and patterns. If you’re looking for a router, check out our cnc router guide and if you have any questions on this topic, please leave them in the comments section below.

Happy routing! 

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