Frequently Asked Questions
* What type of wood will be used for my personalized wood sign?
* Is the wood you use suitable for use outdoors?
* What's the difference between Western Red Cedar and Eastern Cedar?
* Will my sign have a finish applied to it already?
* What font choices do I have for my routed wood sign?
* How many characters can I use on my sign?
* Can I have a graphic added to my wood sign?
* Will I get to see a “proof” or something before you carve my personalized sign?
* Do I have to pay first, before actually seeing what my sign will look like?
* Can I get a sign with text on both sides?
* Is the text routed into, painted on, or burned into the wood?
* What different routing methods can I choose from and what is the difference in them?
* What colors do I have to choose from for the text?
* How will you be shipping my wood sign?
* How much will shipping cost for my custom wood sign?
* How long does it take for my sign to arrive?
* I waited too long to order, can you put a RUSH on my sign?
* What if I want a different size sign than what is shown?
* Is there some way I can estimate how much a custom sized sign will be?
* I have an idea for a unique sign shape but don't see it here, can you help me?
* What if I want to paint or finish my custom wood sign myself?
* What if I'm not quite sure what I want?
* Should I use an apostrophe on my sign such as Smith's or Smiths'?
* Does my routed wood sign come with any hardware for mounting it?
1. What type of wood will be used for my personalized wood sign?
We use Western Red Cedar or Eastern Cedar for all of our Exterior Personalized Wood Signs and Address
Plaques. Cedar shares many of the same desireable properties and qualities as Redwood. However, Cedar is not
an endangered or exotic species and is much more readily available and therefore more economical than
We offer Red Oak as well as Eastern and Western Cedar for Interior Custom Routed Wood Signs and Plaques.
Red Oak is a beautifully grained hardwood that is best suited for interior use. It is a very durable wood that will
retain its beauty for many decades without refinishing. Red oak is not recommended for exterior signs or where
it will be in direct contact with water. Red Oak is full of tannic acid which when mixed with the iron in water
creates a chemical blue dye. Red oak stains dark blue or black when water is allowed to penetrate the surface.
2. Is the wood you use suitable for use outdoors?
Yes, Yes, Absolutely Yes, Cedar is one of the world's most durable woods. It's natural beauty combined with it's
ability to resist moisture, decay and insect damage has made it the premier choice for both interior and exterior
use. Cedar has double the stability of most commonly available softwoods. It lies flat, stays straight, and holds
fastenings tightly. Cedar has been used outdoors for fencing, decking, and other outdoor wood projects for
centuries because of it's natural beauty and durability. This durability comes from Cedar's unique cellular
structure which gives it the ability to absorb or expell moisture as humidity changes, minimizing shrinkage and
expansion and maximizing it's ability to resist warping, twisting, and checking or cracking. Cedar has a unique
aroma which is highly offensive to insects, but very pleasing to humans. This aroma comes from fragrant
natural compounds found within the heartwood. These compounds, also contribute to Cedar's ability to fight off
rot and deterioration as they are toxic to fungi which cause the wood to decay. Cedar is a perfect choice for
custom routed exterior signage or any project that requires wood to be resistant to the harsh weather
environment. To summarize, Cedar's natural resistance to moisture, decay and insect damage make it ideal for
Wood Signs that are exposed to even the harshest environments.
3. What's the difference between Western Red Cedar and Eastern Cedar?
Western Red Cedar is lighter in color than Eastern Cedar, only slightly darker than pine or spruce with a
similar, but more defined grain pattern. It's colors are a bit richer than most pines, ranging from reddish brown
cinnamon tones to darker, more defined browns. Western Red Cedar has all of the properties listed above,
making it right at home in the outdoors. Western Red Cedar is a perfect choice for exterior wood signs and is a
fine choice for personalized wood welcome signs or wood plaques that will be displayed indoors as well.
Eastern Cedar, also known as "Aromatic Cedar" is the species of Cedar most commonly used for cedar chests,
closet linings, coat racks, and shoe trees due to it's natural ability to repel bugs, and it's very pleasing aroma.
Eastern Cedar is darker in color than Western Cedar with much more of a "red" tone. It usually has light colored
bands or streaks within the grain making it a beautiful wood for signs and plaques. Left unfinished, Eastern
Cedar will also act as a natural air freshener which is perfect for helping to freshen those "manly" odors
emanating from the "Man Cave" or odors associated with pet areas. When the "air freshening" quality subsides,
just rub it lightly with a piece of fine sandpaper(on the back or edges preferably) and Cedar's wonderful natural
aroma will return. Eastern Cedar also has the same properties as Western Red Cedar, such as a natural ability
to resist moisture, decay and insect damage, as well as warping, and checking or cracking. It is also an ideal
choice for Routed Wood Signs that will be exposed to the harsh outdoor elements. I personally prefer unfinished
Eastern Cedar over Western for interior signs and plaques due to it's more beautifully defined grain patterns
and wonderful aroma.
We always have Western Red Cedar and, when a nice grade is available, we have Eastern Cedar. If we have
Eastern Cedar when you order, we will ask for your choice when we send the design proof for approval.
Otherwise, Western Red Cedar will normally be used to make your wood sign.
4. Will my sign have a finish applied to it already?
Cedar may be left unfinished and it will still hold up to the elements just fine. Weather conditions don’t have a
great deal of affect on Cedar. However, we feel in the case of exterior wood signage, a finish treatment helps
enhance the beauty and longevity of the product. When left unfinished, Cedar will slowly weather over time to a
beautiful silvery color. If you prefer this "aged" look, which many people do, please be sure
to send us a note when you place your order to leave your personalized wood sign unfinished. This aging
process still happens with finished wood signs but the process will take a much longer period of time.
We use only the best finishes on our Exterior Custom Routed Wood Signs.
Many of our competitors sell their signs UNFINISHED or use POLY-URETHANE finishes. These finishes lay on top
of the wood rather than penetrate into it. Over time, poly's will turn yellow, crack, and peel away from the
wood, making a real mess of the sign and allowing the wood to turn gray in a very short period of time. Some
offer SPAR Urethanes which have much better moisture protection than regular Poly's but still don't compare to
the PREMIUM FINISH that we use.
The finish we use contains Alkyd oils and Resins and begins by penetrating into the wood with superb water
repellent properties to keep moisture out and guard the wood further against warping and checking. This finish
also contains an Anti-Fungal agent with properties to
further assist Cedars ability to prevent rot and decay. It then goes a step further by adding a UV Inhibitor to
help protect the wood from the sun's damaging rays, significantly slowing the aging or "graying" process. ("2-5
years with direct exposure to the elements" According to the manufacturer). A little light sanding and another
coat of finish every few years and your wood sign will look brand new again. This finish is not shiny. It will leave
your custom routed wood sign looking very natural. The finish will then slowly weather over time with the wood
to maintain a natural wood hue. We personally recommend displaying your Custom Wood Sign on a porch or
under an overhang (in a spot with at least partial protection from the sun) whenever possible to keep it looking
beautiful for the longest possible period of time. Some folks prefer the gray or "AGED" look. If you would prefer
your custom wood sign to turn gray in a shorter period of time, please send us a note when you checkout to
"Paint the text but leave my wood sign unfinished". This also applies if you would like to match your sign's
finish to another you have used.
Interior Cedar Wood Signs and Plaques will either be left unfinished, if you choose, or be finished in the same
manner as our exterior wood signs.
Our Interior Red Oak Wood Signs and Plaques will come with your choice of natural or black text. Then, they are
finished with your choice of either Golden Oak or Red Mahogany stain followed by at least 3 coats of
Polyurethane sealer, sanded smooth between each coat. This process helps to protect your custom routed wood
sign from moisture, makes it easier to keep clean, and provides it with a great looking "shiny" finish. (You may
also choose to have natural unpainted text and/or just the poly without the stain for a more natural look).
5. What font choices do I have for my routed wood sign?
You may choose nearly any font you'd like. If you choose a font that is not on our sign designer's computer, the
designer may choose to use a similar font in place of the originally chosen one. Our designer's computer has
more fonts than most so this is almost never an issue. You may
also browse through some of our sign samples and, if you see a font you like, just send us a note such as "I like
the font used on the Johnston's Oval shaped Sign"(which happens to be our most popular font, Monotype
Corsiva). If you can't decide which font to choose, you can just let our sign designer do his thing. You can help
him out if you wish, by sending a note such as "Maybe a script font" or "something rustic", or western, or fun,
or classic, etc.. Here are some samples of our most popular fonts chosen by customers.
6. How many characters can I use on my sign?
Unlike many other sign makers, We here at JRWOODSIGNS try not to limit the number of characters you can
use on your Custom Routed Wood Sign, but please remember, the more you use, the smaller they will have to
be in order to properly fit. If clear legibility is of importance, please keep the number of characters to a
minimum or order a larger sign. Obviously, if you must have more characters, our larger signs will be easier
to read than our smaller signs.
7. Can I have a graphic added to my wood sign?
Sure, JRWOODSIGNS has a few commonly chosen graphics for you to pick from or you may choose one of your
own or even your company logo if desired. The main rule for graphics is to remember, we are engraving or
routing into wood, not printing on paper! The simpler, the better. A clean, simple, black and white clip art
picture with a decent resolution usually works well. Pics with a gradient or shaded area or background are by far
the worst. Our design software must be able to break down the picture into separate colors in order to import
them. Keeping the artwork simple will keep the price of it more reasonable. Most basic graphics from our
graphics page will be $10 extra, custom graphics prices will be determined by how complex the artwork is.
These prices start at $10 per graphic and will normally range between $10 and $20 but could be higher. The
best way to know for sure is to send us the image you would like to use by E-mail and we'll get you a quote
before you place your wood sign order. We can work with many basic file types such as Bmp, Jpeg, Gif, or Png.
If you have the ability to save the file as a Dxf file, this will produce the best results at the lowest price due to
the time it will save our design artist. DXF is the preferred file type.
8. Will I get to see a “proof” or something before you carve my personalized sign to make sure it's
what I want?
Yes, once JRWOODSIGNS receives your order, we will begin the design phase. If you know which font you
would like on your sign, (or if you want curved text, etc..) please send us a note when you place your order.
This saves us valuable designing time and in the end gets your sign to you sooner as well as helping to keep
the price of your wood sign more affordable.
Once your wood sign is drawn up,(normally within one business day), we will E-mail you a "Design Proof" for
your inspection and approval so be sure to check your E-mail!! Once we receive your approval, we will move to
the routing and finishing processes to get your wood sign created. Once the finish is completely dry, we will get
your personalized routed wood sign to the post office and on it's way to you. Although this "design proof"
process may add a slight delay to your sign (only until we receive your approval), We feel it's the best way to
ensure that we both get exactly what we are looking for. ..............A beautiful custom wood sign for you and
another Satisfied Customer for JRWOODSIGNS..............
Once in a while we receive an order from an E-mail address that will not accept our e-mails or is not up to date.
Please make sure PayPal has your correct E-mail address on file when you place your order as this is the one we
will reply to with the design proof. If you want the proof sent to a different E-mail, please let us know when you
place your order. In the case of an invalid E-mail address we will do our best to try to reach you before routing
your wood sign but in order to keep things moving, we can only wait so long. If you do not receive your proof
within one business day, please contact us again with a phone number or valid E-mail where you can be
reached. If you have to talk it over with someone else and both make the decision, that is fine but please let us
know that you have received the proof. If we do not hear back from you within a few days, and after at least a
few E-mail attempts, we may decide to go ahead and rout your wood sign to keep it from going to the bottom
of the stack and being greatly delayed. Remember, to avoid all this, all you have to do is check your E-mail!!
If you would like to design your own sign, that is ok as well. All we ask is that you use a decent drawing
program such as Adobe or Corel and make it a resolution of 300dpi or so. Do not use MS Paint as it has a
maximum resolution of just 96dpi. We can work with many basic file types such as Bmp, Jpeg, Gif, or Png. If
your program has the ability to save the file as a Dxf file, this will definitely produce the best results and is the
preferred file type.
On certain types of signs, we don't send a proof. Typically this is for our mailbox post number plaques which
pretty much only come with one
font and in one design configuration. There will be a note in RED stating "We do not send design proofs for
these signs so please double check your numbers for accuracy" on the order page if this is the case. All of our
normal custom wood signs and address plaques will have a proof.
9. Do I have to pay first, before actually seeing what my sign will look like?
Each of our custom routed wood signs and plaques are "signs made to order". We can't seem to find a sign
designer that will work for free so, Yes, all design work is pre-paid, commissioned, artwork. Paying a design
artist for their time working on projects that are not yet ordered would increase the prices of our wood signs
across the board. We do everything within our power to provide you with the highest quality routed cedar wood
sign at the most reasonable prices. This is just one of the ways we keep them affordable. We will collaborate
with you through email to make any changes that you may desire until we get exactly what you're looking for.
Your wood sign will not be routed until we receive your approval of the design proof. If we are unable
to get your sign designed to your liking, which we have not had a single instance of yet, we will issue a refund
of your purchase price less any small fees associated with transferring the money, etc..
10. Can I get a sign with text on both sides?
Yes, we can make you a double sided wood sign or address plaque. The design must be the same on both sides
to take advantage of the discounts offered. We do this a couple of different ways. The first is to carve or rout
both sides of a single 3/4" thick piece of Cedar and is fine for most smaller signs and adress plaques. If this is
what you want, just add sixty percent to the total when ordering to cover routing, painting, sanding and
finishing time for the second side.
The second is to actually cut two 3/4" thick signs and fasten them together for a sign that will be approximately
1 1/2 inches thick when finished. This method is better for larger signs or if you just need a more durable,
thicker wood sign, especially for commercial business signs.
We can glue and clamp them together for you or you can choose to fasten the two signs together yourself. If
this is what you're looking for, please add 80 percent to the total when ordering to cover the extra sign.
11. Is the text routed into, painted on, or burned into the wood?
The text and any graphics you choose will be routed, engraved, and/or carved into the wood using tool bits,
chisels, knives, etc..
12. What different routing methods can I choose from and what is the difference in them?
Along with hand engraving and carving, JRWOODSIGNS offers two distinctively different routing or cutting
The first of these is V-Carved.
When people think about traditional carved wood signs, this is most likely what they think of. The text is routed
into the surface of the sign, using a "V" shaped bit leaving the walls of the letter angled to meet in the center of
the letter, forming a "V" shaped cross-section. V-Carved wood signs have more detail than other types of
carved wood signs and can be cut with a variety of different fonts, giving the customer the most dimensional
value for the money. Most of our V-Carved Custom Routed wood signs will come with a matching chamferred
border except of course special styles such as the "Log" or "Flip Flop" which look best without the border.
The second routing style we offer is Coreboxed.
Coreboxed wood signs are cut with a rounded bit which leaves a nice smooth look to the lettering and a uniform
width making them very easy to read from a distance. The corebox style lends a more rustic appeal to wood
signs which is especially fitting for camping signs, farm signs, playground signs, etc. This style is also a better
choice for signs that people will be reading at a glance, or while driving past them. The coreboxed routing style
is a fantastic choice for address plaques or mailbox post number plaques. However, the number of fonts
available for corebox cutting is limited to only a few "single Line" type choices. Most of our Coreboxed Custom
Routed Wood Signs will come with a matching coreboxed border except for special styles such as the "Log" or
"Flip Flop" which look best without the border.
13. What colors do I have to choose from for the text?
Our sign text is similar to Henry Ford's Model T. "Available in all your favorite colors" "As long as your favorite
color is BLACK!"
That's right, we offer you a choice of either Unpainted, Black, Black, or Black for the text. This is another way
that we keep or wood sign prices reasonable. There are just too many colors out there and it would cost a
fortune to stock them all. You may send us a note when you place your order to "leave the text unpainted" if
you'd like to paint it a custom color yourself. (We do have a few basic colors including White, Yellow, Red,
Green, Blue and Copper which are available for $10 extra per sign.($20 for double sided signs)This is because
our finishing equipment is set up for black and must be completely disassembled and cleaned twice to switch to
a different color and back. Our way around this is to sweet talk my wife(a $10 bribe works well:) into hand
painting the text for you. This may also add a day or so to the finishing process as some dry slower.
14. How will you be shipping my wood sign?
We ship most wood signs by USPS Priority Mail or UPS depending on the size and destination. We may ship
some of our smallest signs standard first class mail as long as it will reach the destination within 2-3 days. This
method is used for very small signs going to East coast destinations.
Due to the many different sizes of our signs, we normally make our own shipping boxes from reclaimed or
recycled cardboard. They may not always be the prettiest boxes but it keeps them out of the land fills and also
helps to save you a few bucks on the price of your custom routed Cedar wood sign!
15. How much will shipping cost for my custom wood sign?
FREE, Zip, Zero, Nada, Nothing!! JRWOODSIGNS is currently running a FREE shipping special. For a
limited time, our wooden signs and plaques ship free to the lower 48 states. ORDER NOW to take
advantage of our special and save yourself $6-$20 in shipping charges. If you are having your wood
sign shipped to Hawaii, Alaska, or another country, please contact us with your zipcode for a shipping quote
16. How long does it take for my sign to arrive?
It usually takes just a few days from the time we receive your approval for your Custom Wood Sign or
Plaque to be routed, painted, sanded, and finished. Sometimes finishing time is slightly longer due to rain or
very high humidity slowing the drying time. Rest assured that JRWOODSIGNS will get your wood sign shipped
to you as quickly as we possibly can without compromising quality. Normally, you will receive your order within
1 to 2 weeks. Sometimes it takes only a few days, especially with quick design approval from you and East
coast shipping destinations.
17. I waited too long to order and I need it YESTERDAY! Can you put a RUSH on my sign order?
Sure, we can put a RUSH on your wood sign order but it's not cheap. Just like in auto racing, "Money buys
speed, How fast do you want it?" Normally, the fee for this is an additional $75. A portion of this goes to cover
the designer's fee and finisher's bonus for working nights or weekends. The majority of this fee goes straight to
the shipper to cover RUSH shipping.
18. What if I want a different size sign than what is shown?
Not a problem. Most of our wood signs can be customized to whatever size you're looking for. Please contact us
for a quote.
19. Is there some way I can estimate how much a custom sized sign will be?
Yes, this is just an approximation but for most signs you can figure about 38-40 cents per square inch.(plus
$10 for custom shapes, The same
as a graphic.)This will get you in the ballpark for a wood sign and shipping. Most of our competitors charge over
50 cents per square inch PLUS SHIPPING!! Remember to add for double sided text, graphics, etc.. You can
always contact us for an actual quote but be sure to include your postal code so we can figure the actual
shipping otherwise, we will automatically figure the shipping price as if it were going to the West Coast.
20. I have an idea for a unique sign shape but don't see it here, can you help me?
Of Course we can, We love new ideas as much as anybody.(actually more than most) The same rule applies
here as for graphics, The simpler,
the better(and cheaper). A nice clean black and white clip art or drawing made with a quality drawing program
such as Adobe or Corel works best. We can work with many basic file types such as DXF, BMP, JPEG, GIF, or
PNG. If your program has the ability to save the file as a DXF file, this will produce the best results and is the
preferred file type. The same $10-$20 fee applies to this as to the graphics due to the fact that it is the same
process. Prices of custom shaped wood signs will basically be the same as our regular signs of comparable size
plus the graphic fee.
21. What if I want to paint or finish my custom wood sign myself?
No problem, Just send us a note stating that you would like your custom wood sign left unfinished. We will still
sand it as if we were finishing it, so it will be prepared and ready to paint or finish as you'd like when you
22. What if I'm not quite sure what I want?
We get this every now and then and normally can come up with some really nice suggestions to help you
decide. I shipped a sign yesterday that was made to resemble a cloud. We did another just a couple weeks ago.
The customer wanted something nice for his wife "Maybe something like a heart" , "Oh, she likes teddy bears
too if there's any way to maybe incorporate that into it." what we came up with was a custom wood sign in the
shape of a teddy bear, holding a large heart with the text on it. So, don't worry if you're not sure what you
want. Our sign designer's "design" every day. It does help if you have an idea of what you'd like your sign to
say however, as our designers are great at designing but they're not exactly world famous published writers,
authors, or poets. They can sometimes help re-word signs to make them "flow" a little better though. Either
way, you can rest assured that JRWOODSIGNS will work with you until we come up with just the right sign for
your needs. Whether it be a business sign, decorative sign, garden sign, welcome sign, man cave sign, or just
about any other type of wood sign you are looking for.
23. Should I use an apostrophe on my sign such as Smith's or Smiths'?
Whether you choose to use an apostrophe or not is completely up to you. Sometimes we will recommend it if
we feel it's needed. The best
way to determine whether or not to use an apostrophe is to do a simple search for "Should I use an
apostrophe". You will find many great
articles written by much more qualified people such as english professors and other masters of the english
language giving the proper rules
for using apostrophes. We at JRWOODSIGNS agree not to instruct them on how to use proper grammar as long
as they agree not to tell us
how to carve our custom wood signs. In general though, an apostrophe is used to express 3 things, plurality,
posession, or ownership.
24. Does my routed wood sign come with any hardware for mounting it?
Yes, on most of our custom wood signs, when we send your design proof we will ask for your choice of Eastern
or Western Cedar if it's available, as well as whether or not you require "keyholes" cut into the back for hanging
on screws, Eyelets for hanging with chains or wires, or neither for fastening directly with nails or screws.
Quality Routed Cedar Wood Signs, Address Plaques, &
Custom Routing Services!
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