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 Redwood.
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 styles.
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 before
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 receive it.
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.
Buy with Confidence! Buy from JRWoodsigns.com!
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