On a trip to vintage and antiques fair last summer Mister picked up some tin letters and commented that we should make a sign for his barbecue area in the back yard. Hmm....I picked up two B's and a Q, with no specific plan-but, really, when has that stopped me?
Many weeks (or months) later inspiration struck and off I went to the hardware store. I bought one piece of 1x4 (which is actually 1 x 3.5). I bought an 8 foot length and cut three 24" lengths. Why not purchase a 6 foot length, you ask? You want to make sure to cut the end off so you have a nice, square end. Then, cut your lengths.
Apply a coat of stain making sure to get all the sides and ends. When the stain has dried turn the pieces face down. I used paint sticks for spacers and laid the three pieces next to each other.
The pieces were secured in that configuration using mending plates and screws. Make sure you are using short screws, less than the width of you wood, so that you do not go through the front of your piece.
I laid the metal letters on the wood and here is where I kinda thought uh-oh. There were no hangers on the backs of the letters.
How was I going to keep them on the wood? I cut six small pieces of wood about 3/4 x 1 1/2". I traced the letters onto the wood for points of reference.
Then, just inside the trace marks I secured the small wood blocks where the flat part of each letter would rest against it. Since these are such small pieces of wood you want to pre-drill a hole in each first then screw them in, otherwise they will split.
My thought was that I could use the brad nailer to secure each letter on the blocks! Genius, right? Umm... no. The brad nailer could not pierce the metal. Now what? Super glue! I tried super glue for metal and wood. I walked away from the project for a few weeks during the Christmas season.
During that time I decided it needed a frame of some sort. I purchased a piece of flat trim from my local home store for a few dollars. None of my photos came out for this step! Sorry. I cut pieces for the top, bottom and sides. All four pieces were stained Weathered Gray by Verthane. I used the brad nailer to attach them. While doing this step the letters started falling off! The glue was not holding! Gah!
New plan. I drilled holes in the metal letters where they met the wood blocks, being careful to avoid the screws that held each block in place. ( A word to the wise here, metal shards from drilling can be extremely sharp and go in like splinters only FAR worse! Keep sticky tape near by to clean off the drill bit and pick up the metal bits.)
I set the letters in place and drilled back through the hole with a very small bit into the wood block- again trying to avoid splitting. Don't go too deep; you want the nail to catch something. I secured each letter, top and bottom to the wood blocks with a nail. It took a little finessing and a nail set as the trim work was in the way of getting a clean shot.
I did apply a coat of poly on the outside trim but left the inside wood with just the stain. I have not put hangers on the back yet as we are not sure where it will hang exactly so when we figure it out we will adjust accordingly.
Here is the finished product. I can't wait for warmer weather so we can take it outside and hang it!
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