I did the inserts separately because I thought it would be easier to handle/paint them and touch up the letters later. I painted the signfoam inserts black and let dry. I then spread out and taped down a piece of plastic dropcloth to my work table and painted it with a coat of white then I pressed the face of each insert down into it. It worked ok but not like I thought, still had a good bit of touch up to do. The little squirrely doodad in the middle was a pain in the butt to trace because it was so shallow and the white filled up the carving when I dipped it.
I left about 60thousanths clearance around the inserts for movement. Glued them into place with Liquid nail Max. The larger part of the sign is made from 2X8" pine that I joined and pocketed out. All painted with premium exterior latex.
2006 PRTalpha 96x48
3hp SEV spindle
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