View Full Version : Sign Making with Markers

08-12-2001, 08:00 PM
Well shopbotter I think I made a marker holder that will work? I made a sign with it and it took only 30 minutes with the speed set at 2in.

You can see the pictures and the holder here\marker.htm

Now I will let you in on the do's and don't after playing with it all day.

I took a sheet of 3/4 plywood that was way to warped to use to engrave and this was my testing piece, I inserted the marker holder and away it went, I did the same pattern as you see in the pictures in the link above and it was going up and down pushing the marker up so not to bend or break it.

The marker holder can be adjusted to raise up to 2 inches, but I did not use any type of hold downs, I just laid the sheet on the table and let it do its thing.

I have found that if you use a sheet of wood that has missing layers in it? it still works but it is best to use sheets that has none.

I took 1/8 Baltic Birch and sprayed it white and let dry 10 minutes, then laid it on the table and clamped 2 ends and run the same file as the pictures and it did a great job, I then changed color sharpie to red and did the fills in red and then again in green, them blue.

As of doing about 15 different letters and shapes I did not have 1 mess-up.

Now since nothing happened in the testing of the holder, I am not going to say at this time won't happen, for best results use wood that is sanded or has a even grain, and make it as flat as you can, 1/2 inch warp will be ok, if your table is flat you will not have a problem.

My buddy at the machine shop said he will make them for me for $25.00 because it takes about 20 minutes to make them.

E-mail me if you want 1 made.

Ron V

08-12-2001, 08:02 PM
Here is a working link

Ron V

08-13-2001, 12:37 AM
It looks great - simplicity at it's finest.

Instead of using Sharpie markers, will it hold any of the brands of "Paint Pens" which use more durable paint instead of marker ink?

08-13-2001, 01:21 AM
Mayo I am working on it as we speak, I just did the Sharpie first because they can be bought anywhere, with paint pens you have to get the right pressure and speed down, I bought 13 different types of paint pens to works with.

I just got tired of guessing how to do it and just used my head and designed it form scratch and after drinking a 6-pack it came fast...lol.

I made a jig that will hold 8 color paint pens and it seems to work ok but it still needs some work on it, I am trying to be able to load the 8 pens and be able to rotate it by using a switch, but as now it has to be turned by hand and it works fine so far.

My sister said she might be able to write a script that might work with the shopbot software? what it will do is ask for a color number and all you do is enter the numbers on the dial that I made, it will turn to that # and continue, as of now I need to hit the space bar and turn by hand.

I will post picture of it when it is completed and working.

If I posted the pictures now all you would see is burnt plastic that I melted to make the holders.

I heat the plastic and then bend it to fit my needs, it will amaze you what can be done with a heat gun and 1/4 plastic...lol

Ron V

08-13-2001, 06:34 PM
Update: I am going to quit on the paint pen design, after trying 20 different speeds on 7 types of woods, it will bleed into the wood and if the wood is sealed it will run.

I set the speed to 1 and did the Jacks file, it did ok but ran out of paint 3/4 of the way though, then I set the speed to 2 and it did not fill in some places.

So in went the Sharpie and I did the trace and use the paint pens by hand to fill in the colors, this works fine and takes no time to finish it.

I made a same jig for the paint pen but found it will only works with a flat surface, ii the wood is bowed you will get runs fast.

So at this point I am just going to use the Sharpie because it will not bleed and run, I get an even trace all around.

I took a metal pipe and flared the end and drooped in a 1/2 bearing and filled it with paint and just rolled it around, the paint was thick enough to roll even on the bearing, this might be the trick, it gave an even line and when raised up it did not drip paint, the slower the move the wider the line, the only kick back is when the machine stops and raises up you get a puddle there but works fine in you only have the bearing depressed 1/6 inch.

Ron V

08-13-2001, 07:58 PM
I think the key to getting the paint pens to work well is to NOT depress the tip very much while it is drawing. Obviously, if the tip is depressed too much for too long of a time, it lets the ink ooze out past the tip instead of through the tip.

I made a paper pattern using a paint pen and had no problem, although I did not have it fill in the letters - I wanted just the outline.
I first zero'd the Z axis by sight, and then told the software that it was going to "cut" just a couple thousandths deep on the outline. My speed was somewhere around 1" per second.

Another difference here is that my pen holder does not allow the pen to slide up and down in the holder - it's fixed in position. I have an idea for a super cheap way to get the paint pen to "float" over the surface (and slide in and out of the tube holder) without falling out when it raises up... and that way it may be able to track slightly warped boards better - but then again, why use the material if it's warped? If clamps or screws or double sided tape or vacuum beds can't pull it flat, it's probably not suitable for anything anyways.

As soon as I finish dinner I'm off to the Depot to get the part which should allow it to work.

The carousel idea sounds great. Now once you get that down, try and come up with an automatic pen capper so they don't dry out :-)

Any time you try and paint raw wood, you will get some "bleeding" of the paint past the place you expect it to stay - this will vary with different types of wood and different types of paint or markers. Some will have more pigment and some will have more thinners.

I like your pipe and bearing idea too - how about putting a cap on the back end of the pipe and a spring inside it to maintain pressure against the bearing? Then, hook up a fitting on the pipe and a tube running to your bulk ink supply! Now we're talkin!

And just to get your head REALLY spinning with ideas, check out Dean Anderson's invention:

08-13-2001, 09:42 PM

How about using an airbrush? They can make a pretty precise line, and you could probably turn it on and off with some sort of solenoid air valve, which could be controlled by one of the output switches.


08-13-2001, 09:53 PM
What I did is take 1/2 plastic and drill 8 holes in it and it tilts at a 15 degree angle, when it is in the center point of the router the z will move down and depress the pen which is in between 2 springs and pushes the pen down to the material, the if there is any humps in the wood? it will push up or down and follow the wood.

The pipe I make was from pluming material, I took 1/2 PVC and flared 1 end and dropped the bearing in it then put in a spring that is 3 inches longer the the pipe then filled with paint then put on the twist on cap.

I seen that paint machine months ago and thought it was neat but I would have no use for it.

There are many ways to make paint pen holders and markers holders, but to make it work the way you want is a different story.

After I used 4 paint pens for testing I was going to throw them away but decided to tear 1 open, nothing but a spring and point like a ball point pen.

Now Mayo here is 1 that will blow your mind..lol I took a air brush that I had and mounted the head to the router with a piece of tape and ran 10 ft of 1/4 tubing to the air compressor and ran the file, when it z down I hit the switch and there went the paint, then when it stopped I hit the switch to stop the paint, no bleeding, no after spray, no mess, nice clean letters.

Now paint heads cost $12.50 ea, 1 might make say 10 head setup with its own line and paint container, you will only need 1 line to the compressor, valve lines cost $2.79 ea, 1 could have a complete paint shop...lol.

After spending 3 day on paint I am going to stick to the sharpie, its fast its simple its easy, just trace and then use the paint pens by hand to fill in the colors, if it only took me 30 minutes to make the 4x4 with a sharpie it will take less time to fill it in by hand.

Ron V

Gerald D
08-14-2001, 10:03 AM
Anybody want to patent our African spring-loaded pencil holder with no freeplay and no binding on precision bearing surfaces? Accepts any pen that duct tape or masking tape will stick to. Pen pressure software variable (z-parameter).[img]http://www.talkshopbot.com/forum/clipart/happy.gif">

08-14-2001, 12:05 PM
Gerald he is my idea of oa paint pen holder I am working on, so far wooks great, Now just need it to work with the shopbot software...lol