The Dale C. Maley Family Web Site

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Restoration of 2nd Fugate Woods Sign

I did the first sign restoration around Labor Day of 2020.

I was asked to restore a 2nd sign in Feb of 2021. On this sign, it was delivered to my house........I did not have to go to the woods to pull it.

Poor quality cedar 4x4 posts at Menards in Bloomington

There was about 25 posts in the bin, and I had to sort through all of them to get 2 with the least cracks!!!  My plan is to glue up the cracks, then put that end into the ground.


I used the reciprocating saw to remove the lower 2 signs from the top.

I used a hammer and carefully removed the 2 posts from the big top sign.  The good news was there was no rotting in the tenon of the big sign going into the the 1st sign. The bad news was the big sign had a major horizontal crack going through about the center.

I decided that if I finished the big break, and carefully glued and clamped it back together with Titebond III exterior rated glue, it would hold up for another 20 years ok.

I used my bar clamps, and I made sure the 2 boards did not buckle in the center, which often happens when gluing up boards.  Buckling would not allow the tenons of the big sign to fit into their mating mortises in the 2 posts.

Starting to Belt Sand big sign

Making the mortises in the 2 posts

I used a scrap piece of 4x4 on the table saw, and it held the other end of the posts fine while I used the Delta mortising tool. I cut the corners first using a 3/8x3/8" square bit, then went to the drill press.

I used the metal roller stand to hold the other end on the drill press. I used a 1" Forstner bit to cut all the took forever and made a ton of chips !!

Then I moved the roller stand over to the Makita chop saw to hold the other end.  I marked where the end of the post should go using blue masking tape on the miter saw......and I cut the 4 angles, 45 degrees, on each post.

2nd Coat of White paint

I used an artist's brush to fill the letter openings on the big letters at top, and the bottom row.

Cracks in 2 cedar posts

I filled the cracks with Titebond III and clamped them.  Hopefully the glue will keep the water from entering the interior of the posts.......and propogating the cracks.  I wiped glue off with wet towel.

When I got the sign done, I added some 2.5" long deck screws at these cracked areas.

Gluing up the two 2x4's to make the lower 2 signs

To get good glue joints, I used the Poor Man's method of running the mating edges through opposite sides of the table saw........versus using a jointer. I used Titebond III on these joints.

Routing new letters

I used my old Sears lettering kit. It has 1.5 and 2.5 nominal size letters [the 1.5 inch letters are actually 1.75 inches tall].

I made sure this time to check every time and make sure all screws were tight [I forgot 1 time on 1st sign and template slipped, and I had to repair the defect.

I made pencil lines for the bottom of the letters, then lined up the routing template to match.  The top letter row was 2-9/16" down from the top, and the 2nd row was 5-1/4" down.

Project Status

Items left to go....

1. Fill another crack with glue on 1 of the posts

2. Check mortise and tenon fit of big sign. Might have to belt sand old tenons to get them to fit nicely.

3. Fill new and old letters with white paint

4. Final Assembly

Sanding 2 new signs after letters painted

I used my orbital sander with 100 grit sandpaper to remove the white paint.

I tried this on the old sign, and it did not work......probably because the old surface is so much rougher.  I had to use my belt sander with 60 grit to remove the excess white paint.

Finished 2nd Sign for Fugate's Woods

Closing thoughts on this project

If I do another sign, when I drill the long mortises for the old sign.............I should use my knew 1-1/16" diameter bit I bought for the marbles games.........instead of the 1 inch bit.  the old sign was a full 1 inch in thickness and I had to sand the mortise on the drill press using a small diameter 60 grit sanding drum.

Because Menard's cedar was so bad in quality, all split...............I should check out Lowes next time and see if they have good cedar.