The Dale C. Maley Family Web Site

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Strevell House Signs

I previously made a sign saying "Gothic Revival" to describe the architecture style at the Strevell House.

Carpenter Gothic

I am an Engineer, not an Architect,, so I don't know much about architecture.

When I filled out the application to add the Strevell House to the National Register of Historic Places, I had to learn a ton of architectural terms in a hurry !!

Turns out that Gothic Revival Architecture is basically taking Middle Age stone church designs and re-using them in the 1800s.  

But, it turns out there is a sub-category under Gothic Revival for Carpenter Gothic.  Once scroll saws, steam powered, were invited in the early 1800s, factory made economical decorative pieces for the outside of the home became readily available. Carpenters "gussied up" houses by adding these new scroll sawn ornaments, and the name for these house became Carpenter Gothic.  So technically, the Strevell House is Carpenter Gothic architecture.

Year House was Built

When I made the first sign, nobody really knew how old the house was so I guessed 1860.

After I researched the house in detail, turns out the carpenter bought the lot in July of 1855. If he had good weather, he likely finished the house before Jan 1, 1856..........or the house was finished in early 1856.  I decided to update the year built to 1855, because that is more likely than 1856.

Sign Making Process

1. Using Sketchup, decide the sign dimensions.

2. Use font type Clarendon Blk Bt in sketchup. It dates from 1845, and I can hand paint the letters if they are tall enough,

3. Print out full-scale sign from Sketchup, cut to same size as sign

4. Prime and paint sign back

5. place carbon paper on wood painted sign back board, place Sketchup print-out on top, tape paper pattern to wood

6. hand trace letters using sharp pencil

7. remove carbon paper and paper pattern

8. using artist brush, paint the letters

Finished Sign

New sign delivered to Strevell House

The bright sunlight wiped out the first letter of the sign this morning.

Caution Sign

I needed to make a Caution sign for one of the rooms on the 2nd story that drops 1 foot when you go into the room.

I used the same Garamond font style as on the first sign above.

Sign Base and vertical upright

I borrowed the leg design from my 1905 lamp project, but scaled the leg length up from 12 inches to 16 inches because the sign is 48 inches above the floor............the lamp is only about 16" tall.

Making the base

I forgot from making the stained glass lamp base, on how to saw the grooves in the 2 leg pieces.

You basically use the radial arm saw to saw the first one close to 1/2 the distance.

Then you slowly keep sawing the 2nd leg deeper until you get a flush fit at the top.  The beauty of this design is the 2 saw cuts do not have to be exactly the same depth, because if one is shallow, the other is just a little deeper.

Sketchup Warehouse

Finished Sign

Closing Thoughts on this Project

Both signs turned out nice, as expected.  Scaling the feet up from 12 to 16" in length worked about right on the 48" tall caution sign, it is not to "tippy" such that it is easily knocked over.