Signed Wedding Board


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My niece is getting married in a few weeks. She originally wanted a round piece of wood that she could have every one sign, instead of a registry. I told her round pieces 99.9 percent of the time eventually check and crack. I told her I could cut a piece off a 3" thick live edge slab and make a small table, plant stand, night stand. The wood I have available is, all air dried at least 5 years, Dawn Redwood, Spalted Maple, Spalted White Birch, Red Oak, Fir. I'm leaning toward the pink and white Redwood, or the Spalted Maple. I asked a cabinet maker friend how to prep and seal the wood, yesterday morning. Last night he called back and said he took some scraps of White Oak and did some testes. He sanded with 320, cleaned, and signed with a ball point pen. It wrote on the wood well. He let it dry then tried to apply a varnish. It instantly washed the ink off. Then he signed with the ball point, let it dry, and applied polyurethane. He said it looked fantastic and the writing was crystal clear.  I'm afraid the ink will eventually get sucked into the wood. Felt tip markers seemed to bleed, get fuzzy and get sucked up.

 

Does anyone know the proper way to prep and seal raw lumber so the signatures will last many years?

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There is a member here that recently did this  on panels and used the panels on a side board he was making, signatures on the inside.  He is here pretty much daily and I am sure he will share his technique.

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I can't think of a snarky response to you turkeys.

It wasn't raw wood though. If you want signatures  to stay you'll need to put finish under them and then over them. Some markers may take in raw wood but it could bleed with finish. When you do apply finish use a shellac or lacquer from a spray can so you aren't wiping or brushing the surface. The signatures will smudge if handled roughly so caution people to use care a sign should be good enough.

These are the markers we used at our wedding and they turned out great. It gave people some different colors to work with and I encouraged them to use their imagination and have fun with it. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072KDJ9PL/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This is the finished result. The door was finished prior with 3-4 coats of wiping poly. I covered the signatures with a coat or 2 of spray lacquer.

817910244_Sideboard117Share.thumb.jpg.2c37468fea9deb3affdb5a4a77c6e9e8.jpg

This is still my favorite project I've made and I can't think of what may unseat it.

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I made a wooden anniversary card for my wife a few years go. It was just 1/8” plywood cut in the shape of a “5” and I wrote a message on the back of it with a sharpie. I wrote directly on the wood and applied wipe-on poly directly over it. 

I had done tests with several types of finish and the wipe-on poly didn’t bleed the sharpie at all and it still looks just like it did originally. I had assumed that spray finishes would give a better result than wipe-on but they all made it bleed.

Whatever route you choose, you should do a few tests of your own, since you can’t really undo it on the real piece. 
 

Edit: but all that being said, I really like how the writing on the piece from “a member on this forum” really pops. 

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I agree with running some test pieces.

I use an archival ink fine tip marker (art/hobby store) and write on bare wood.  I have applied both gel varnish and Osmo Polyx-Oil (wiped on) without smearing or removing the ink.  But that success may reflect the wood (typically maple or mahogany) and the degree of sanding (p180) and of course my luck.  Remember your luck may vary :D, so test first using the wood and prep and finishing methods you plan to use.  

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry, it's been a while getting back. We had a bit of a scare a couple weeks before my nieces wedding. My wife's friend who was donating the use of her house and yard for the wedding, had a severe A-Fib attack. She's been in and out of the hospital since, mostly in. They had to take her to Washington Hospital Center and ZAP her 3 different time. When they zap her, her heart will resume a normal heart rate for 8-10 days, then go wonky again.

 I was at a farm auction 2-3 weeks ago and picked up a Singer treadle sewing machine base and a cast iron desk frame with folding seat. I decided to use the Singer base. I took a scrap piece of Dawn Redwood and mounted it on the base. It doesn't fit, and the base is wobbly, so don't hold that against me. The base has holes for 3 heavy rods that stabilize it, of course they were missing. I'm going to use black plumbers pipe with a piece of all thread through the middle. That should stiffen it up. 

Ran the Redwood through the planer to get both sides close to flat and parallel, then painted on some old Helmsman Spar Urethane. It was the only thing on the garage shelf last night. I had to rip a hole in the solidified glob to get some liquid out. Please don't hold that against me either. Got a new can of Satin Min Wax Poly. I'll try that on the flip side of the test piece later today.

Here's the first test run, I like it so far, Joe.

 

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@wtnhighlander , if that is an older or antique model sewing machine there are collectors.  There are also hobbyists that enjoy working on vintage machines.  If it's an interesting model you still won't get a ton for it, but you can find it a good home.  Try contacting a quilt club or sewing club near you.  Paducah KY is home to a major Quilt museum and might have some insights.

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I have to agree with Mark, they don't bring much at auctions. A friend takes them apart and makes night stands out of them. They are beautiful, and it breaks my heart that he takes all the machine parts to the scrap yard for scrap price.  We had an old local restaurant that had all the dinner tables made on old sewing machine bases. When they went out of business, my friend bought all of them for $20 a piece. In the last 6-8 years the most I've seen very nice ones sell for is about $75. I saw one sell for over $100, but an interior decorator bought it for a project house and was going to double the price to her client. I bought the two base pieces of the sewing machine and two bases for a cast iron framed school desk. The desk top is on the back, for the kid behind you. The seat folds up so you could stand and let other kids get by. I think I paid $10 for both sets of bases. I carried them out to my truck, and forgot to go back for the sewing machine. There were a few parts on it I wanted for other projects, but I didn't realize I left the other stuff there, and it was a 2 1/2 hour drive, so I couldn't go back.

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