A sign to be used outdoors on a gate. My own brain is not complying at all. Any thoughts/ ideas about what could be used to do this with the GF, please?
Acrylic would be fine. Anodized aluminum might be better. Wood would also work if sealed properly. Your options are pretty open. Just depends on how much finish work you want to do.
What kind of gate? and what is the message you are trying to get across?
fwiw, the GF is a great tool but not necessarily the best tool for every job.
I made a couple of property signs, about 25 years ago, and they still look as good as the day I finished them. Lexan from the big box store, hand-painted black acrylic letters in reverse using a printed template underneath as a guide, white acrylic over that, silver over that, and finally a heavy coat of black.
I’d just use baltic birch with a good finish. I really like Americana Decor outdoor living paint.
I would avoid plywood.
Cedar engraves wonderfully and holds up outdoors quite well.
How much do you want to spend?
Is there a style you want to match–e.g. is the house Arts & Crafts or Mid Century? You want to have the design and material appropriate for that design (if it’s important…). But it’s amazing the types of paints that can make wood or plastic look like metal… And how long do you need it to last?
Wood would be my first choice, and seal it well.
In general? Just wondering why. When I was asked to make an outdoor sign, I found out that Baltic Birch ply uses an exterior grade glue. I didn’t use it for the base of the sign, but did use it for the decor/lettering. Hasn’t been up long enough for me to know how it will hold up, but I definitely have my eye on it. I did a whole lot of research on weather-proofing this, though, as it was meant to be hung outside of a ski condo. I have another (not ply) hanging on a post at the beach, but that one has enough spar varnish on it to outlast us all.
My research has shown that the 5x5’ sheets are supposed to use an interior glue, and the 4x8’ sheets of Baltic birch (like what Menards sells) use exterior glue.
Interesting… just checked again and it seems that you CAN get the 5x5 exterior grade, but it may not be. Guess we’ll find out what happens.
Thanks all. I have made a sign for my own gate to warn the lawn care people that the fence is electrified (for our dogs). It was engraved on PG and coated with some clear acrylic spray…but, as expected, it is now warped. This is for the woman who boards our dogs. She just wants a sign that says “keep the gate closed” for her property/farm. Acrylic immediately came to mind, but wanted other input.
Far from an expert on exterior grade glues and plywood, but I would still be careful. When building a boat using marine grade plywood it is generally still finished with a waterproof coating. It won’t fall apart right away without it, but you may not want to venture too far from shore.
Of course this isn’t for the stern of a boat, the longevity of a sign on a gate will depend on climate. Is it for Xabbess in Oregon or her brother in New Mexico or somewhere else? I like the cedar idea, it weathers well and is fairly inexpensive.
Wow…you sure have a good memory about me and mine. This is for Oregon…cold, wet, but wonderful Oregon.
So, just a stylish lightning bolt, then?
I have a engraved/painted sign that I promised back in 2016. Think I better pick up some Cedar and get it under the tree this year.
You could use a 12 x 18 Ceramic Tile If you want it to be really permanent!
Look at redwood or cedar if you want wood. I still would look at anodized aluminum since that would be just about impervious to the environmental stress. Acrylic will work, but I wouldn’t engrave the outside face. I would use colored cutout letters like an inlay.
Thanks, Ben. After reading everyones suggestions, I am leaning exactly as you say…first to anodized then to inlaid acylic. The first option would be the least work and expense, so I’ll probably push for that one.
I have used Acrylic designed to be used outdoors from Jonson’s Plastics: