How to Engrave Letters Into Wood

In order to engrave letters into wood, a woodworker will need a very small router with a 1/4 inch routing footing bit. Find out how to do free-hand routing to engrave letters into wood with help from a woodworker and antique restorer in this free video on woodworking.

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Video Transcript

Hey I'm Curtis Martin from Wilmington, North Carolina and our shop here at Martin Custom Woodworking and we're going to show you how to route letters into wood. What we want to do here today, the way we're going to do it is with a very small router. About a 1/4 inch routing footing bit. We take the piece of wood, we want to clamp it down securely to the work surface. We're going to draw the letters directly on the piece of wood. This is called free-hand routing. It's fairly simple. You're just going to put the thing down just like you would a giant pen. Imagine yourself with a giant pen in your hand. You turn the router on. You're going to focus it right on top. It's protruding out about a 1/4 of an inch, so the depth cut will be about a 1/4 of an inch. Once we place it over the letter we start at the top, turn the router on, push down and just simply follow the letter with both hands walking it around the letter, keeping a firm grip on the router. You don't want to take a real deep pass on a letter like this. It's much safer to take small passes. Depending on the overall look you want, it doesn't take very much of a depth, maybe 1/6th of an inch for it to show a difference, a three dimensional picture. If you're going to take a sign like this. Say you're making a sign for your yard, maybe a yard sale sign. You could use it for your letters on your house, you could put it out front. And you could paint the background one color, you could paint the actual letter that you routed out a different color. It makes it more outstanding. You could also do all kinds of crafts with it. This is just one way to route letters into wood.

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