Saturday, 7 December 2013

No Tools Loaned Here. (sign)

As the VW season is over and therefore there are no show reviews to post blogs about I thought I would post some blogs about my evening activities... As my regular readers will know, I have recently produced a few signs for the Oil Droppers workshop and to be honest I'm really getting back into the sign making / sign writing malarkey. It keeps me occupied in the long cold dark evenings that is the winter in the UK. I have produced 4 or 5 signs so far and they have all been what I call proper sign written signs, clear and informative so I thought I would let my imagination of it's leash a little bit and see what I come up with. My last project was the 'saw' painting which gave me an idea, I got to thinking about tools and I thought, how about a big spanner made from ply and then something written on it, and how about if it was bright and colourful and in your face... that gave me an idea.

I had a few pieces of 3mm birch ply in the
shed which was left over from when I did the
headlining in my bay, so it was ideal to use for
a sign. I found a piece that was big enough,
and after I had drawn and cut out the spanner
shape, the overall size was 42in x 11in.

So as usual the first thing to do after sanding
the piece down was to apply a base coat. I
used white, simply because I have a plentiful
supply of white.!

I wanted this sign to be bright and 'in your face'
So for the main colour I used 'Goldenrod' a
lovely deep gold colour.

For a stark contrast I applied 'Roasted Red' as
an 1/2in border around the outside.

To separate the gold and red I went round with
a black liner which helps highlight both the bold
colours. With the colour of the sign finished, it's
time to move onto the wording. Here I have
written onto the board 'No tools loaned here'
in a font that reminds of the 1950's and of old
skool hot rods.

A close up of the font I had chosen for this
particular piece.

I do like this font, which I think will suit the
overall concept of this sign.

The wording needed to stand out so I used
light antique white, the wording will have a
 darker outline added later.

First coat to the lettering all finished, I was
hoping the light antique white would cover
the goldenrod base, but it looked very opaque
close up, so I ended up applying 2 coats.

The wording with 2 coats of white, I will put a
darker outline to the wording at a later stage.

As this sign is a double sided hanging sign, I
decided to write something completely different
on the other side. 'Classic auto repairs' was
written onto the board in the same way as
before, then I used the same light antique white
I used on the other side.

Here the wording has had a first coat, and it
doesn't look too bad from here, but trust me
it was very washy close up.

2nd coat of white to the lettering applied.

Photo of the sign outside on a cloudy day. I
was hoping to get a true colour match but due
to the weather conditions it doesn't really show
in the photos.

I normally use a black liner to outline any
wording, but I decided to try a new red liner
on this side. I'm not sure if I like it or not, it
doesn't seem to make the letters stand out
as much.

The other side of the sign in daylight.

This side I reverted back to my black liner for
highlighting the wording, which I think is far
superior than the red liner.

So that was my latest creation in my world
of signs. I have been commissioned for
creating a piece for a Laurel and Hardy
collection in Germany so watch this
space and I'll show you how I got on.


  1. Had me worried at the opening paragraph but all became clear ;)

    Love the spanner!

  2. lol... not Those evening activities. ! Gald you like the spanner sign. It turned out ok, I thought and it's now hanging in the Oil Droppers VW workshop. Thanks.