Like many stores this time of year, we have a Christmas rush. Typically sign shops are busier in the spring and summer as tourism and construction get going full force, but we’re the one sign shop that gets absolutely crazy in December, because our cedar sandblasted signs make perfect Christmas presents. Family signs, cabin signs, trailer signs, farm signs, ranch signs… you name it. Literally. If you can put your name on it, people buy it. Yes, it’s the time for Christmas signs.
I personally think there is a resurgence in family name/ house name signs. They make a home more personalized and individual, which is especially important as entire neighborhoods (never mind townhouse complexes) are more and more often filled with identical houses (“And they’re all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same…”). So when someone is stuck on a nice Christmas present for their parents or grandparents, a family sign hits that right note of thoughtfulness, family and beauty.
A little bit of holiday sign humor
The only problem is that most people don’t realize how much time and work goes into a one of our wood signs. A common mistake people make is that we hand-router our signs, but typically hand-routed signs aren’t remotely half as nice as sandblasted. With sandblasting, all of the cedar’s gorgeous individual grains are brought out, and you can achieve a real depth in the wood. This is done carefully by my father. Most hand-routed signs, most ironically aren’t actually done by hand – they’re done with a computer. They’re OK in a pinch, but the letters tend to chip and look jagged, and often you can see the router lines into the wood. Ugh. Not remotely like the quality of our signs.
However, our beautiful wood signs take 4-6 weeks to make! We start from scratch, so before we can even sandblast, never mind sand, patch, stain and paint, we have to glue the wood together, plane it, sand it and apply the rubber to it. Mostly it’s drying that takes up time. We use high quality products, which just take time, time, time. The laminate takes days to dry. The three coats of stain and four coats of paint each take a day. We don’t just throw these things together. They’re a work of art.
But unfortunately it doesn’t occur to most people (and why would it?) to order ahead. So we have a lot of rush orders in December! That’s alright with smaller signs, because we have many pre-laminated, pre-sanded little blanks ready to be applied and blasted. But it sure makes it difficult for the bigger shaped signs. We have people picking up signs right to Christmas eve! I don’t mind though, because the extra days and overtime really helps out this time of year.
I can’t really post any of the signs we’re working on right now, because I don’t think anyone would appreciate us giving away their surprise Christmas signs! However, take a gander at a few we made last year.