I have a good friend whose parking space at school was always taken because she has to travel between schools. In Alaska this is a big deal in winter because there are a limited number of spots that have plug ins that interior Alaskans mush have to heat up the oil pan, engine block and battery blanket to keep our cars chugging through down to -50 F temps. So while she was away to a conference celebrating the wonderful Librarians of Alaska, I wanted to do a little to show how much the people right here appreciate all she does to keep us revved up to visit the library.
I had some wood pieces that had been cut flat on one side but left bark on the back. They had been tunneled through under the bark by some critter (spruce beetle?) so my first job was to remove the rest of the bark and the debris from their chewed up tunneling. It actually makes beautiful designs so I didn’t mind.
Then I sanded down both the front and back sides and realized I could also handsaw off a few bumps from limbs gone by. Luckily my boyfriend had a power hand sander that worked great. I love painting so I whipped up a design in pencil then painted it on (as seem on featured image). Once that dried I applied a layer of shellac, and (pressed for time, as she was due back) I didn’t wait quite the full 4 hours recommended before adding another layer.
While that was drying I moved onto the post portion. Her husband supplied me with a small 1x 1 that was perfect for the job. I first tried sawing but was shown this handy chisel tool and away I went carving one end of the post into a piercing point. This was actually pretty fun.
To attach the post to the sign I wanted to make a third piece that would attach to both the sign back and the post. So using some scrap sheet metal from her husband, I used a tin snips to cut out a piece to fit.
Clamping the post in an anvil, I used a small hammer to shape the metal around the post on three sides. The remaining metal would lay flush to the sign. My boyfriend showed me how to make dents with this punch to start the screws easily.
Then after the shellac wasn’t sticky to the touch I screwed it to the post using the metal bracket I had made. I’m sure there are lots of other solutions you could make up for this connection. This was just what worked out easily for me. I also left more of the post above, because it was winter time and the sign would then stick only in the snow. In spring she may want to shift the sign further up on the pole when more of it would be driven down deeper into the dirt.
But this is it for now. She said it worked great for keeping her spot free and didn’t have a problem again until she took the sign down when the snow melted and the ground was still thawing. It was a fun project to help a friend problem solve and remind her of how special she is~