Video: How to Make a Letter Board
David Picciuto uses an antique menu board as inspiration for a home message board, an easy but useful project for your shop.
You can find more great projects and techniques from David Picciuto at his website.
David Picciuto: I made a test piece here on my table, ran a few grooves. I thought this would be the way to go and then insert some belt in there. It turns out that that groove made by the table saw blade is still too white and it doesn't hold a piece. Instead, what we're going to do is we're going to cut a whole bunch of little thin strips, so then we can make that groove any size that we want to fit our little pieces. I had this 1/8 inch piece of maple here that I'm going to cut into 16 inch wide pieces and then turn them around and then rip them into small little pieces for the board.
It looks like each piece is about three 16th of an inch. I got this piece of mason out here I'm going to use. This is the backing board. It's going to cut it to the rough size here on a table saw. After a couple of failed attempts, I think I found a way to actually glue these up. I'm going to do them in gangs of five. I have my pieces here with spacers in between them. I'm just going to run beads of glue in here and glue it down.
Take these spacers out. All the spacers are, it's just these guys doubled up so I can grab them out of there. Eric and I are developing a faster way of gluing this up. We're putting our spacers in. Whatever we're doing is just dumping the glue in there, like this. Blow it into the cracks. Last set here. Where all the spaces were I'm just going to run some glue in there, just let it seep into the cracks. We'll let that dry. Then we'll clean up these edges and we'll start sticking the photo in there.
We're going to cut a piece of felt that's oversize, and we're just going to pinch it in there. Probably do one row at a time. Throw a little bit of glue in there. Dude, I don't know. I think it'd be easier to cut it to the exact width and try to cut it down to width after it's inserted in there. I don't know. Somebody will let me know in the comments down below that I'm doing this wrong. What do you think? Spray adhesive or glue, super glue?
Eric: Spray adhesive.
David: Let's give it a shot. I had the brilliant idea of using a butter knife instead. Eric had the brilliant idea of using a butter knife.
There it is. That was super fun and awesome. The letters in here are from the board that came from the antique store. They fit in there just fine. I also got some of these letters here from Amazon. They're smaller. You can get a lot more in there as you can see. They don't fit in there as well, but they will work. Super cool. These letters, there's definitely a tighter fit. They also work in this board here. The plan is, this board is going to get permanently hung up top here. I think I'm going to make this all a bookshelf and I'm going to have all my books and magazines back here.