The Maine Signcrafter

Tom Stade, owner of Moosehead Signs is a resident of crisp-aired Greenville, ME, and was kind enough to send over pictures documenting one of his latest signs. After seeing his excellent work on the Town of Greenville’s “Junction Wharf” sign, we decided to share his innovative sign-making process with all of you.


The back panel of the sign is made out of 3″ PBLT-15, while the Junction Wharf section was made from 2″ PBLT-15 laminated to the back panel. Both sections were cut on Tom’s Sabre CNC Router. T-6 aluminum was secured into the back of the sign to provide strength against potentially high winds.

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23k gold leaf was used on the “Junction Wharf” letters, rope and ornaments, all of which were dimensionally hand carved from the CNC routed contour. The sign panel is 5′ x 7′ and the posts were made from 8″ x 8″ pressure treated wood. As testament to the fine craftsmanship involved in his work, the finials are custom fabricated from Precision Board Plus scraps by Tom himself using his own innovative style of molding.

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The posts will be painted after they have been outside for 6 months – it takes time for moisture to be drawn out before it is safe to paint them, but they will eventually be painted to match the sign. Tom has been using Precision Board Plus since the early 90’s and calls it a “night and day” choice to go with HDU over other materials based on the variety of thickness’, densities and availability of compatible “companion products” such as FSC-88WB Primer/Filler and PB Bond-240 Adhesive.

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Moosehead Signs is a second-generation sign company. The first generation signpainter was Harold B. Stade, Tom’s father, who served in the 82nd airborne during WWII. After the war he attended a very well known New York Trade School for Fine Lettering and Showcard Artistry and continued hand lettering until he was 90.

Tom’s dad Harold helping at his sign shop, and a classic sign hand-lettered by Harold long ago:

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Tom has had his sign business since 1978, expanding capabilities to include full-scale commercial signs. All signs are handmade completely by Tom and each is its own work of art. Be sure to check out for more info about Tom and Harold as well as some great sign pictures.

Several other signs made by Tom:

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