Signs With Authority – A 55′ long Precision Board Sign

Talk about a sign with some authority! Jeff Wisdom, owner of Oregon SignWorks in Springfield, OR, sent in some pictures of a particularly impressive project he recently completed.

Suspended under a massive 11,000 lb., 85′ long, 36″ diameter Douglas Fir timber is a 55′ long Precision Board Plus sign. Built for the Oregon Garden Resort, the sign consists of 6 full 4′ x 8′ sheets of 1″ thick PBLT-18 and one additional 36″ wide piece. The words “Oregon Garden” were spelled out using 1″ thick PBLT-18 letters cut on Jeff’s MultiCam CNC router. Dibond was used as a core material for additional strength.


Using some critical thinking and elbow grease, Jeff was able to hand-carve realistic looking wood grain into the sign. To accomplish this, several custom tools were used: a 3-prong garden hoe Jeff bent into a custom shape for the larger grain lines and a Nu-Pride Adhesive Spreader with the teeth filed down for the finer grain lines. The knots were shaped using a traditional v-groove wood carving tool. After the wood grain simulation was finished, Jeff primed the sign using FSC-88WB Primer/Filler and painted it with Sherwin-Williams acrylic paint. As you can see, the sign turned out beautiful.

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Supporting the sign is a massive timber structure that was constructed by Nash Logworks, located in Cottage Grove, OR. Each upright log was held in place by two 1/2″ thick x 6″ wide and 8′ long metal plates attached to each side. For structural strength, 4′ of each metal plate was tied down into the concrete and secured with rebar. Coats of Sikkens exterior stain provided weatherproofing and coloring. Total dimensions of the timber structure are 22′ tall x 85′ wide!

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Not to be overlooked is the beautiful 3-d sign located beneath the larger, hanging sign. Cut on Jeff’s CNC router out of PBLT-18, there was a whopping 6 different layers of Precision Board used to create a sharp 3-d look. The finer details were carved into the CNC cut sign with hand tools, and it was finished with the same primer/paint process as the larger sign.

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Jeff started making signs out in Los Angeles, CA in 1987 and eventually opened his own sign shop in his home state of Oregon in 1994. After spending a couple of years making vinyl signs, a visit to a trade show sparked his interested in dimensional signwork and he has specialized in them ever since. As a big fan of hand-carving, Jeff likes Precision Board Plus because of the absence of wood grain and the ease of cutting/carving.

Be sure to check out his website at: to see more amazing signs!