Persnickety, Carved Wood Signs for 50 Years!

CedarSign.com

Saint Paul, MN

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About CedarSign.com

Carved Wood Signs & Custom Personalized Rustic Wooden Signs Deeply Engraved into Real Western Red Cedar. Cedar Sign Company is Family Owned and Operated and has delivered 50 Years of Persnickety, Old-World craftsmanship creating enduring Rustic Outdoor Wooden Welcome Signs that "Gracefully Weather a Lifetime"

Our Legacy-Quality Woodworking Mastery and Our Unique Stylings of Art and Creativity has made our CedarSign Brand the reason we are "North America's Favorite Carved Wood Sign Makers"!

Regardless of what message you want to offer, you could make your Carved Wood Sign as creative as you could imagine. Whether you want a Family Name Sign with suspended Kids and Pets included, an Address Number, A Biblical Quotation, a Custom Welcoming, Rustic Designs for Cabins and Camps or Classy Engraved Signs for a Wine cellar or Garden - You can have any or all of these and more in collaboration with our gifted Graphics Designers using full-scale color proofs by email exchange to a approved design of extraordinary personalization to your minds eye!

Location

Saint Paul, MN 55124

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Reviews

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  • 1/5 stars November 18, 2014

    THIS IS A HOAX. DO NOT PLACE ORDERS THROUGH THIS COMPANY!

    I placed an order back in August, have never received a phone call ONCE. This company ROBS you. I can't believe that they get away with this.

    Do you research and NEVER order a sign from here. If they were not able to fulfill the order, they should have NOT accepted payment. Taking advantage of people is shameful.

  • 1/5 stars September 15, 2014

    Lookung for a better option?

    carvedsigns@yahoo.com

    www.universalwoodcrafts.com

  • 1/5 stars December 1, 2013

    Finding this website & reading the reviews have left me confused. The last time I was in contact with them was Dec. 2012. I had paid in full for my sign & was finalizing details. Then communication stopped. I e-mailed again on Feb. 5, 2013 & was then contacted by an attorney who told me this company had filed bankruptcy. I lost my $200! I understand an illness, but I don't understand keeping customers money. I'm very disappointed.

    Thom I. from CedarSign.com replied to this review on December 2, 2013:

    The founder of the original company had a devastating health failure and the family lost everything as is often true with extreme medical costs, sadly. Because 50 years of good will and 5 digit customers were not wrong, the company was acquired by employees and friends of Cedar Sign. There has been too much sadness amid too much goodness; so, we encourage Dana G. to email us at info@cedarsign.com in order to explore an opportunity to our mutual benefit.

  • 5/5 stars October 20, 2013

    Thom Inman created a sign for use in our dressage barn. He was communicative and helpful in creating the order, customizing the sign to meet our needs. The sign was gorgeous and arrived in pristine condition. Cedar Signs as a business is reliable and trustworthy.

  • 5/5 stars October 15, 2013

    Absolutely love and highly recommend this company. I get dog boned shaped plaques with dog names on it for each dog that is trained. Great customer service. Great product quality.

    Thom I. from CedarSign.com replied to this review on October 15, 2013:

    You are a sweetheart! Thank you so much for your kind words...

  • 5/5 stars September 2, 2013

    Thom is an old-school craftsman and a man of values. I have been acquainted with his work for 20+ years. I am sure the situation with Robin's sign has distressed him to no end and that he will go above and beyond to make amends now that his health has improved.

  • 1/5 stars October 22, 2012

    When i first contacted Mr. Inman i was impressed with his website. As i also was after speaking with him on the phone about what i desiired on a sign,the type of wood and shape desired, i was confident that this gift for a friend would indeed be special. That was near the end of 2011/beginning of 2012. I was told my gift would be delivered in 8 to 10 weeks. It was NOT.
    Checking on the order, in February, i left a voice mail on Mr. Inman's Voice mail. It was NOT returned.
    In March I received an invoice, dated March 22,showing payment of $119.92 being madeto Mr. Inman. I left another voice mail.It was NOT returned.
    I then contacted paypal but was informed that the time limit for reporting a problem had expired. (it actually expired before the date i was to receive it.) I left another voice mail. It was NOT returned.
    In the months since, i have left 4 more messages for Mr. Inman and emailed him a minimum of 3 times. i have heard NOTHING.
    ( i found it very humiliating to have to explain the absence of a gift i had told a friend to expect)
    I can understand if something is delayed, if an order gets lost or if problems arose in Mr. Inmans personal or business life...but to Not actowedge a call, an email, an order Not made good is inexcusable.
    So...i will NOT be reccomending CedarSign to anyone.

    Robyn Stine

    **attached is the receipt showing the order has been paid for'


    Mar 22, 2012 11:03:36 PDT
    Receipt No: 1474-5523-5886-8938

    Hello Robyn Stine,
    You sent a payment of $119.92 USD to Thom Inman.
    This charge will appear on your credit card statement as payment to PAYPAL *CEDAR SIGN

    Merchant information
    Thom Inman
    thom@cedarsign.com

    612-991-3006

    Shipping information
    Robyn Stine
    13692 Samhill Drive
    Mount Airy, MD 21771
    United States

    Shipping method
    Not specified
    Description

    Unit price

    Qty

    Amount

    Shopping Cart


    $99.00 USD

    1

    $99.00 USD

    Shipping:

    Handling:

    $20.92 USD


    Total:

    $119.92 USD

    Receipt No: 1474-5523-5886-8938
    Please keep this receipt number for future reference. You'll need it if you contact customer service at Thom Inman or PayPal.


    Thom I. from CedarSign.com replied to this review on October 22, 2012:

    A quick check reveals that PayPal was unable to credit a refund, Regrettably, a serious illness overwhelmed me, and my family, just before Christmas. The website has been up only intermittently since Christmas as my son was attempting to resolve just such issues. Additionally we have been trying to find a manufacturing vendor to fulfill our orders and restore our business to what it was before this terrible interruption. I thought I had all of these loose ends resolved. I went through three vendors who each let us down and exacerbated this painful business interruption. Through the whole fiasco communications have switched and switched and switched. I finally have a new facility of high reputation and capability coming online in three to four weeks; once and for all. I will have the phone and fax control back soon. At the moment the transaction is finalized and sealed I will be able to refund your money or create your sign. Pretty weak, I know. It's all I've got. Thank God it will all be operational again and the reasons you were motivated at all will be true for a very long time. I'm not about to let this fail after 50 years of loving and caring for what will hopefully be my legacy. Finally, I am so very sorry and personally embarrassed we could not have prevented your project from being disappointing and treated more respectfully.

Question and answer

Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

A. Looking for a custom wood Welcome Sign, Rustic Cabin, Family Name or RV sign ? Are you only finding folks that make wood signs for golf courses; carnival signs; or, just plain 'ol ticky-tacky? Here at Cedar Sign Company there's no restriction to the number of letters you can have and there is never a charge for additional proofs. Consider just telling us what message you want to convey: Classic Formal; Script Formality; Whimsy; Rustic; Kid-Like; Western; State Park, etc. Or, check out the Gallery for sign examples you like and mention the look and the name of the sign you like

We'll need a couple of days to get back to you with the initial scale renderings and 10 Business Days to process the carving, finishing and drying before we ship the sign. You'll receive a UPS tracking number when your wood sign ships! As always if you don't love your sign use it for kindling and we'll give you your money back or make you a new one! The best Surprise is NO surprise!

Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?

A. Our Custom Wood Signs and engraved family name Welcome Signs are deeply Erosion Engraved™ with natural boldness, depth and detail! Erosion Engraving™ preserves the natural elements of the western red cedar's wood grain, embellishing the sculptural details of our unique custom rustic family, cabin and RV personalized wooden signs. Our custom wood sign made to order creation process is, well it's, Mother Nature approved and, they Gracefully Weather a Lifetime™!

The best type of wood for outdoor family name, welcome signs and custom wood signs made to order that can be used is Western Red Cedar. It is superior to even it's first cousin - Redwood. When properly finished, (see our refresher finish) Western Red Cedar will endure for decades; even in the most harsh environments. This is thanks to the fact it has a natural resistance to moisture, decay and insect damage, which makes it a great choice for a custom wooden sign that is going to be in the sun, rain, heat and cold all year round. It has a natural durability but it also has a natural beauty and it is these two things combined that make it perfect for use on a carved wooden sign for your cabin or as a outdoor family name welcome sign.

Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?

A. The most important purpose of a sign is delivering a message. It takes a whole lot more than throwing a bunch of letters on a panel and hoping folks will see it. A completed sign is really a composition. Whether it’s any good or not depends on four critical factors: Balance, Rhythm, Oneness, and Harmony. For balance a good sign must be “pleasing” to the eye. It is the weight distribution that is considered first. It’s not necessarily done symmetrically; rather, a well-balanced sign composition is optically effective and has a stability of sorts in the arrangement of the copy in relation to each of the other elements. There is a lot which is involved in this judgment for the competent sign writer – the amount of copy, any illustrations or supporting images, letter styles, and certainly what the sign is supposed to do; advertise, sell, welcome, etc.
Also, how far will it the sign be viewed from and how fast will the viewer be traveling, if at all. When the customer brings the sign writer copy that looks like a newspaper ad and doesn’t allow any freedom for the professional to edit believing every word is essential there is often no hope for achieving a balance in the sign’s layout.

Rhythm is what many signs lack due the sign writer’s judgment in selecting too many letter styles in the same work. Aesthetically speaking, most signs look best when only one or two letter fonts are incorporated. Often modest variations of a font can be introduced to reduce rhythm interference when bringing impact and interest; however, too many styles of lettering on one sign visually distressing.

Oneness is when signs that have several groups of copy or messages and the viewer’s eye smoothly follows the flow of the message from the primary message on to the secondary and finally onto the most subordinate. It can be achieved, or at least enhanced, by dividing the three messages and creating emphasis using reverse panels, bolding and other emphasis techniques.

Harmony is nothing more that incorporating the first three elements with discipline – balance, rhythm and oneness. Without being sensitive to copy grouping, letter styles and things like coloring no layout will be achieved that has harmony. A prefect example of this is in the use of borders. Often borders on signs are completely unnecessary and only serve to distract the eye instead of supporting a certain style of letter. This is especially true when the border is excessively strong or of strong color. In the case of borderless signs, it is the flow of the graphics, shapes and lettering styles which provide the design and unity, balanced with uninterrupted harmony.

Often in my work with customers at Cedar Sign Company, a retailer of personalized welcome signs carved from red cedar, folks will deliver copy and design expectations which are a far cry from the proof we render for their approval. It’s been my experience that when folks let us exercise our sign writing expertise by interpreting balance, rhythm, unity and harmony with professionalism and style their welcome signs and family name plaques deliver attractive and effective composition.

Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?

A. Our custom carved wood signs and engraved family welcome signs are deeply Erosion Engraved™ with natural boldness, depth and detail!

Erosion Engraving™ preserves the natural elements of the western red cedar's wood grain, embellishing the sculptural details of our unique custom rustic family, cabin and RV personalized wooden signs. Our wood sign creation process is, well it's, Mother Nature approved!

The best type of wood for outdoor family name, welcome signs and custom wood signs that can be used is Western Red Cedar. It is superior to even it's first cousin - Redwood. When properly finished, (see our refresher finish) Western Red Cedar will endure for decades; even in the most harsh environments. This is thanks to the fact it has a natural resistance to moisture, decay and insect damage, which makes it a great choice for a custom wooden sign that is going to be in the sun, rain, heat and cold all year round. It has a natural durability but it also has a natural beauty and it is these two things combined that make it perfect for use on a custom wooden sign for your cabin or as a outdoor family name welcome sign.

You will have the freedom of being able to place an image on your custom wooden sign; choosing to do this can greatly increase your wood signs visibility, in fact, people are far more likely to notice and develop an interest in your custom wood cabin sign if an image is featured on it. In many cases folks will often notice the image before they read the text on it. The images on your custom cabin sign could be anything from a pet to a portrait or landscape - as well as objects and logos. Photographs can be incorporated on your carved wooden sign, too. Because it is hand crafted and Erosion Engraved™ it will not be high resolution but bold silhouette details can be powerful on your wood sign from a distance. Size, too, affects the carving complexity and cost of our custom wood signs. The larger the outdoor welcome sign is; the more detail you can place on it. These larger custom cabin, camp and RV wood signs will cost more but if you need the extra detail or text then the extra cost is a good return on your investment.

Q. What do you like most about your job?

A. I'm always quoting Gus Stickley (Stickley Furniture fame), "The lyfe so short, the craft so long to lerne". I've been doing this for 44 years.

I absolutely LOVE working with Western Red Cedar - If only fro the great smell of it! Our carved wood home signs are all personalized and individually crafted from designs created using scale renderings in collaboration with you. That's the only difference from leanin' over my carving bench and tellin' him what you want.

Our business isn't like Amazon.com or Sears. There is no stock on the shelves. We don't pick orders from bins. All work is custom. All work is commissioned. All work is prepaid. We work on one order at a time - in the order we receive them.
Most importantly, the proofs (scale color renderings) we send you must be approved before we carve anything. If you approve a sign proof with your name misspelled - that's on you. Don't call in a fuss over the credit hold on your credit card when placing your order. All work is commissioned and pre-paid. What you will get isn't like Amazon.com or Sears, either!

These are definitely not ticky-tacky; and you won't find us at carnivals or craft fairs! Creating Carved Wood Signs of Western Red Cedar is the natural place to start. Not only does it have distinctive beauty, natural durability and centuries of proven performance; REAL Western Red Cedar is the ultimate green material. Your Carved Wood Home Sign will gracefully weather a lifetime™ with simple maintenance!

Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

A. How do I pick my fonts?
What about images?
So, I have to pay before seeing what the sign will
look like?
How long does it take to get a sign?
Can you RUSH an order if necessary?
Is the wood used okay for outdoor used?
Are the letters burned in or what?
What colors are offered?
How will my sign be shipped?
Is my sign treated or finished with something?
Now what? I really don't know what I want!
Which is correct Jones' or Joneses'?
Is there a way to mount my sign?
How would you know your sign was designed well?
How do I pick my fonts?

We won't restrict you to the number of letters you can have on your custom wooden signs - that's old school. And, the best way to choose a font you like or that accentuates your message is to find signs in the Photo Gallery or even the Carved Wood Sign Store that appeal to you and pass the description along to us in the memo field of your wood sign order. The good news is also the bad news: There isn't a list or table of fonts you have to pick from. We don't restrict you at all that way - you can have anything you want. Name a font if you like. MyFonts.com is a great resource if you are inclined to want to search for a special font - there are thousands!

There is never a charge for our custom Family wood sign design proofs - No obligation, either - because there are many important factors to consider when planning how your sign will look. Fonts are a powerful factor, as it determines how the actual text will appear. Text in one font can deliver a different message altogether than the same text of another font choice. Font choice alone can deliver formality, whimsy, rusticity and hundreds of themes: Western, Cartoon, Sailing, Hunting, Fishing, etc.

There is a small sampling of the most popular fonts we typically use on our rustic carved custom wood signs on our website.

What about images?

Images have a powerful impact on the message on custom wooden signs. One picture can make an interesting message even more compelling. Again, there is no restriction with images, either. We have noted each of the sign samples in the catalog as containing examples of our FOUR classes or packages of image choices:

SINGLE-SIMPLE: If all you want is a pine cone, a tree an animal silhouette or a heart - that's considered a single-simple image and adds between $26 and as much as $40, depending on the size of the plaque chosen.

SINGLE-COMPLEX: A single image that is complicated to create and carve like a tree house, or a four-wheeler or a Harley Davidson motorcycle - that's considered Single-Complex and costs between $36 and $50, depending on the size of the plaque chosen.

MULTIPLE-SIMPLE: If you want a scene with animals, a landscape, a lake scene with a fisherman - these are multiple-simple images and are naturally more complicated. They add between $50 and $64, depending on the size of the plaque chosen.

CUSTOM-COMPLEX: This is when we create a custom design or element that may require your original art or photo as for a Logo or other art file. This also includes requests for a specific design. For example not just an old tractor but a 1940 model AQ John Deere Tractor viewed from the right side - this adds between $72 and $96, depending on the size of the plaque chosen.

While adding an image or multiple images will raise the cost with distinct predictability, it is always worth the investment. The reason for the higher cost is the increased amount of carving time and complexity necessary to engrave images into custom wooden sign plaques. The costs will vary, depending on what you want on your custom cabin sign sign, how large the image is and how complex the image is to carve. A single image will obviously be the least expensive, while a multiple image will require more work, and added cost. The most expensive option is custom requested, original art unique to the message, the owner and the carving artist’s repertoire. Here, graphics can be added according to your specifications, imagination or inspiration. Our Custom-Complex category is commissioned with a very specific intent and customer specification. It is with this fee that just about anything you might fancy is created for carving. There is a limitation to be sure - we do have to be able to carve it! This example was a request for a man and a woman fly fishing in a river at the base of a mountain. It could have just as easily been of a beaver wearing a Texas A & M ball cap while holding a bottle of beer. Or, a bear roasting marshmallows at a campfire. Or, a 1940's pick up truck towing a barbecue smoker!


So, I have to pay before seeing what the sign will look like?

All of our signs are custom made. We do not make anything that is stock. Each is crafted to specification even if it's just "Dogs in Yard". Consequently all work is pre-paid, commissioned, artwork. We'll design your carved wooden signs by collaborating with you or your gift recipient using scale renderings. We'll do that as much and as often as necessary to help you develop the perfect sentiment for your sign. NOTHING IS CARVED UNTIL YOU APPROVE THE PROOF!

So, yes...You place your order for your custom engraved welcome sign and post your payment, describe what you want and what text is to be used. We then furnish an initial scale rendering to you based on your idea. At that point we are "Off to the Races"; collaborating, re-submitting, refining and amending until we get to the PROOF you can approve for your custom wood sign. We are going to send you exactly what's been designed and approved by you.Cedar Sign

We exchange scale renderings (just like the one to the left here) via email so you can approve, refine or reject the concept of your project. A lot of custom wooden signs and family name plaques that are being offered today are made from templates, stencils or an individuals hand-writing; often they are simply a wood-burning process and most of the routed ones provide little or no design freedom or any real customization. Even when vendors provide Laser Engraving processes (very expensive - but, very high resolution) or computer-guided routering techniques - they appear shallow, uninspired or (on the contrary) nearly perfect - to a fault. Our custom carved wood signs and engraved family welcome signs are deeply Erosion Engraved™ with natural boldness, depth and imagination! Erosion Engraving™ preserves the natural elements of the cedar's wood grain, embellishing the sculptural details of our custom rustic family, cabin and RV personalized wooden signs.

Think of it as having an artist and mentor guiding you through the creative process which begins with your own personalized custom wood sign idea of what you want rather than finding something to make do.

So, I have to pay before seeing what the sign will look like?

I don't know about you, but I do not always know what I want; but, I know it when I see it!

So, it's only after you have had every opportunity to collaborate using color proofs enough times to be satisfied, that we begin the carving. (Here's the photo of the work proofed above it)

You will get what you saw in the approved proof...The Best surprise is no surprise!

The purpose of a sign is delivering a message. It takes a whole lot more than throwing a bunch of letters on a panel and hoping folks will see it. Our Completed custom wood signs are really compositions. Whether it’s any good or not depends on four critical factors: Balance, Rhythm, Oneness, and Harmony. For balance a good sign must be “pleasing” to the eye. A well-balanced wooden sign composition is optically effective and has a stability, of sorts, in the arrangement of the copy in relation to any other elements. There is a lot involved in this judgment for a competent sign writer – the amount of copy and supporting images.

How long does it take to get a sign?

Typically 7 to 10 business days. We try our best to respond to your order in 24 hours with an initial proof based on your idea. Sometimes the collaboration period can become extended if you are not available to comment to frequent email exchanges (We are at the computer all day - you may not be). Regardless, we do our best to create the sign from your approved proof in 7 to 10 days.

Having said all of this,you should know that that there are times of the year that we get very, very busy and we a small troop of master craftsman, journeyman carvers and gifted sign artists so you just cannot hold us to this all the time.

Can you RUSH an order if necessary?

If you want, we can do a 5 business day RUSH delivery of your custom carved wood sign for $99 that are 5 pounds or less. Most of the fee covers a "gratuity" to one of our Erosion Engravers™ for after hours labor and the additional cost of 2nd Day Air UPS. Select UPS Ground for freight. The Fee includes an upgrade to 2nd Day Air...

Is the wood used okay for outdoor wood sign use?

Yes is an understatement...For centuries builders and artisans have valued Western Red Cedar for its natural beauty and durability. It is the outdoor wood of choice and has been for centuries - for instance: west Texas fence posts. The hallmark characteristic of Western Red Cedar, its profound natural durability, has preserved examples of native cultures for more than 200 years in the Totem Poles of the Northwest.

Cedar's unique aroma comes from naturally occurring thuja plicins in its heartwood. These aren't exotic plants or an endangered species. They are the fragrant natural compounds that give western red its pleasant aroma and protect the wood from deterioration. These compounds resist moisture and are toxic to decay-causing fungi and insects and preserve the wood to give it long lasting appeal. Unfinished red cedar has richly textured grain with colors ranging from mellow amber, reddish cinnamon and rich sienna browns. Its warm coloring is complimented by a uniform, fine-grained texture with a satin-like luster.

Western Red Cedar's lower density enhances its insulation value and makes it an easy wood to transport and handle. It’s also more stable dimensionally. Western Red Cedar is hygroscopic so it absorbs or releases moisture and maintains equilibrium with the atmosphere. It shrinks very little and is superior to all other coniferous woods in its resistance to warping, twisting, and checking. It is Western Red Cedar's exceptional dimensional stability that makes it so well suited for use in high moisture areas. The perfect Custom Wood Sign Medium - Bar none!

Western Red Cedar is light-weight, achieves fine joinery, accepts finishes with ease and possesses outstanding dimensional stability and legendary durability. Western Red Cedar is the superior wood for nearly all purposes where attractive appearance and resistance to weather is important.

Cedar is often used naturally; however, most wood scientists encourage a finish treatment. Treating it can help to preserve it, which is really not necessary even if your custom wood sign will be located in a place making it susceptible to varying weather conditions. Because weather conditions don’t really affect cedar, it is not required that you treat it in order for it to keep its natural structure. Over time, however, the color of cedar will slowly weather to a silver-gray, and the grain will become raised. While this has an appeal for some applications, in the case of custom carved wooden signs it is prudent to finish the wood and sustain a cycle of applications. Interestingly, Spar Varnish, Poly-Urethane and other marine finishes are actually not at all satisfactory – indeed, harmful.

We have a way better solution to durability than these old-fashioned approaches. Our modern finish system is formulated to enhance and enrich the natural durability and appearance of western red cedar which is oil-alkyd and cedar oil based and will protect and preserve graying for a minimum of two years providing a rich finish, enhancing cedar's natural beauty thanks to its unique Sun-Blocking, UV protection. Our formula contains an antimicrobial that resists the growth of mildew and algae and Western Red Cedar Oil to refresh the Cedar's unique odor and properties. The easiest way to maintain your rustic welcome signs and engraved camp, ranch and RV wood signs is to apply a refresher coat of our specialty wood finish each summer. Each 3.5 oz. spray bottle comes with two spray heads and liquid tubes to ensure long term performance of the dispenser.

Are the letters burned in or what? What's Erosion Engraving?

Our custom carved wood signs and engraved family welcome signs are deeply Erosion Engraved™ with natural boldness, depth and imagination! Erosion Engraving™ preserves the natural elements of the cedar's wood grain, embellishing the sculptural details of our custom rustic family, cabin and RV personalized wooden signs. All of the text and images are deep into the Western Red Cedar plaque shape. This is not wood burning - No stencils - No foam board - No CNC / Computer aided carving machines - Our Erosion Engraved™ custom wood signs are the real deal. Each custom wood sign is crafted by Master Craftsmen and Journeyman Wood Carvers from original art drawn by Gifted Artists...get what we mean - NOT ticky tacky. After Erosion Engraving™, the text and images are accentuated with weather-resistant, Black pigment to improve the contrast and enrich the appearance of the custom rustic wood sign.

What colors are offered?

After Erosion Engraving™, the text and images are accentuated with Black pigment to improve the contrast and enrich the appearance of the sign. Unfortunately, Black is the only color we offer.

"You can have any color you want as long as it's black", is what Henry Ford suggested about the Model T....

How will my sign be shipped?

Your personalized, custom wood signs will be packaged carefully for shipment. We don't use those irritating packing peanuts, either! We ship exclusively with UPS and you will be provided the tracking tracking numbers for your custom wood sign once it has been picked up by them - each day - mid-afternoon.

Is my sign treated or finished with something?

Western Red Cedar is used for the creation of many items. It is chosen because of its amazing properties, appearance and texture. Cedar's popularity as a building material dates back 200 years or more along the Northwest coast and for many hundreds more by Native Americans. As a matter of fact, this legendary tree’s properties and versatility prompted the first Americans to revere the Western Red Cedar so much it became a central part of their lives. Early craftsman carved storage containers and masks from the tree’s heartwood and wove bark into mats, baskets and rope. Remnants of water-repellent clothing remain today.

The wood of the Western Red Cedar is aromatic, light, soft, straight-grained, not particularly strong yet very resistant to decay. Resistance to decay is due to powerful fungicides in the wood…fallen Cedar trees remains sound for a 100 years or more. When unfinished, Western Red Cedar has a rich texture combined with warm, mellow tones. The grain is very tactile, and the tones can range from light amber to deep honey brown. Its natural luster cannot be duplicated by any man-made material, which makes cedar very unique. Today Western Red Cedar is used for greenhouses, siding, shingles and fences because it is such an amazingly resilient building material.

Red cedar has a wonderfully distinctive fragrance, and is very pleasing. This only serves to add one more dimension to the universal appeal of this very popular wood. Yet another reason Cedar lends itself to custom carved cedar signs.

Cedar is often used naturally; however, most wood scientists encourage a finish treatment. Treating it can help to preserve it, which is really not necessary even if your sign will be located in a place making it susceptible to varying, weather conditions. Because weather conditions don’t really affect cedar, it is not required that you treat it in order for it to keep its natural structure. Over time, however, the color of cedar will slowly weather to a silver-gray, and the grain will become raised. While this has an appeal for some applications, in the case of custom carved wooden signs it is prudent to finish the wood and sustain a cycle of applications.

Our 3.5 oz Bottle is only $14.99.

Now What? I really don't know what I want!

Don’t know what you want but will when you see it? You feel that way because everybody does.

The problem is you often never find the means to gather enough information or samples or insights to actually find what it is you want. The granddaddy look-about-tool of all time, of course, is the internet because it has tons and tons of ideas. Those ideas don’t necessarily fill your niche, fit your need or satisfy your longing because you don’t know what you want – remember?

A couple of things make this enlightenment possible. The first is obviously the large number of contributions. The other one is absolute altruism. Many, in fact, most folks, will graciously donate their time and talent - to make the world better place to be – free for nothin’.

If you use the internet like you were browsing through a magazine at the dentist’s office, you will never find your whatchamacallit because you need to use keywords. Literally ask for exactly what you want or are looking for: Carved Rustic Welcome Signs; Stainless Steel Bird Cage; Paper that doesn’t tear – anything at all. You need to Google (that’s actually become techno-speak for, “Ask”) what you want - that’s what will be delivered to you! Among all of those responses you will receive will be listed, in order of relevance, the sources and suppliers of the keywords you used.

Now the work really begins because you have to sort out which of the returns/results is the “golf ball to the groin” or the gratuitous unselfishness of the few who will magnanimously help you find what you want by letting you see it. There will be plenty of near misses. There will be sites with pictures of what looks to be what you want. There will even be sites dedicated to creating what it is that you want. The problem becomes finding the site, company, person or team which will actually assist you by understanding that you don’t necessarily know what you want but will when you see it.

Lost of the “hit’s” you receive will be relevant if you used specific keywords. What is included; however, are all of the things that are just products by the keyword name. You will find precious few vendors which will work with you in collaboration – even in advance of an order! Paper that doesn’t tear for instance might very well be available in 100 foot rolls in white and brown. Your problem will become being able to collaborate with anyone there to see if they can furnish you 25 feet of black paper that won’t tear.

Take heart! Those folks are out there and they will be increasing in numbers because what you want and need is universal and the power of innovation is beginning to move from only a few in the know to the many. It’s a little like American Idol for vendors and providers of extraordinary services. Thus, our fifty cents worth. If you have an idea about what you want for a sign and just want to talk about it first; or, maybe send us a sketch you have; here's what you do... first please consider checking our Catalog pages - most of the answers are right there. Otherwise, see our testimonials, Or..Cabin Names or certainly the Photo Gallery.

Email us or send any images to cedarsign@gmail.com or fax them to (952) 513-4728. If you would want to see oodles and oodles of previous sign projects to consider the shapes, fonts and design elements others have employed, check out the Photo Gallery !

Which is correct Jones' or Joneses'

Putting your apostrophes in the right places on those ubiquitous custom carved wooden Welcome Signs is pretty easy once you know the rules. There is no greater motivation than having all those grammatical fuddy-duddies think better of you, either! But, before examining the rules for the apostrophes use and how its literary status has earned it’s reputation, I want to make one thing really clear…I’m writing this to be helpful – that’s all. I couldn’t care less if you get your apostrophes wrong. There are plenty more important things in life and nature to get on a soap box over! Besides, this stuff (and the rules) is not written in granite!

The apostrophe has four primary uses: possession, omission (contractions), plurals, & phrases of time or measure; however, when it comes to knowing how best to create proper identification on Personalized Welcome Signs we’ll focus on the mystery of the possessive and plurals business only – time and omissions wait for no man! At the most basic level, if you need to make a possessive, turn the phrase around and make it an "of the..." phrase. For example: the man’s hat = the hat of the man; or, three days' trip = trip of three days. Once it’s been determined that you need to make a possessive, here’s the rules to create one: add 's to the singular form of the word (even if it ends in -s) like the neighbor’s car or Louis's hat. Add 's to the plural forms that do not end in –s like, the children's toys and the moose’s whistle. Add just the ' to the end of plural nouns that end in –s like, houses' decks and three dogs’ tails. Add 's to the end of compound words like, my mother-in-law's comments. Finally, add 's to the last of compound nouns to show joint possession of an object like, Thom & Elaine’s house.

And, of course a few exceptions (as shocked as I am sure you are!): Some words sound awkward when an apostrophe 's' is added, like Jesus's disciples, so the accepted form is to just use the 's' apostrophe: Jesus' disciples. Interestingly enough, this only applies to names of Biblical or historical significance e.g. Jesus, Moses, Ramses…Moses' followers, Ramses' pyramid. Still others don't have a clutsy sound, like the princess's bed. Just be consistent! Although it may be worth noting that some “experts will say something like, “…words ending with an s present a problem. There are two valid options in this case. It is either Jesus' teaching or Jesus's teaching. Elegance would seem to preclude the latter….” See what I mean about being consistent!

The confusion really arises when the apostrophe is used with a plural noun – The vipers’ den…more than one snake in that den so the s’ – the den of the vipers! Generally speaking, if there's one owner - add an apostrophe and then 's' and if there are two or more owners - add 's' then an apostrophe. For words which form their plural by changing internal letters (instead of adding 's'), like the children’s table…it’s already plural – we don’t pile it on! It’s the same with words people, women…and so on. When using names that end in S, you follow the same rules as with any other name and add apostrophe S: Thomas’s car. Plural names also follow the same rules: Thomases’ house (add -es to names that end in S to indicate plural form). For anyone else whose name ends in S, you generally let your ear be your guide. If Lars's house sounds awkward, feel free to omit the final S. The only rule in this case is that you must (MUST) be consistent. You can't have Lars' two-car garage then Lars's property. On a Custom Welcome Sign – it’s just not going to happen!

This whole business of Apostrophological Anomalies (I can’t believe I used that again!) stirs passionately among some folks, and there have been whole sub-cultures formed to lobby for the universal observance of the mystery of the apostrophe. I am not of that belief set; I’m just a sign guy; however, I'm pretty sensitive about getting these things right. I think all you really have to ask yourself is, “Does my custom wood sign refer to the object to which it’s attached, Larson’s Cabin?” And then, is it the whole gangs’ cabin? Either way, I just don’t think it’s grammatical its, “Apostrophological!”

We love Western Red Cedar and have been using this amazing and legendary medium for over 40 years in construction and our art of carving personalized outdoor welcome signs .

Is there some hardware installed or a way to mount my sign?

Each of our signs come with brass screw-eyes installed on the top edge of the sign. (Stainless Steel is used on large signs) Both of which are designed to deliver no rust or stain problems for your wooden sign long term. The custom wood rustic sign can be suspended or hung like a picture as designed. There's nothing wrong with drilling holes through the cedar board and attaching it directly to a tree or post, either. Please consider brass screws; however, to keep the sign looking nice and stain free for years to come.

How would you know your sign was designed well?

Whether your sign is any good or not depends on four critical factors: Balance, Rhythm, Oneness, and Harmony. The most important purpose of a sign is delivering a message. It takes a whole lot more than throwing a bunch of letters on a panel and hoping folks will see it. A completed custom carved wood sign is really a composition

For balance a good custom wood sign must be "pleasing" to the eye. It is the weight distribution that is considered first. It's not necessarily done symmetrically; rather, a well-balanced sign composition is optically effective and has a stability of sorts in the arrangement of the copy in relation to each of the other elements. There is a lot which is involved in this judgment for the competent sign writer the amount of copy, any illustrations or supporting images, letter styles, and certainly what the sign is supposed to do; advertise, sell, welcome, etc. Also, how far will it the wood sign be viewed from and how fast will the viewer be traveling, if at all. When the customer brings the sign writer copy that looks like a newspaper ad and doesn't allow any freedom for the professional to edit believing every word is essential there is often no hope for achieving a balance in the custom wood sign's layout.

Rhythm is what many signs lack due the sign writer's judgment in selecting too many letter styles in the same work. Aesthetically speaking, most custom wooden rustic cabin and RV signs look best when only one or two letter fonts are incorporated. Often modest variations of a font can be introduced to reduce rhythm interference when bringing impact and interest; however, too many styles of lettering on one wood welcome sign is visually distressing.

Oneness is when signs that have several groups of copy or messages and the viewer's eye smoothly follows the flow of the message from the primary message on to the secondary and finally onto the most subordinate. It can be achieved, or at least enhanced, by dividing the three messages and creating emphasis using reverse panels, bolding and other emphasis techniques.

Harmony is nothing more that incorporating the first three elements with discipline balance, rhythm and oneness. Without being sensitive to copy grouping, letter styles and things like coloring no layout will be achieved that has harmony. A prefect example of this is in the use of borders. Often borders on signs are completely unnecessary and only serve to distract the eye instead of supporting a certain style of letter. This is especially true when the border is excessively strong or of strong color. In the case of border less wood signs, it is the flow of the graphics, shapes and lettering styles which provide the design and unity, balanced with uninterrupted harmony.

Almost always, customers will deliver copy and design expectations which are a far cry from the proof we render for their approval. It has been our experience, over 40 years, that when folks let us exercise our sign writing expertise by interpreting balance, rhythm, unity and harmony with professionalism and style their welcome signs and family name plaques deliver attractive and effective composition.

Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?

A. That's simple. The amazing names folks choose for their cabins, summer homes, cottages and RV's:

Chipmunk Hill, Chipmunk Field, Boulder Ridge, Raccoon Ridge, Salmon Trail, Bluebell Estates, Tree Land, Eagle Cliffs, Cardinal Valley, Sunrise Pines, Tree Bluff, Salmon Valley, Birch Hutch, Huckleberry Run, Summer Bunker, Bush Hearth, Breezy Basin, Hank Peak, Wildflower Edge, Skyline Retreat, Rainbow Inlet, Grassy Willows, Deer Beach, Sage Peak, Sunshine Greens, Log Manor, Hare Lake, Soggy Banks, Caribou Chalet, Juniper Lands, Whistling Yards, Black Bear Loft, Bass Villa, Sun Rapids, Moose Crest, Foggy Forest, Trout Shores, Spring Bay, South Firs, Timber Mound, Summer Sands, Winter Beach, Sunflower Pond, Huckleberry Bunker, Eagle Pastures, Walnut Cove, Black Bear Hill, Trout Shire, Wood Pecker Hideaway, Sunflower Stream, Huckleberry Yard, Blue jay Banks, Sunflower Woods, Sunrise Ridge, Rainy Mountain, Turtle Pond, Shady Chalet, Buck Rapids, Breezy Acres, Trout Pines, Sighing Home, Bass Mesa, Mountain Land, Autumn Park, Birch Bluff, Hawk Wood, Raccoon Bluffs, Log Vista, Buck Crest, Buck Greens, Cottonwood Cascades, Frog Pond, Leafy Run, Eden Cove, Whitetail Edge, Grouse Vail, Coyote Mound, Sunflower Cottage, Grassy Harbor, Cardinal Banks, Elk Summit, Canoe Resort, Tree Field, Crappy Glades, Cedar Acres, Boulder Den, Perch Garden, Leafy Lake, Cougar Mountain, Sage Creek, Elk Lodge, Hillside Courtyard, Cedar Hillside, Raccoon Shanty, Leech Greens, Mushroom Inlet, Rainy Banks, Rocky Nest, Still Waters, Pine Manor, Sun Cascades, Trout Falls, Rainbow Ridge, Haven Loft, Hillside Cottage.

Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?

A. I'm Mike Inman and I work with my Dad, Thom. Dad is a life-long wood carver and has carved hand-crafted wood signs and custom house signs and personalized welcome signs and country wooden signs from Western Red Cedar for over 40 years!

I make our hand-crafted wood signs just like my Dad taught me using genuine western red cedar; spiral-cut hardwood dowels; brass and copper hardwares; expensive, marine-grade adhesives and good old-fashioned, prideful craftsmanship passed from father to son. Today, my Mom and I own and operate the business because we love Red Cedar, just like my Dad!

Western Red Cedar is an exceptionally beautiful wood with natural coloring in mellow ambers, reddish cinnamons and rich sienna browns. This natural beauty is evident in all of our creations as we leave the natural grains and knot patterns undisturbed. We had an opportunity to see one of my Dad's first signs not long ago and it had the most beautiful silver patina..."Kinda' like your hair, Dad!"

Like Dad, Red Cedar's durability is legendary...our cedar signs "Gracefully Weather a Lifetime!"™

My Dad is always quoting Gus Stickley (Stickley Furniture fame), "The lyfe so short, the craft so long to lerne". We've been doing this for 42 years. Our custom, carved wood signs are all personalized and individually crafted from designs created using scale renderings in collaboration with you. That's the only difference from leanin' over Dad's carving bench and tellin' him what you want.

Our business isn't like Amazon.com or Sears. There is no stock on the shelves. We don't pick orders from bins. All work is custom. All work is commissioned. All work is prepaid. We work on one order at a time - in the order we receive them. Sometimes the line gets real long. Like Father's Day and Christmas. Often we don't have time to go back down the line and see how you are doing with your idea, your proof or the reason why we have not heard from you. Most importantly, the proofs (scale color renderings) we send you must be approved before we carve anything. If you approve a sign proof with your name misspelled - that's on you. Don't call in a fuss over the credit hold on your credit card when placing your order. All work is commissioned and pre-paid. What you will get isn't like Amazon.com or Sears, either!

These are definitely not ticky-tacky; and you won't find us at carnivals or craft fairs! Creating carved wood signs with Western Red Cedar is the natural place to start. Not only does it have distinctive beauty, natural durability and centuries of proven performance; REAL Western Red Cedar is the ultimate green material. Your wooden Welcome Sign will gracefully weather a lifetime™ with simple maintenance!

Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?

A. I am a life-long wood carver. I have been hand carving personalized outdoor welcome signs and engraving rustic custom wood signs and plaques for folks since 1966. Woodworking has always been my passion and the tree has always been a friend, a provider and a healer.

Anna Fraser had this to say about the tree and it's a personal favorite of mine, "You are a living illustration of great wisdom. Your kind giving spirit, which provided us with food, shelter and medicine from the wooden cradle to the wooden coffin shows me I was born into a world, which provides for all my basic needs. Many of my deepest questions are answered in endless stories, whispered and illustrated all around us. The outer world mirrors the inner world. High and low feed each other. All things create each other continuously. We are all One. All of us faces of the Great Mystery. All of us connected. One living warm golden heart.

Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.

A. THERE IS NO RESTRICTIONS TO WHAT YOU CAN HAVE FOR IMAGES There is NO page of graphics you are limited to choosing from. Images have a powerful impact on the message. One picture can make an interesting message even more compelling. Again, there is no restriction with images, either. What you may want for your sign design would come from one of these FOUR classes or packages of images...

SINGLE-SIMPLE: If all you want is a pine cone, a tree an animal silhouette or a heart - that's considered a single-simple image and adds between $26 and as much as $40, depending on the size of the plaque chosen.

SINGLE-COMPLEX: A single image that is complicated to create and carve like a tree house, or a four-wheeler or a Harley Davidson motorcycle - that's considered Single-Complex and costs between $36 and $50, depending on the size of the plaque chosen.

MULTIPLE-SIMPLE: If you want a scene with animals, a landscape, a lake scene with a fisherman - these are multiple-simple images and are naturally more complicated. They add between $50 and $64, depending on the size of the plaque chosen.

CUSTOM-COMPLEX: This is when we create a custom design or element that may require your original art or photo as for a Logo or other art file. This also includes requests for specific designs. For example not just an old tractor but a 1940 model A John Deere Tractor viewed from the right side - this adds between $72 and $96, depending on the size of the sign chosen.

While adding an image or multiple images will raise the cost with distinct predictability, it is always worth the investment. The reason for the higher cost is the increased amount of carving time and complexity necessary to engrave images into Carved Wooden Signs. The costs will vary, depending on what you want on your Rustic Cabin Sign, how large the image is and how complex the image is to carve. A single image will obviously be the least expensive, while a multiple image will require more work, and added cost. The most expensive option is custom requested, original art unique to the message, the owner and the carving artist’s repertoire. Here, graphics can be added according to your specifications, imagination or inspiration.

Q. What is your greatest strength?

A. "Thank you very much!! Wow, that was fast! Your company was an absolute pleasure to work with, have a very merry Christmas and don't work too hard!"

"Hi Thom, Just thought I'd send you some pictures of the Home Sign installed. I had to take the pictures standing off to the side because the sun was blocking the house, so this is the best I could do. We love, love, love the carved wood sign and we think it looks great!!! Thanks again. Like what you've done with your website with the new photo's and new look. I might have you make us a mailbox when we decide to actually move up there. They look really neat!!!"

"Received my first welcome sign today, can't believe I've already gotten it!! It looks fantastic! It will be a Xmas gift for my parents...I can't wait to see their faces!!"

"YES. I JUST MADE PAYMENT. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HELP. YOU HAVE GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE AND I THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR HELP HAVE A NICE DAY. AND I WILL DEFINITELY REFER PEOPLE YOUR WAY. TAKE CARE!"

"I just wanted to let you know I recd my Welcome Sign I ordered from you and I am more than satisfied. Thank you very much. It has been quite a pleasant experience working with you."

Hi. I'm a former Minnesotan and I love your carved signs. I'm looking for a sign suitable for the door of a 3 and a half year old that says "No monsters while Hayden is sleeping!". (She recently told my husband there was a sign on the door of her Lego house that said "No monsters while they're sleeping") Kim; Tempe, NSW, Australia

I found the CEDARSIGN.COM by accident during a search for a carved wood sign. From the time I first viewed their site through my first e-mail contact, through the design and discussion stages of creating my sign Thom and Mike have been absolutely fantastic in their efforts to make sure not only did I get what I wanted but also what they knew I would be the happiest with. I just received my custom sign and I could not belive the beautiful work they did. This sign is everything I had thought of and more.

If anyone reading this comment isn't sure what they want but has an idea trust me contact these folks they will make your dream a reality.

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