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  • Writer's pictureSteve Schrecengost

Create a Broken Board Edge Style

Broken Board Edge style

One of my most popular edge styles is the faux broken board. It gives a lot of character to the piece and sets it apart from a traditional, square, sign. In this post, I will summarize the steps involved. Combine this post with the video below, and you should be able to duplicate this look.

My first step is to layout the lettering and artwork on the piece. Remember to leave at least 2 inches on each of the 4 sides for the 'cracks' you will be creating.

Next, draw the V's for the major cracks and arcs that will be cut out with the jig saw. Feel free to use a band saw or scroll saw if that is what you have available or are more comfortable using those tools.

Draw the arcs on the sign ends

Draw arcs on sign edges

Once the cracks and arcs are cut, you are ready to go to work with the belt sander. I am sure there are other tools you could use in this step but my preference is the belt sander with a very coarse grit belt. I use 40 grit to create the shapes.

This is the fun part. I could try to explain the process here but it would be much better if you look at the pictures and videos. Everything in this step is random and done to your personal preference. There is no right or wrong, only what you like or don't like.

Shape with belt sander

Now that you have shaped the edges, switch the belt sander to 120 grit and go back over the same area to smooth out the edges.

I like to add one more sanding step. With my palm sander, I smooth the edges a little more with 220 grit. You could skip this for a more rustic look. You could hand sand if you don't have a palm sander. I don't think a random orbital sander would work very well on this step.

Final sanding

My final step is to add some splinters. I do this with a very inexpensive wood chisel with a V shaped blade. I make the splinters in the cracks and shallow areas of the shapes. I only do this on the ends but you could do as many or as few as you like. Again, it would be best to watch the video to see exactly how I do this.

Adding splinters

And that is it! The entire process only requires about 10 minutes and creates a really nice affect for your signs. Thanks for stopping by. I have included links for the tools and materials I used during this process.

Skil belt sander -

40 grit sanding belt -

80 grit sanding belt -

120 grit sanding belt -

Sanding belt cleaner -

12 piece wood chisel set -

Dewalt ¼ sheet palm sander -

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