Case / Box Work In Progress

work in progress dovetail box case

Custom Made Case Notary Public Stamp Seal Press

Night time workshop goings ons!

Here’s some work in progress photos – in between making signs I have started a new box/case build. This will be used for a Notary Public to keep his stamp seal press and other items he will be carrying to meetings. The box will be posted to Brisbane when complete. The timber is from the cleanup after Cyclone Yasi – some rare rain-forest species.

shavings on the workbench

I’ve been working at nights and have made some progress so here are some ‘work in progress’ photos of the build so far and some close-ups of my messy but reliable workbench!

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MERBAU TIMBER DECKS Sustainability? > Bad

Orangutan family

Merbau Timber Sustainability

The Hidden Damage Caused By Merbau Decks In Australia

Orangutan family endangered
Orangutan families are losing their homes and populations are becoming extinct just so we can improve our homes and have a nice looking deck! – Ridiculous!

“Merbau is not only considered an endangered species, at the prevailing rate of indiscriminate usage it will also be extinct within the next 35 years.”

Does this sound like a 
Sustainable timber to you?
Come on Australia, we can do better than this. PLEASE READ ON!

What about the animals?
Does anyone care?
Or do you just love your new deck & not aware where it came from?

“I looked into the eyes of this vulnerable orangutan and pledged to do something to be part of the solution.”

Learn more about Tracey Bailey’s story here.

Click the link above to learn more about Tracey’s business, helping the rainforest by buying sustainable products.

Why not use Merbau?

  • The destruction of large forest areas to get just one tree is shocking!
  • It doesn’t grow easily in plantations.
  • The small Islands of Indonesia cannot sustain this continued destruction
  • It is very difficult to enforce any laws put in place.
  • Logs are often smuggled over near-by borders or officials are paid off to turn a blind eye.
  • It is rapidly causing the extinction of beautiful defenceless animals
  • Not only losing their homes – THEIR SPECIES IS BEING WIPED OUT!

Where there is big money involved it will only continue.


I think it’s important to get the word out about the sustainability issues & damage from Merbau timber as many people are not aware of the destruction caused by the continued importation of this timber species to Australia.

Please read then share this post.

Merbau seems to be a very popular choice here in Australia
– DIYer’s walk into their local hardware store looking to build a deck and don’t know better!
The sales staff will probably point you in the direction of the Merbau racks without a second thought.

CHANGE IS UP TO YOU – Your choice of decking timber can help
So what can we do?  – Education and choice when purchasing is the key to this change, we must make change happen through the choices we make when building decks and other outdoor projects.
Get the FACTS right before making a decision based on price and colour alone!

Do we trust them when they tell you it’s sustainable and being managed? – IT’S NOT!

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Wooden Name Signs

Close up of wooden name sign for dog kennel

Wooden Name Signs

I’m often asked if I make wooden name signs. Of course the answer is yes I do!

In fact it has now become my main line of work. 

Close up of wooden name signs for dog kennel
Wooden name sign for a dog kennel – My early days of sign making

Just about every sign I make is a name sign of some sort.
Here’s some more examples.

  • House Name Signs
  • Beach House Signs
  • Holiday House Signs
  • Personalized Signs
  • Cabin/Shack Signs
  • AirBnB Signs
  • Shed Signs
  • Mancave Signs

I used to make these signs by doing all the lettering by hand with a router to carve out the areas needed following guide lines on the stencil and a pantograph.

gif showing how a pantograph works in motion as used in sign making or engraving
A Pantograph in motion

This involved printing out a large banner sized paper stencil to trace from and gluing it down to the timber. The lettering is then painted after being carved into the timber with the hand held router. The result of carving the lettering this way is a flat bottom cut to a controlled depth.

These days my signs look more like this,

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Display Boxes Custom made to order

corner view image of an essential oils box tasmanian blackwood glass lid custom made

Wooden Display Boxes

Order a wooden display box with a glass lid – designed to show off your precious collections!

I’ve made a variety of wooden display boxes with glass tops. This one is for bottles of essential oils.

  • A sneak peek into the workshop goings ons!

Essential Oils Storage/Display

front view image of a wooden display box for essential oils tasmanian blackwood glass lid custom made
These wooden display boxes have a glass lid with dividers for storing and viewing your collection. Dovetail joinery and beautiful Australian Hardwoods.

These boxes have all been different in their own way.

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Custom Wood Sign

Custom Wood Sign Rustic with engraved pictures

Custom Wood Sign Order Process


A Simple sign order.

  1. If you require a simple sign with one line of text this can easily be ordered here

    The Sign Order form.

But I want more!

  1. If you need larger than a standard size or any pictures, special details, delivery date required, let me know on the same form when ordering.

    I will send you a list of fonts to choose from and an engraving simulation.
    (make sure you enter your email correctly)

The main 4 things I need for a quote are :

  1. What you want written on your sign.
  2. If your sign will be used indoors or outdoors.
  3. The type of timber you prefer
  4. The edge styling you would like,
    Rustic Edge | Straight Edge | Routed Profile Edge | Other Shape/Style

How can they be personalised more?

Here’s a custom wood sign I made for a customer who lives in a small country town.
She wanted it to be a personalised gift for her husband…

“Everyone in town knows his Ute”
… she tells me
and sent through a few photos of his Ute
we then found a suitable pictures online to work from.

picture of a rustic custom wood sign with engraved pictures
Custom Wood Sign. Rustic edges engraved and painted pictures.

The Engraving Simulation below was sent to her for approval. The 3D simulation shows exactly what the engraving will look like carved into the timber and finished with matt black enamel paint. I can zoom in using the software to check if any of the pictures need to be fixed up before making your custom timber sign.

This is what I will send you for approval
A Simulation of what the machine does only!
Ignore the colour or edge style at this stage.

Preview picture of the simulation of engraved custom wood sign
Sign preview – 3D simulation with engraved images, sent to your email for approval. Ignore the edge style or colour, I do that by hand after engraving.

Where do I get pictures?
Sometimes they are provided to me, or we can search for suitable ones together.

Some images require extensive editing!
(this can add considerably to the cost of the job so please be aware of this)
The tree picture was one I had used in a previous design, so at least I didn’t have to edit that one!


Here’s the picture of the Ute and other design elements we worked from for the sign above, his Ute had a cage on the back so I edited the image to suit, added the antenna to the front and spare wheel to the back of the Ute.
This was important because the people in town all recognise his Ute and she wanted it to be a personalised gift for his birthday.
He has an Australian cattle dog with him on his run and they keep chickens so these were added into the image as well.

Example pictures Ute and Dog used for designing wooden signs with pictures
Toyota Land Cruiser Single Cab (from Toyota’s website) and Cattle Dog clipart

She was very happy with the end result and the sign is now proudly on display at their front door.

Picture of custom wooden signs engraved and painted then oiled
Beautiful Cedar Shed Signs with pictures – freshly oiled and ready to post

Details for the signs I make

My Rustic Cedar signs feature a unique carved edge, this is done by me after engraving.  I prefer to shape my signs myself – no two are the same.  The beautiful grain in Cedar is highlighted by a tinted Decking Oil (made right here in Australia of course).

 I’ve made quite a few signs for man caves, sheds, outdoor BBQ areas, even wood-fired pizza ovens which are becoming more popular than ever.

Please follow my blog if you would like to see more of what I make in future. I plan to put more projects up here as they are completed and also some flashbacks of interesting things I’ve been asked to make over the past 12 years so stay tuned.

How to order your own wooden sign

If you would like to order a custom wood sign please view my wooden signs page here 

Custom Wood Signs

 you can view details, see a price guide and
fill in this short form,
I will reply to your email with a list of font examples along with a quote for your very own personalised custom wood sign. [/caption]A list of sign font choices Just some of the many font choices I can send you.

My signs are posted worldwide, international orders are always welcome.

Andrew Wilkerson

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