A Special Job for St. Martin's Post Office

St Martin's Post Office Wooden Sign Finished

From time to time here at Woodcott Signs I do a very special job - one that will stand out in my memory for a long time amongst the more regular ones - and this one is certainly in this category.

The customer runs a little store and post office on St Martin’s in the beautiful Isles of Scilly - a place I have visited in the past so I can visualise where it is going. It is a wind-swept but interesting island with a bakery, church etc but not a large population and I imagine quite a large percentage of visitor’s to Bruce’s store are visitors (and quite often lost visitors) so he wanted a direction sign - and, unlike some customers knew just what he wanted, the sizes and everything else - a great design too!

I have a page of unusual and business signs on my website and this one is certainly headed there.

St Martin's Post Office Wooden Business Sign
St Martin's Post Office Design Brief


The interesting finger shaped end was inspired by a sign he saw in the Far East and the motif on the right is the Daymark - a building on the island.
Bruce also wanted the sign morticed through the post, which was going to necessitate a very large slot making through tough oak, and also a rounded to to the post - more of that later.

The sign was going to have to stand up against Atlantic gales for a long time so the oak had to be extra chunky - for the post as well. Luckily I have a woodcarver friend who has some very large pieces and we cut down the post from an even larger piece on a huge bandsaw in a neighbour’s workshop.
not a run of the mill job (but maybe ‘run of the sawmill!)

The carving has gone in a straightforward way so far with no great problems - you can see where the post is going and how well the little walking figure conveys more attractively he words ‘by foot’.

At Woodcott I am used to designing a lot myself when customers contact me and say that they want for example one like ‘The Old Barn’ on my website (with a changed name) but leaving the motif and exact sizes to me - this suits both me and the customer because i am very used to solving design problems and carving wooden signs is not a very common activity these days so it is not surprising that they feel a little unsure.
Sadly when customers are very specific about everything something often doesn’t add up or look visually quite right but there are exceptions and this was certainly one - a perfect design in all ways - and, to be honest probably better than I could have come up with!

White lettering was necessary for clarity - especially as the weather on the Isles of Scilly is always the best! and the only colour was on the motif at the end.
when I was in St Martin’s I don’t believe I saw the Daymark depicted but maybe I’ll go back and have another llok someday (and at my sign of course).
Incidentally it is unusual to have an apostrophe in a name like St Martin’s - most seem to have lost them.

The next big jobs were rounding the top of the large post and cutting the mortice through it - maybe they don’t sound big but I had to do the rounding by hand with chisels gouges and sanding fairly smooth.
5″ is a deep mortice for a fairly small machine and required cutting from both sides and making sure that the slot met up in the middle - a bit like engineers in in the old days burrowing tunnels from both ends and hoping for a good meeting in the middle (alright - a bit easier). Anyway, it met up fine but still took me a whole afternoon to finish because the sign had to be a good fit (held in with pegs and/or wedges - supplied the customer who is doing that on site).

St Martin's Post Office Wooden Sign Unpainted
The sign carved but with the paint still to be added.