wood to carve wood type

saw some photos today from a friend who visited Hatch Print in nashville.

they had these GIANT wood type letters.. had to be 2 ft +

what type of wood would a wood chuck chuck if… wait… that’s not the question.

what type of wood would I use if I wanted to cut something monstrous like that?

I could probably use unmounted lino and make some big letters but just not sure how well they’d hold up over time.

I’m looking to maybe do some letters close to the printable area of my bed.. 18x25.

1 giant letter locked up on the bed. wooohooooo!

glutten for self punishment.

image: DSCF0745.JPG


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love the poster.

thats the type of work I want to be doing. not necessarily for clients but limited runs of original artwork.

i tried doing some 48 point revese type in lino last night but it just wouldn’t hold the lines between spots like the E and inside an O, R and P so i gave up on it.

they sell poplar at home depot and the like.. i could probably check out somewhere like 84 lumber. we have a planer in the woodshop at work so I assume i’d need to get 1 inch and mill it from there… assuming 1 inch really is one inch since it seems dimensional lumber isn’t really what it used to be with 2x4s being more like 1.75x3.75.

i assume end grain means the end of the board, sort of like when they chop down a tree and slice the trunk across the circumference.

is it necessary to use wood like that or do I pretty much get any board and start going to town?

thanks for the insight into this.

again, really like the poster.

What a true beauty!


I’ve said it before, but must say it again: Devils Tail, your work is just amazing. I don’t even aspire to attempt to try to essay anything like it—it ain’t never ever not gonna happen.

I just admire.


Hi Paul,
I’m very envious of your engraving/cutting skills. Something to aspire to. I ‘m beat! how do you get such fine detail on the lino? I have used the light grey Fine Cut lino but I don’t reckon I could ever get such fine lines.
I’m thinking of getting some Resingrave to try as my climate conditions would not suit endgrain wood . Only problem is that no one in Australia is bringing it in and the few American re-sellers will only deal with credit cards (which I don’t have). I have asked a large reputable art supplier to consider bringing it in and I am still waiting on a response.


another thought I had this weekend was to cut larger letters out of 1/2 wood with a scroll or jigsaw, then laminate the letter to another 1/2 inch piece of hardwood and then mill it down to type high.

i was watching some show on nickelodeon with my kid this weekend (icarly maybe) and they had about 4-6 giant wood type carvings hanging on the wall.

i.. want.. some…


Got to almost any craft store and buy large wooden letters. They are often die cut out of 3/16ths plywood. Turn over and print the back. They may need to be sealed with polyurethane or shellac, etc. before printing. Mount on 3/4” and shim up to type high.

You can sometimes find whole alphabet sets in thrift stores, too. Most of the typefaces kinda suck, though.