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Thread: Replica AMC Trail Signs

  1. #1
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Replica AMC Trail Signs

    I know every year there is an auction for old AMC trail signs, which usually go at pretty hefty price tags. Does anyone know if there is someone out there who makes replica signs like these for a more reasonable price? Mother of a friend of mine is thinking about trail sign themed gift this year for her daughter, who loves the signs, and I was curious. If anyone has come across this let me know. Thanks.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

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    Proprietor, NH 52 With A View Facebook group
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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Thanks. Looks like the replica signs are pretty expensive though.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

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    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    Thanks. Looks like the replica signs are pretty expensive though.
    Yes, perhaps -- but as someone who has made quite a few trail signs (or paid for others to make them) over the years, I think that they're very reasonably priced, especially given the time and effort put into making them spot-on copies of the originals.

    (Thanks for the heads-up on this guy, Dingo. I do in particular like the "Who Needs a Car to Climb Mount Washington" sticker.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barkingcat View Post
    Yes, perhaps -- but as someone who has made quite a few trail signs (or paid for others to make them) over the years, I think that they're very reasonably priced, especially given the time and effort put into making them spot-on copies of the originals.

    (Thanks for the heads-up on this guy, Dingo. I do in particular like the "Who Needs a Car to Climb Mount Washington" sticker.)
    Tim Sample used to do a bit about a rural Maine homemade Cadillac Pickup truck with a bumper sticker on the back that read "This Car has not been anywhere near the Top of Mt Washington"

    I agree that to make a custom sign and earn a reasonable buck the signs going to have to cost a bit. The USFS seems to use a very dense grain most likely old growth Douglas Fir for their Wilderness signs. (I expect some folks will find the irony in that). Its definitely not any local wood variety I am aware of. It typically has a very dense ring count and is knot free, the closest thing locally is probably eastern hop hornbeam and they typically only get to about 10 or 12" DBH and tend to be pretty rare. The USFS started to go to laminated plastic that looked like it came from a McDonalds table for awhile but I haven't seen any new ones of late. I think the local clubs use local soft wood and put up with the loose grain. I think most clubs use a pantograph tracer rather than CNC so that means someone has to set up the letter guides and then trace the pattern with a router. My guess is 30 to 60 minutes each start to finish for a simple one, longer for multiple lines and even longer if they need to laminate a few to get the width. Local softwood is probably $5 to $10 a piece for the wood if its off one board. My guess is a USFS blank for something like a Wilderness Boundary may be a $100 piece of wood plus shipping. Now add some time if they go with contrasting painting like RMC. And then throw in packaging and shipping which is getting more and more expensive.

    I am surprised no one seems to sell a copy of the yellow treeline warning signs.

    A friend of mine got the former RMC signmaker to make him a set of trail signs for their house long ago that listed the number of feet to the kids bedrooms. The kids have long since moved out of the house and they have moved once or twice but the signs remain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    The USFS seems to use a very dense grain most likely old growth Douglas Fir for their Wilderness signs. (I expect some folks will find the irony in that). Its definitely not any local wood variety I am aware of.
    I'm pretty sure it's cedar.

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...prd3810021.pdf

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