We Specialise In Refurbishing, Reconstructing & Repairing Old Character Finger Post Signs Throughout The British Countryside
This is an old Sussex wooden finger - post sign that we have recently refurbished. The entire sign is rubbed down smooth, dusted off and etched primed with a stain block primer, plus 2 under coats & two gloss coats of Sadolin air- breathing paint. All the splits, cracks & holes are filled with a two part waterproof resin filler. We replace the old rotten Ramin dowel with new oak dowels that do not rot. We straighten up the post by digging away the top soil and clay then treated the under ground section with a wood preserver followed be re bedding the post into a granite stone chipping foundation,. This helps to keep the post in a true vertical position as well as allowing prefect drainage thus dramatically extending the life of the finger post. We refit the Iron cap with new heavy duty stainless steel screws.
If these lovely old finger-post signs in your village require any work, then it should be carried to the very best standard otherwise it's simply a complete waste of time money & effort. Far too often these signs are subject to a quick
cosmetic make over with one coat paint and without any preparation, the result being that dilapidation returns very quickly.
We sometimes have to replace the old finger-arms as many were just made of untreated softwood which of course rots. We only use construction grade, seasoned English Hardwood which is perfect as it does not rot and accepts the paint very well. The use of the oak dowels and wedges makes the perfect joint. We do not join our finger-arms in the middle of the post as many contractor do as this makes for a very weak & unsupported joint. We produce a double ended through the mortice finger-arm arrangement & this is a vast improvement to the centralised joint inside the finger-post motice.
Sometimes it is more cost effective to replace the entire finger-post if both the oak post and finger-arms are rotten.
We provide the highest specification all hardwood finger-post sign with the added bonus of using the non-corrosive embossed metal lettering as this does not break off like the plastic types do. as these are subject to damage from the UV sun rays as well as the frost as they become brittle and can't expand and contact with the timber through the changing seasons.
Our metal lettering also looks so much more in keeping with the rural image of a traditional old finger-post sign. When the signs are refurbished the entire finger post sign is painted white four times followed by having all the embossed metal lettering picked out in black gloss.
Our all hardwood finger posts are designed to last a lifetime as we install them into a prepared granite stone foundation that allows the timber to breath. This has a dramatic effect on prolonging the life of the finger post sign.
This finger post is very old but our refurbishment has resulted in giving it an extended lease of life for many more years to come. I think that it was hear back in the 1960's when I was a boy.
It is nice to see that some of these old finger posts signs are going to be saved for at least another 100 years.
The link below shows some of these old pre Warboy finger post signs looking in needs of our our attention
Regrettably Many Years Of Finger Post Signs Being Made By Cowboys Has Led To Premature Dilapidation & Spiralling Maintenance.
It really does not have to be like this !!!!
Here is the evidence below. As you can see the post has rotted away just below ground level as ignorant contractors have just planted the post into the damp & sticky Wealden clay. This does not allow the wood to breath so the elements of water & oxygen get started from day one in rotting the post. This is so simple to prevent as we always install our construction grade oak posts into a prepared granite stone chippings foundation as this allows the perfect environment for the oak to remain dry & breath. It also really firms up the post and prevents any contact with the water retaining Wealden clay.
The next disastrous components used by contractors is the Ramin wood softwood dowels as these start to rot within 18 months which in turn then starts to rot the signs & eventually the mortice area of the posts.
In my opinion this has to be the ultimate cowboy work when two finger boards are jointed in the middle of a post instead of using a single section double-sided through mortice finger arm arrangement. This is really asking for trouble as the signs are only as strong as the dowels, so it makes for a very easy job for any would be vandal to just break them off.
I still find it hard to believe that contractors are still allowed to use the cheap perspex lettering as it really is not fit for purpose. Firstly it looks tacky, it does not like to be painted, it does not cope with the expansion & contraction of the timber with the changing seasons as very often you will see it broken off. The plastic lettering suffers from the UV rays & as well as the frost as it become brittle. To be honest it can't be reused & should be banned from use on finger post signs. We make our own non-corrosive metal lettering which is unbreakable, lasts forever, loves being painted, It copes with any movement in the wood and is affixed to the signs with solid brass screws.
The next problem has been the use of oil based paints as these simple just don't work with hardwoods as the plastic paints do not allow the timber to breath so when the timber expands & contacts the paint just cracks & blisters resulting in allowing water to get trapped behind the paint & this why the finger post signs rot as they do. We only use the air-breathing paints like Sadolin as we consider this to be the best paint system in the World.
In fact we apply 4 coats of Zinsser Stain Block Primer / Undercoat followed by 4 coats of Sadolin air breathing gloss.
This makes for a truly great finish that remains good for decades to come. You can see from these photos that oil based paints have been a complete failure.
To my horror these finger post signs had their plastic letters attached with rusty old iron screws which of course expand with the rust which means that they can't ever be reused as you can't remove them without breaking them. The screws also stain the new paintwork so a crazy idea to have ever used them but maybe more evidence of contractors trying to put their profit margins before producing a quality finger post sign.
another point worth mentioning is the fact that many of these finger post signs were erected without being planed & sanded so all the sharp right angles have rejected the paint. Clearly these photos of cowboy manufactured finger-post signs our clear evidence that many contractors are not adhering to the top specification that we provide as standard. No finger post should end up like this after just over 10 years.
The use of softwood finger arms, Ramin dowel, plastic lettering, iron screws, oil based paints, cheap sawn finish unseasoned timber should be banned straight away as we just can't allow any more of these ultra low spec. signs to be used as they are creating all tomorrows maintenance nightmares just as you see in these photos above.
Please remember that a badly designed sign using all the wrong materials is just like cooking a really bad meal using all the wrong ingredients & expecting it to taste nice.
So to get our signs looking as good as they do we use the following materials & processes.
Seasoned Construction Grade Selected English Oak
Non-Corrosive Metal Lettering
Solid Brass Screws
Seasoned Construction Grade Selected Hardwood Finger Arms.
Zinsser Stain Block Primer Undercoat
Sadolin Air-Breathing Gloss
Granite Stone Chippings
All our posts are seasoned, planed, sanded & painted with 4 coats of Zinnser & 4 coats of Sadolin.
All our hardwood signs are beautifully planed, sanded, scalloped, bevelled & all the right angle rounded off.
The finger arms are then painted with 4 coats of Zinnser & 4 coats of Sadolin
We make all our signs as a single section with no joints so they pass straight through the mortice to form double- ended finger-arms.
Our lettering is all made from a non-corrosive metal then sand blasted, etch primed, powder coated in a deep base black gloss finish.
We attach all our lettering with solid brass screws.
We install all our oak posts into a prepared granite stone foundation for a dramatically extended life.