No Poop on the Loop Sign
Originally written Mar 3, 2021
We live on a street that's called a “loop” and which actually is a loop. It's one mile around, and a lot of people walk their dogs. Beginning some time last fall, either someone new moved into the neighborhood and never learned to pick up their dog poop, or one of the existing residents stopped picking up, but there's been a lot of poop both in the ditches and on the street.
So back in January, after I went into our ditch to pick up some recycling that had blown out of a neighbor's bin, and stepped in some (fresh, not frozen) dog poop, and then tracked it into the house, I decided it was time to take action. Rather than standing in the ditch with a sand wedge and “blasting out of the bunker” every time someone walked past with a dog, I decided that maybe a nudge would suffice. So I bought a Dogipot Bag Dispenser and got permission from the neighborhood HOA to put that and a sign on the corner of out lot, near an intersection on one end of the loop.
I also had bought Chris Pye's Lettercarving in Wood: A Practical Course and got busy learning. Mostly I needed to learn to carve Os that looked good.
First was finding a piece of wood. I had a fairly clear piece of alder, and from carving my previous sign I knew that alder worked pretty well for me.
Next was carving the letters. I did the smaller script letters with a V tool, just tracing along pencil lines, but the larger letters were incised with gouges at a 45 degree angle. I ended up using 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9 sweeps to get the Os looking the way I wanted. Probably could do it with fewer tools, but that would've taken more time for learning…
Then I painted the letters with Real Milk Paint Aqua paint, which looks like a nice turquoise, which fits, since we're in New Mexico. I think there were four coats altogether.
Then I carved the circle and slash with a #7/14 gouge.
I used some 1Shot Bright Red lettering enamel to paint that.
Then I put three coats of Cabot Satin Spar Polyurethane on the sign, hoping to lock everything in.
Today, the post went in the ground, and the sign and dog-poop-bag-dispenser got attached to the post. Done!
I've already gotten compliments on it from a couple neighbors. Hopefully it'll encourage folks to pick up after their pooches, but time will tell.
After almost two years, we've had almost zero poop left in our ditch, in spite of other neighbors on the opposite side of the loop have many problems.
The one thing I would change is that rather than using polyurethane, which is already peeling and looking bad after just two years, I should've finished the sign with tung oil, which is easy to renew. As it is, I may have to strip the paint off in order to remove the rest of the polyurethane.