The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 17, 2002


Trails committee has sign maker extraordinaire

Last year, the Carlisle Trails Committee received several phone calls from people who had been using the trails in town, but had found them poorly marked and were fearful of getting lost. Steve Tobin, committee chairman, pondered the situation and decided to seek help. He submitted a small article to the Mosquito explaining the problem and asked if there was a sign maker in town who might engrave signs for marking the trails more clearly.

Hal Shneider in his workshop uses the router to engrave letters on the wooden signs.

Hal Shneider, a retired mechanical engineer and member of the Carlisle Mosquito production team, spotted the article and called the trails committee to volunteer his services. Shneider had a router (a cutting tool) to engrave the wood, and had templates to make 2-inch and 1-1/2 inch letters on the signs. The trails committee provided 3-1/2-inch-high pieces of wood for the signs.

Shneider had made signs for the Conservation Foundation's Spencer Brook Reservation on South and West Streets, but the trails committee wanted to use smaller letters, 1-1/16 inches high. "They wanted me to make most signs with one line of lettering, but sometimes with two," explained Shneider. He therefore developed a new set of templates for use with the router that generated the 1-1/16-inch letters, permitting two rows of letters on the 3- 1/2-inch-wide wood.

Shneider started on the signs ten months ago. "I engrave the signs, but Steve fills in the engraved letters with paint to make them more visible, then coats them with varnish," explained Shneider. So far Shneider has produced 31 signs for Towle Field and the Greenough Land and he'll continue to do more.

"He's been invaluable and it's amazing how fast he gets things done," said Tobin. "The trails committee says thanks. We are happy to have signs up so people won't get lost. Shneider is a great man to work with." As for Shneider, he enjoys telling his children that he'll have signs all over town for posterity.

Hal Shneider and Steve Tobin of the trails committee meet at the Greenough Land parking lot off Maple Street.

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito