It is hard to believe that it was almost ten years ago I witnessed a CNC router in action for the very first time. I was fascinated and simply had to have one! Although I had been in the creative end of the three dimensional sign business for most of my life I didn't really know what I would do with one of these machines - but I just knew it could do fantastic stuff.

Along with the CNC router I discovered the wonderful material called Precision Board and the glues, primers and other companion products they offer. Since then we have gone through many tons of the material using it in most signs and projects we tackle. This journal will chronicle our many adventures both past, present and future. I'll talk from the perspective of someone who pushes these products to the creative limit on a daily basis. I'll be adding to the stories two or three times each week. -dan

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hang ups

One question I often get asked is 'How do I hang our signs?'  The answer of course is varied depending on the nature of the project but often I will use what I know as a french cleat. Basically, a board is ripped at a 45 degree angle and one side is mounted securely to the wall - the other to the sign. When the sign is hung the 45 degree angle of the boards keeps the sign securely in place, tight against the wall and also level without worry.

In this case the engineer and building inspector wants everything twice as secure as what I would consider normal. The sign is heavy (about a hundred pounds) and it is being mounted to a drywall surface. When I designed the sign I put a recesses surface into the back to allow for the bracket and wiring. I cut two pieces of half inch plywood to shape and two french cleats (four pieces) at a 45 degree angle. One piece of plywood was glued and screwed to the sign, the other will be mounted to the wall in similar fashion. Then I leveled my sign on the workbench and mounted the cleats to the sign using a level. I fastened the cleats to the wall plywood, making sure they fit into the sign properly. 

I mounted the wall bracket securely to a stack of Precision Board in order to mount my sign while I worked on it. Rather than work on a sign flat I prefer to do it with the sign sitting as it will when it is done. In this fashion I can see how the lighting and shadows affect the coloring and shading we are doing. When we are ready to mount the sign I'll remove the bracket from its temporary home and glue and screw it to the wall before mounting the sign permanently.

The sign is now base coated, waiting for the glazes which come next.