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

Friday, February 4, 2011

Safe transport of weird loads

One of the constant challenges we face is how to support our projects while we work on them and more importantly safely transport them to their final destination without damage. It's something we have to think about from the very start. We've found the safest way to support and transport the pieces is using their final support structure. This is how they will be mounted when they are installed. On larger pieces this support structure is engineered and always overbuilt. The two signs we are currently finishing up are good examples. Both signs have internal welded steel frames. One is mounted from the bottom and the other is to be hung. Those same fasteners will be the way we transport the signs. For the Cliff's Meats sign I welded up a simple temporary frame from some inch and a half square tubing.. It has mounting points on the bottom which we'll lag bolt to the trailer floor for transport. It has no chance of sliding or tipping over that way. The sign may swing a little while it travels but it shouldn't be any more than it will swing in the wind in it's final home. Since our client is picking up the sign here and taking it 300 miles distant the stand will stay with him as it's simply not worth bringing back.

The second Glass Hive sign has a temporary stand bolted to the bottom that's been there since we started the project. It will remain in place while I transport the sign tomorrow. We'll be using a crane to lift the sign into it's final home and while the sign is lifted we'll remove the stand before bolting it onto it's final mounts. This stand has been used on countless projects through the years and has served us well.