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, June 3, 2011

Simple hanging sign structure

Hanging signs (and most other signs too) need some structure inside to make sure they stay where we put them. Over the years they will be subjected to winds and gravity. Plus there is always the macho dude who sees something like a hanging sign and suddenly he has to prove how tough he is by jumping up and doing a few chin-ups for good measure. I want to be sure that no matter what the signs we build will withstand whatever might happen. A welded steel internal frame is the best bet that will be so.

In this case the frame is made from 5/8" solid steel bar. It[s probably overkill but I know I will sleep soundly knowing the sign won't break apart with this inside. The cast steel eye bolts are rated for 5000 pounds each - more than enough! Once the frame was welded I laid it on the back of one of the sides of the sign and marked it out. Then using the die grinder I cut in a 1/2" deep slot. I repeated this step on the second side as well, test fitting dry to make sure everything lined up tight.

Then I spread on the Coastal Enterprises PB Bond-240 glue which is formulated for Precision Board according to the directions. I misted the Precision Board with water to activate the glue and clamped it up tight. Tomorrow, once the glue has cured I will hang the sign and glue on the other four pieces. Then it is time for a little finishing and paint once more.

The end result is a sign with hangers that is plenty strong!