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

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Why 30 lb Precision Board?

The most often question I get asked is why we exclusively use 30 lb (or higher) density Precision Board High Density Urethane in our shop. The answer is simple. It makes sense. Our decision was based on real world experience. It's all we keep in stock.

30 lb Density HDU is not common. Many suppliers are reluctant to stock it for that reason. But I believe it well worth the effort to get it in. It is so much stronger than lighter weight HDU's. It is much more resistant to dents, hail, birds pecking it, flying rocks or golf balls and just about anything else that might harm our signs and dimensional projects. There is nothing more frustrating than working on a project for hours and hours only to bump it accidentally, making a repair instantly necessary. Repairs take time and cost money. That's profits! To much to take a chance in my view.

Heavier density HDU boards hold detail well - much better than lower density boards. And I LOVE detail in our work. Textures route beautifully in 30 lb Precision Board and I can run our router just as quickly as the lighter weight boards. Working it by hand does require a little more effort. I would argue that the extra investment of the heavier weight board more than offsets the cost of labor saved when it comes to priming and painting the signs.

Heavier density Precision Board actually saves us money. The lighter boards take time to apply multiple coats of primer. Many folks spend a lot of time sanding to get things smooth as well. We don't.  Sanding takes time and we all know time equals money. With the higher density boards we need only one coat of primer at most to make things very smooth.

The heavier board is easy to sell too. REAL EASY. I keep samples of 15, 18 and 20 lb Precision Board handy in my sales area. When a customer is talking about a sign I'll grab one of the lighter weight samples and run my finger nail into it leaving a nasty groove. Then I'll hand my customer a sample of the 30 or 40 lb board which I also keep handy and ask them to do the same. They can't make a mark. I explain that this premium material certainly costs more but is worth the investment for obvious reasons. It's always an instant sale and in the process I actually make more profit.

The samples in the picture below say a lot. The 30 lb board sample is a very old one, yellowed with age. It has a few welding burns but is otherwise unmarked. because it is so tough. The 40 lb sample underneath is also pristine. The two lighter weight samples (15 and 20 lb) have plenty of grooves from my fingernail tests in front of customers.

Most of all I love the peace of mind 30 lb Precision Board offers.