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Any tips on making a logo into a reusable paint stencil?

Discussion in 'Logo Design' started by equippaint, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    Figured this is pretty straight forward but will ask anyways.
    We're going to waterjet or plasma 1/4" aluminum paint stencils of a customer's logo. Any tips or rules for making the little jumpers that hold the letter cut outs? Stencil's about 4x8 and more than likely will be abused.
     
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  2. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    big fan of using at least 3 bridges per "loose piece", especially if being abused. else you risk it twisting & snapping-off. (even at 1/4" thick")

    4x8....inches? if that's feet, that's one hell of a stencil
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Not to mention heavy.

    Hope it's always laying down, as that'll be a b!tch to hang on a wall and spray. The heaviest thing I ever used was 1/8" duron at almost 4' x 8'. After the company used it once or twice, they had me make 3 more outta 2mm styrene and I told them to take care of them and clean them somewhat after each use.
     
  4. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Agree, 1/4" aluminum is kindly absurd. What are they planning on using this on, parking spots? I would worry about it scratching whatever it was put on to stencil. I think I'd say lexan would be ideal, the jumpers would be very hard to bend and break off, and it may resist paint that much better than metal.
    Also, I wouldn't bother getting it waterjet or plasma'd vs just routed. Your corners on a stencil do not need to be a perfect 90, unless its some ornate logo that would not cut well on a router...
    But really, why the 1/4" al?
     
  5. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    I agree with the weight and offered other options. Going to weld offset lugs on the face so it can be suspended from a forklift or their crane trucks.
     
  6. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    Trench shoring, boxes and road plates. They want it heavy because the yard guys are going to treat it like the rest of their stuff. They already have these, it's replacements.
    I don't have a CNC router plus 1/4" seems like it would be a bit rough on one.
     
  7. GaSouthpaw

    GaSouthpaw Active Member

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    Not having a router would make things tough, but- if you ever get one- it'll cut 1/4" aluminum, no problem (unless you get a cheap one). Just FYI.
     
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  8. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    Plasma table will knock it out quick, little cleanup on the backside but no big deal
     
  9. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Since I started working here running the CNC, I have no clue how a sign shop operates without one. Of course, we are fabricators first and foremost, and the printer just became a necessity...
    A router is the way to go if you are looking to get into cnc, it can do most things a waterjet or plasma can, but it can also do 3d cuts, or partially cut into material. I met with a guy in town who had just opened a waterjet company, he was going to cut some plate for us. He showed me some letters he had cut out of 1/2" aluminum. They were awesome. Except where he had used the water jet to cut holes through the letters to tap out and run studs into. It took everything in me to not give him some pointers, as I hate something being done wrong nearly as much as I hate helping the competition.
     
  10. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    I appreciate the tips but I'm using what we have available. There are different tools for different tasks. You will pretty much never see a metal fab shop or manufacturer with a cnc router but you will see about all of them with a burn table. It's the industry standard for cutting metal. Even though a router can do it, if your primary material is going to be metal, a router is definitely not the way to go. A waterjet is expensive to run but from a manufacturing standpoint, it is the tool to use for intricate stainless cutting and clean cutting aluminum with minimal kerf, no heating of the material, no discoloration, no slag etc. A router is the swiss army knife of a sign shop or cabinet maker but not a metal fab operation. It is great in the middle but there are better machines to do much of what it is capable of in a production environment.
     
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  11. billsines

    billsines Member

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    Got access to a laser? Why not one time use cardboard then throw it in the dumpster? Or bring in a crane for your aluminum stencil...
     
  12. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Exactly. What is your primary market, as far as production? Without a cnc, I myself would go broke if I outsourced all my channel letter parts.
     
  13. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    They want something that will last them and it's a hassle to have to replace them. They have cranes, forklifts etc, and all they do is move around steel all day so it's not a big deal. I'm just giving them what they asked for and they came to this from using many of the options suggested here already.
    Really, I was just curious if there was a general guideline for the jumper bits so they don't break off or look hokey. Like on an "O" are 2 sufficient or every inch of height on a letter allow x inches of holding material.
     
  14. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    I'd say it needs to be based on the letter height/stroke width/all that stuff. I'd probably hand place them where I thought they needed to go, but if you have enough space, I'd suggest doing 3 or more tabs on most things. If you have a 1' tall O with two tabs 1/2" wide holding the insert and they toss it around, it won't take much to pivot that insert when it lands on a piece of pipe. 3 would be a good deal more resilient. But if it's a bunch of 4" lettering, you'd probably be safe with 2 tabs at 1/4" wide.
     
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