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Big sign advice

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by MotorCityMan, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. MotorCityMan

    MotorCityMan Member

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    My church has a 40" x 20' sign that is made of plywood with a metal front. It is 20 years old and they want to replace it. I have never made a sign this big, what is the best way to build a frame ? What material for the face? It does not need to be able to light up. Thanks
     
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  2. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    have one made at a larger sign company with all aluminum skins and framing and you letter it with vinyl. 40 x 20 is nt large at all and if you havnt done one like this yet let someone else do it for longevity sir
     
  3. MotorCityMan

    MotorCityMan Member

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    I tried that but the prices were to high for the church so I'm trying to do it cheap
     
  4. Xcesiv

    Xcesiv Member

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    Don't be scared of the size.

    Break it down into sections.

    You only buy you composite panel or color bond in sheets in standard sizes

    Just think of the sign as a batch of smaller signs

    Be confident and you will do fine
     
  5. GVP

    GVP Active Member

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    You say the price was too high - so what's the budget?
     
  6. MotorCityMan

    MotorCityMan Member

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    Thanks for that, I'm just wondering what's the best approach, z clips, poly panels? It has a wood frame already in place to reattach to. I'm having signs 365 do the print.
     
  7. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    Do it cheap or do it right, I'd use aluminum composite and aluminum tubing for the frame.
    Lightweight yet very sturdy.
    Don't get me wrong, I do signs for churches all the time.
    But I hate that poor-mouth "we are a church" crap.
    It will cost you more time in labor to do wood, and wood will not last as long.
    Love....Jill
    PS
    I see you're re-using a presumably 20 year old wooden frame. I'd re-do the whole thing.
     
  8. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    charge em right or lose your shirt. That is the way it works with a re-do. Cheap because it is a church is the best way to lose your shirt and pants.
     
  9. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

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    Why trade schools are still needed
     
  10. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    Why do you think churchs have so much money?
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    Most likely because everything they want they want on the cheap but the best!
     
  11. Moze

    Moze Very Active Member

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    I agree with the others....ACM panels for the face and 2" aluminum angle for the framework. Aluminum angle clips attached to the faces so they're removable from the frame. Mount the frames, then mount the panels.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  12. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    +1 to aluminum w/framework.
    down n' dirty cheapest would be painted MDO with graphics.
    we do large-scale architectural signage, so I'm more inclined to say build from scratch and do something really great while you're making the effort.

    also, whatever you do, make sure you get a PERMIT.
    some towns/communities even require them for banners these days. "graphic changes" to an existing sign? etc. etc. you bet, permit.

    additional note: cheap is crap. Make a couple cheap banners, bake some pies, and throw a fundraiser at the church.
     
  13. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    wait till one of the panels fly off in a wind storm and sails about 6 miles and crashes another church.
     
  14. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    Not really if you factor in the price of primer and paint, plus finishing the edges etc.
    I rarely use MDO and I charge more for it than for Alumalite.
    Also, it's heavy as hell and a PITA to work with.
     
  15. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Very Active Member

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    Don't buy that budget stuff, Jesus Saves! They have tons of money :)
     
  16. TXFB.INS

    TXFB.INS Very Active Member

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    +1
    our ACM panels are cheaper then MDO and we only do MDO when the customer will not budge on material.


    As the others have said ACM Panels tiled together, and a make a frame out of metal (alum or steel) depends on what you can get for the $$$. we like using square tubing over angle iron. when you tile them together make sure you run a support piece on the seams so the face will stay together and not separate, nothing looks cheaper than a new sign that is separated at the seams

    we would increase the size for 48" so there is only one cut on the material
     
  17. MotorCityMan

    MotorCityMan Member

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    some pics of before after and during

    Not that it should have mattered for this thread but for the record my Pastor has never asked me for a deal or a favor and has always made it very clear to charge him full price. I want to save my church money, I don't see what the big deal is with that. Not everything is about making money, I make signs because I love to do it not because I think I will get rich from it.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    Looks like you got it done.
    The layout is pushed a little too close to the edges, next time leave a little white space around the borders.

    (That offset doorway it throwing everything off, I'd ask them to move it to the center and fix that second light.).

    edit>
    Ahh I think you are right Pat, the 3rd photo is the old sign?
    I was going by the order of the photos posted - mock-up - frame - finished.
    (can you tell it is monday morning here?)
    wayne k
    guam usa
     
  19. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    Definitely make a new frame.
    I'd make the sign from Alumalite.

    I personally have given two signs this past year to a church which I no longer attend.
    That way I got to choose what went up...I admit that I'm a control freak.
    But they also hired me to do a job this year and I charged full price.
     
  20. MotorCityMan

    MotorCityMan Member

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    I'm hoping to make this sign for around $1500

    Is the frame welded together or bolted together? Would z clips work?
     
  21. MotorCityMan

    MotorCityMan Member

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    yes
     
  22. MotorCityMan

    MotorCityMan Member

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    where do you get your stuff? any pics ?
     
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