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Electrical Signage help

Discussion in 'Electric Signs & Channel Letters' started by DizzyMarkus, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. DizzyMarkus

    DizzyMarkus Active Member

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    I have a few question in hopes of obtaining a few answers to help me along the way.

    I will post a few pics, sorry it was evening and on my phone -- I wont do the electrical parts (troubleshoot and get working) but would like to give the faces a whirl. The sign appears to be 4x8 or 5x10, again a quick check out of the project. The face plate frames seem to be a whole frame with 2 screws at one end and none at the other. Are they hinged a the top or come completely off? What material should I be using -- Lexan, Acrylic? I am also unsure of what "channel" the faces should slide into. Thanks for any insight given.

    Markus
     

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  2. Moze

    Moze Very Active Member

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    You would have to look at the top and bottom retainer to see if it's hinged or if they're fastened the same as the end retainer. There are numerous ways to fabricate a cabinet, so you just have to inspect it and see how they built it. But honestly, it doesn't matter. To make faces, just measure the inside distance between the retainers and subtract about ¼" (h & w) to allow for expansion. You'll pull the end retainers off that have the screws and the faces will slide in directly behind the retainers.

    Since the sign is within reach and thus susceptible to vandalism, you'll want to use either polycarbonate (Lexan) or a high-impact SG acrylic (Plaskolite).

    It looks like the retainers were retrofitted for the cabinet. They don't look like the originals, not that it matters.
     
  3. DizzyMarkus

    DizzyMarkus Active Member

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    Thanks Moze -- It sure does look pretty basic to do -- I just wanted to have some insight before going and looking at it today in the daytime :0)

    The cabinet only has screws on one side, The side I shot with the "300" on it, and the frames appear to be one piece picture frame. They dont appear to be able to "slide" in as I had hoped, it appears the whole frame may come off and reinstalled or hinged-- of which I didnt see any-- why I asked hehe. I'll have to update after checking it out in the day ---

    thank you again,
    Markus
     
  4. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

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    how thick is that cabinet? it might need pan faces.
     
  5. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    I have had the pleasure of working with the 'picture frame' elec. cab style. they are a pain.
     
  6. FS-Keith

    FS-Keith Active Member

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    That is signcomp commercial extrusion, there is no end removable retainer. you will have to remove the entire retainer system and remove some corner keys to get and end free to slide the faces out. it is pretty straightforward once you get the retainers to the ground. This looks very low, so it will be a good one for you to learn on. Get the overall cabinet size and make your cut size about 3/8-1/2" smaller then that. make sure you have allen key bits to remove the hinge screws that are likely at the top.
     
  7. GVP

    GVP Active Member

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    Don't forget hanging strips on the new faces!
     
  8. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    from what I've seen, that type of cabinet frame system doesnt allow for hangar rails
     
  9. FS-Keith

    FS-Keith Active Member

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    yes, it does on the backside. i would bring a 1" strip of polycarb to pop rivet the hangbar on site once you see what you are doing.
     
  10. Moze

    Moze Very Active Member

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    After looking at it more, I think you're right about it being SignComp. Good eye. It looked like fabricated retainers initially, but I believe you're correct.
     
  11. FS-Keith

    FS-Keith Active Member

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    Ill bet Im the only one who noticed the steel notched for the lamps. Some people never cease to amaze me anymore. How do people stay in this business building crap like that
     
  12. Moze

    Moze Very Active Member

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    I saw it also...This is why it's harder for the people who do things right to stay in business.
     
  13. DizzyMarkus

    DizzyMarkus Active Member

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    I thought that pretty funny myself and Im not even experienced. lol

    The slot for the face is 3/16" -- I remember this sign when it was working and it had a flat face-- it was just sometime ago. There are visible screws at one end and only one end-- of which one is missing in the middle on both sides-- presuming this is where the faces slide in. The opposite end does not have the same hardware that the "removelable end" does at the corners. The "removeable end" appears to have small 90's that will keep the frame together once the end cap is off and inside of where the face will go--thus being hidden.The frames 45's are all tight except for the one end as well. Anyone have a photo disassembled frame? The cabinet size is just under 5'x10'.

    KEITH -- it is very low -- I can reach everything from a 3' step :0)
    thank you so much,
    Markus
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  14. Moze

    Moze Very Active Member

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    SignComp has exploded views of their products in their catalogs and on their website. The corner pieces are called 'keys'.

    There's really not much to this. Two faces cut to size, take the retainer apart, insert the new faces, good to go. Implementing a hanger bar will help eliminate faces breaking or blowing out. It should be one piece and you can use VHB tape, rivets or Lords adhesive (or similar) to attach it to the faces. If you have .187" tracks for the faces, you may want to use .125" material. You might want to snag a piece of .187" and see if it will fit. It's more money but being that low to the ground, I would go with as thick of a face as you can.
     
  15. FS-Keith

    FS-Keith Active Member

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    markus, you might just luck out. someone else who changed out the face might have not reinstalled the corner keys on one end for easier changout.
     
  16. DizzyMarkus

    DizzyMarkus Active Member

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    Moze -- thank you for the help -- it measured 1/4" exactly so I figured 3/16", the tracks are clean and unbent. It really doesnt seem to be to difficult to do --

    KEITH -- I am thinking the same way -- looks like someone didnt put the middle screws in for ease of changeability or had planned on returning to do the new ones :0) I will prolly go take it apart first to make sure as the facility is empty right now.

    I got looking at Sabic polyemer and dont see a sheet of Lexon 60x120 :smile:

    I'll give them a ring today.

    thank you greatly,
    Markus
     
  17. FS-Keith

    FS-Keith Active Member

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    a material supplier will be able to cut it off a 64" reel
     
  18. DizzyMarkus

    DizzyMarkus Active Member

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    Wow -- small update

    The electrician went by and checked it out. It has had no faces in it for some time. All the sockets, wiring and ballest are bad and need to be replaced. $1800 to replace everything with HID stuff. I have a call out to wholesalesigncabinets.com for a price on a new cabinet all together. Must be compareable hu? Wow Electrical is expensive :0)

    Markus
     
  19. jfiscus

    jfiscus Adobe Shinobi

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    That must be one expensive ballast or electrician. A local sign supply company here sells bulbs for under $10 ea and sockets even cheaper than that...
     
  20. Moze

    Moze Very Active Member

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    He said replacing it with HID stuff though...converting everything for metal halide would definitely jack the price up.
     
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