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First time acrylic letter install

Discussion in 'Installation Equipment & Techniques' started by Stacey K, Sep 29, 2020.

  1. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    I gave the city a "general" quote some time back for some acrylic letters with the understanding they wanted to install. They want to go ahead so I need a more specific quote and now I'm installing - first time. 19 letters, one line - location pic attached. They needed to match some other letters on the building so we went with this...

    black acrylic, 6" tall, 3/4" thick.
    Ordering from Gemini.

    Question: I get the combination stud on the top and pad on the bottom because of the vinyl siding, correct? Or do I get all studs? I should get the pattern and use a punch for the drill placement. I will have a handy person helping, just need to get the right mounting option. Does the pad get any adhesive like the stud? Please advise. Thank you!

    Edit: Do you typically charge per letter?
     

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  2. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    For that installation you could go all pad if they don't want holes in their vinyl siding. It's annoying because you have to adjust the lengths of all the pads to account for the different positions on the siding, and the siding is angled, not flat. You're depending on the silicone to fill the gap. When going to an all silicone attachment like that, you have to tape every letter in place after gluing it up until the silicone sets--which means going back a day later to take off the tape.

    With the combination mount you'll have at least one hole per letter but the advantage is it takes far less, or even no tape, to hold the letters still until the silicone sets. You still put silicone on all the pads including the one with the stud.

    I charge by the hour for installations. I include the time it takes to unpack the box, check the patterns, get the supplies, load up and drive to and from as well as the time onsite actually putting the letters up.
     
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  3. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    That is excellent information Unclebun! I like the combination option best. The location is only 4 blocks away so removing tape isn't really an issue. I will allow for unpacking and checking the pattern also, good point!
     
  4. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    The other letters are 3/4" thick laser cut? How are they attached? I hate drilling a bunch of holes in vinyl, but if that's what was done on the rest of them...
     
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  5. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Yeah, 3/4" would not work out well with silicone and tape to hold them until it sets. Definitely make penetrations on at least two points, preferably at the top, to hold the weight while the silicone sets up. I'd probably opt for plain studs, drill them all, mash them flat to the wall, then take a set back and see what needs to be tweaked. Usually you will just need to push the top of a couple of letters to get it looking nice.
    Make sure to not use a level, just align to the 'planks'
     
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  6. pjfmeister

    pjfmeister Member

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    I agree the letters will most likely be to heavy for silicone and tape only. I would go for stud mount only as suggested above. It will make your installation quicker and you will not have to worry about it when you walk away from the job.
     
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  7. Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay?

    Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay? Very Active Member

    You could do studs, flush studs, or combination mounts on a job like this. I love dimensional letter installations. They are pretty straight forward and simple to install. You have some great advice here. Gemini has tons of installation videos out there, probably still on Youtube, so I'd check them out, too. Best of luck.
     
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  8. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    It does look almost "fun" so I'm glad to have the opportunity to try this!

    I keep all these great links and copy and paste things when I see good advice or try things and I fail/succeed in my OneNote under "Tips and Tricks". Now I have a page for Dimensional Letters!
     
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  9. Reveal1

    Reveal1 Active Member

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    I would be tempted to sell them on the idea of mounting dimensional letters on a substrate. Much easier, fewer holes to mount a panel of ACM (perhaps rounded corners) to the siding and flush mount dimensional letters to the ACM. Would look far better IMHO.
     
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  10. 2B

    2B Very Active Member

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    how close are the other letters? Meaning, will the mew and old letters be able to be seen at the same time, will the color and finish match?
    if it is "true" match, need to know how the other letters are installed.

    agreed, too much weight for surface mount, need to have some studs on each letter
    my preference is to use the combination options, gives you the ability to adjust the letters so when viewed from the side, they are all on the same plane and perpendicular to the wall.

    before you start drilling, need to know what the wall depth is and what is under the wall.
    don't want to drill into the utilities or into the interior


    A "raceway" is easier to install since it is less drilling and alignment, but you have to know where there are structural anchor points to take the added weight
     
  11. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    This is great! I wish I had been taking the time over the years to write stuff down, rather than to get halfway through the wrong process to remember the correct way!
    But, just a note, not certain about others but I tend to call these 'flat cut' letters, dimensional is reserved for something that's either fabricated, or the injection molded ones from gemini. To clarify, I read this as a set of letters cut from a flat sheet of acrylic, 3/4" thick. If they are actually the hollow molded letters, you could get away with double stick and some silicone/lexel to set up. The stud example pic shows what I was imagining, flat cut letters.
     
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  12. Reveal1

    Reveal1 Active Member

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    Stacy, you sound like that 'perfect' student in high school who was always super-organized, got straight A's, and usually won 'smartest person' or some such award. I'll bet you are unfailingly optimistic as well. Aimless slugs like me who graduated in the middle third of the class were secretly jealous and went on to work in the sign business. Where did you go wrong? Seriously - I enjoy your contributions and that's a great idea.
     
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  13. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    Unfortunately, the only A+ I got was for "biggest hair" LOL
     
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