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First Time Sign Builder

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by storks, Oct 1, 2006.

  1. storks

    storks New Member

    Oct 1, 2006
    We are expanding our business into yard signs, building storks for baby announcements. These will be about 6' tall and will need to be painted or stickered to show designs, company name, baby name etc...

    Can anyone make recommendations on what type of material to use for the storks? I have done a bit of research on materials, from what I can find I am torn between plywood and PVC board. I could also use some advice on the best form of lettering- paint or vinyl.

  2. wsteely7

    wsteely7 Member

    May 11, 2006
    PVC would probably last longer for repeated use. doing a search on this forum should turn up some good results, good luck
  3. storks

    storks New Member

    Oct 1, 2006
    I am a first timer, I will look into the search. What do you recommend for lettering on PVC board? Will paint adhere to PVC or would I have to use Vinyl?
  4. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    one of my freinds "down under" cuts out and hand paints xmas yard art.....you know santa, reindeer, snowmen, etc. and i sorta rememder he said he did these on HEAVY DUTY MASONITE...... and he sells a bunch of these every year.
  5. SignMan Sez

    SignMan Sez Member

    Jan 2, 2006
    Krylon Fusion spray paint should adhere okay. I've put MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone) sparingly in OneShot paints and lettered on PVC with reasonable success, however, with signs that will be moved fairly often and transported, vinyl would probably work best.
  6. technowolf

    technowolf Member

    Mar 1, 2006
    what is your primary business ??
  7. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

    Nov 29, 2003
    Kahului, Maui
    We have a Flamingo announcement specialist here... maybe she will add some info :thumb:
  8. storks

    storks New Member

    Oct 1, 2006
    Stork Rental

    Our primary business will be stork rentals. We are looking for a material that will hold up to New England weather. I am hearing about Dibond and Alumilite. I want something durable that is also cost effective.
  9. SignMan Sez

    SignMan Sez Member

    Jan 2, 2006
    Definately DiBond over Alumalite. I've seen Alumalite (& Econolite) delaminate on the edges, and it dents twice as easy as DiBond.
    I'd use 1/2" MDO if the stork is cut out. Prime the edges good and finish coat with OneShot enamel. If it's a painted image it will be easy to touch up every six months or so.
    My friend in Chicago opened a storefront Hot Dog/Sub Sandwich shop, which has a 'superhero' theme. We did a cut out of "SubDog" with 1/2" exterior plywood, hinged a 2" X 2" at the top on the back to create an easel effect. We then affixed a heavy duty bungee cord up at the top and hooked it into a dog's "corkscrew" chain holder that was screwed into the ground. The simple setup was amazingly sturdy, and held up great in the wind, and could be brought in at night to guard against vandalism.
    If you want a schematic of the design, PM or e-mail me. It was my design, and my friend won't mind me sharing it.
  10. Kerrylim

    Kerrylim Member

    Aug 29, 2006
    You also want to make sure it is light enough to handle in and out of your delivery vehicle. You may already know about the Lawn Greetings forum. If not, you should check it out. Lots of folks who are already in the business who wil be happy to share what they had learned.
  11. Ken

    Ken Major Contributor

    Feb 7, 2005
    I'd go with 1/2 inch PVC panels and good quality vinyl. No edge prep or sealing. The pvc cuts out easily with an electric saw. No delam issues.
    When you need to revise text/image..easy
    If your "stork" has widespread feet you may wish to have some kind of crossbar between the legs ( no matter what material you are using)
    I like the idea of the corkscrew anchor someone else mentioned.
    The Krylon Fusion paint works well on plastics , but you still need to create a stencil, unless you are hand painting.
    PVC+ good vinyl..that's my .02
    Good luck!
    Oh..welcome to signs 101!
  12. Geary

    Geary Very Active Member

    Definitely go with 1/2" "good 2-sides" MDO. I've done some Christmas cut outs 25 years ago and they still look great. Working with real sign board wood is the best in that it won't dent up or snap off in the extreme conditions. Plus, it's the most shop tool friendly thing on the planet. :thumb:

  13. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

    Dec 24, 2003
    Butler, PA
    I always use A/C exterior plywood for yard ornaments.
    Prime with Latex, draw on your shapes, cut with a jigsaw, sand the edges, then paint with 1-Shot or Ronan Lettering enamels.
    I've found that my jigsaw leaves a smoother edge if I cut from the wrong side of the wood.
    Alumalite would have odd edges, PVC will shatter in the cold.
    Both cost a lot more than plywood too.
    Besides that, folks like to have that handmade look on this type of thing.
    I think, tho, with that baby abduction last month, that many people will be leery of advertising a new birth.
    I'd stick to Halloween, Christmas, or Patriotic themes for awhile.
  14. Checkers

    Checkers Very Active Member

    Jul 24, 2003
    Hiya Storks and welcome aboard.
    I would suggest that you follow Geary or Jill's advice and go with painted plywood or MDO.
    Beyond that, you may want to inquire with a local sign shop to build them for you. This way you can focus on growing your business and the sign maker can make you a great sign.

  15. JoySigns

    JoySigns Member

    Jan 21, 2004
    Lincoln ne
    To follow up with Jill's line of caution. These ornaments are easy for pranksters to steal. We had a nice 6 foot tall stork that we made out of sign ply and it was Edge printed, we also had the steel frame custom built for it. It was stolen from a yard the third time is was rented. Maybe you could install a gps locator in it to keep track of the location! If the ground freezes in the winter that can be problematic too. I don't want to discourage you, just want to make you aware of these possiblities
  16. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

    Mar 25, 2006
    Mars Florida
    Be careful about PVC up north. It can shatter in freezing climates. MDO is about the best finish and durability although alumalite would work well too. All of mine are done with 10 mil coroplex.
  17. ENTDesign

    ENTDesign Very Active Member

    May 12, 2005

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