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HDU Questions :)

Discussion in 'CNC Routing & Laser Cutting' started by andy, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. andy

    andy Active Member

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    Aug 19, 2004
    Hi,

    I am trying to find out more about high density urethane in sign manufacture. I am in the UK and this material and process is not very widely used here.

    I don't know very much about this area of sign making. I do know that HDU needs to be sealed and that it comes in various densities.

    I would like to get into this type of sign manufacture but I am having great trouble finding information on techniques and processes- I'm even struggling to find a UK supplier of the blank sheets :(

    Any help from you guys in the states would be very welcome.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
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  2. Dennis Raap

    Dennis Raap Active Member

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    Andy,

    There are several different manufactures in the US one is SignFoam a few years ago when I wanted to start using HDU I purchased a book from them I answered a ton of questions it actually runs through building a sign built from HDU start to finish.

    http://www.signfoam.com/index.html

    I you have questions fire away if I can help I will.
     
  3. andy

    andy Active Member

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    Aug 19, 2004
    Dennis,

    Thanks for that mate. I have been slogging away at this end and I think I've found a supplier of the material over here in England- would have been helpful if they called it by the same name but it's called something completley different over here :)

    I'm going to give the book a bash.

    I have been looking at some of the stuff you guys in the US have made from this stuff and it looks super. As I said you just don't see the product advertised in the trade channels over here.

    We are facing a huge rise in competition- cheap plotters and printers don't help :(. I'm working out a plan to go in a different direction- HDU could be just the ticket :)

    Thanks for your help- I will be taking you up on the offer of advice when the info from the suppliers turns up :)

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  4. SignRover

    SignRover Member

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    I used Jay Cooke's All-Purpose Sign Primer on HDU this week. Definitely the best HDU primer I've tried so far.
     
  5. andy

    andy Active Member

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    Aug 19, 2004
    Hi guys,

    Well, I've had mixed results in my quest for an HDU type material. I've been speaking to a possible supplier over here. i can get a product that we think is the same as HDU. It only comes in 100mm thickness and the sheet size is a pathetic 1500mm x 750mm- I was expecting 8 x 4 at a minimum :( This supplier drew a blank when i asked about the HDU high bodied primers and specialist adhesives that I've seen on US suppliers websites.

    I've got a choice whether to go with the UK supplier or work out a deal with a US supplier and ship the supplies direct to me.

    I can see the potential in HDU I'm just not sure what I can fdo with it as a base material. On the US sites I've seen there have been lots of ranch and house/ family name signs- this market doesn't exist here. I'm wondering what else HDU can be used for? I was thinking of carved/ speciality retail signage and chunky dimensional lettering??

    If you guys can give me an idea of the type of things you have used HDU for I would love to hear from you- if there are plenty of applications for HDU it will help me decide whether to go to the expense of shipping all the bits and bobs across the Atlantic. If I do I'll be working blind so expect me on here asking loads of questions :)

    The one thing that worries me slightly is that in all the yeas I've been working in the sign business I've not seen one HDU sign in this country? are there any pitfalls that I'm not getting or do you think it's a question of tastes?

    Anyway- it could be an interesting project for me- any help you can give would be great.

    Cheers
     
  6. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Sep 11, 2003
    Olympia, WA
    Sounds like a great distribution opportunity there Andy.

    Bring it in and distribute to others. Create the market.
     
  7. jimdes

    jimdes Active Member

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    Dec 10, 2003
    Don't know if you have these or not?

    Andy,
    Try this link: links

    I've linked to a list of plastics companies in your area (Poole). Ask for High Density Urethane foam sheeting. Let me know how you make out.
     
  8. Dennis Raap

    Dennis Raap Active Member

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    Andy,

    One of the reasons that HDU is used is that it does not take on moisture like wood does and so paint adheres better. I have been using it a couple of years now so I am sort of new at it my self but so far I like using it.

    I was thinking the same thing as Fred when you mentioned it was hard to find. :smile:
     
  9. andy

    andy Active Member

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    Aug 19, 2004
    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the speedy replies :) JimDes- cheers for the links- there are quite a few plastic companies on that list I recognise. I have been asking all the suppliers I can think of for HDU and everyone says "dunno what you're on about mate".

    I got some samples today for what I think is an HDU type material- its called M something something D. I comes in 4 different densities and various sheet sizes- as I mentioned before 1.5m x 750mm isnt something I was very keen on but I will work round it for now :) This stuff is Creamy coloured and has a slight sandpaper feel to the surface- from the research I've done this sounds like an HDU property. This stuff is marketed to the display industry so we should be on the right track.

    Fred- I was thinking the same as you :) The whole reason HDU interests me is that the market here is wide open :)

    Guys- thanks a million you have been great :)

    I will keep you posted on my progress- I will post piccies of my very first HDU style sign in the next few weeks- I'm ordering my big test panels this morning :)

    Cheers everyone :)
     
  10. Dennis Raap

    Dennis Raap Active Member

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    Andy,

    One thing that is very important using HDU is to be sure and get all the dust off before painting. I take the HDU and get as much duat off as I can then I take a water hose and spray it off let it dry and you are good to go.

    :smile:
     
  11. jimdes

    jimdes Active Member

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    Dec 10, 2003
    Dennis,
    If you get a garden sprayer, you don't have to haul the hose out. Just fill, pump and spray. It doesn't use as much water and with a little practice you can use it like a brush and "sweep" away the particles. Once you've cleaned the surface, a wet/dry shop·vac is all you need for cleanup.
     
  12. Dennis Raap

    Dennis Raap Active Member

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    Thanks for the tip :smile:
     
  13. dccas

    dccas Member

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    Oct 16, 2003
    I use a high pressured air hose and blow it off, just be careful
    of the dust...

    I've also carved a skeleton of a Texas long horn steer head to scale,
    (approx 72" long), golfers, and many animal portraits for
    signs so it's a great product....just very porous
     
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