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How to speed up Channel letter Production

Discussion in 'Electric Signs & Channel Letters' started by SfSD, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. SfSD

    SfSD Member

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    Jul 30, 2013
    Oceanside CA
    I currently use a CNC router to make backs and faces, nails to do the trim and bend by hand. This works but the volume and the time it takes is starting to be a problem. I have 2 questions:


    - I would like a flexible channel letter bender. I do not need a heavy duty hard to program unit that is designed for massive capacity. I also do not need a light weight unit. So I think the Accu-bend Ace is too light weight, the Model 26 is about right. What other brands and models would work? I am cheap, and ideas about used machines?

    - I am using nails on plywood to do trim cap. I would like to be trimcaping (spelling) faster. Would magnets help? How can I trim cap faster?


    Thanks
     
  2. SfSD

    SfSD Member

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    Jul 30, 2013
    Oceanside CA
    Just would like to check on this - Nobody, in a sign form, has any comment about a channel letter question?
     
  3. GVP

    GVP Premium Subscriber

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    Nov 11, 2005
    Swift Current, SK
    Steel sheet as a table, and magnets to hold the trimcap in place is the way to go.
     
  4. SfSD

    SfSD Member

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    Jul 30, 2013
    Oceanside CA
    Thank you all. I am working on many of the suggestions THANK YOU

    I would like to know if anybody knows or a program that cuts returns out of sheet metal? I understand this notches and scribes at the bends.

    Does anybody do this???
     
  5. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Sep 28, 2017
    Arkansas
    I am sorry that I'm late to the party but that is exactly how we produce our channel letters. We have an ancient piece of software called ReturnRoute by Arete. It generates tabs and lines and places them on separate layers for easy transfer to cnc programs. We had a terrible time about a year ago when our old windows laptop that had been registered (copy this token, email off to arete, receive text to copy into program, profit) after we realized arete was GONE, and therefore we could not email off a code or do anything. Luckily I found a guy who used to work for them and he hooked me up. (I can give you his contact info if you are interested in purchasing his software, or see if he wants me to distribute it for free, as the program he sent us does not require registration.)
    I was wondering if I was the only guy on this middle section of road, not using an accubend but not doing it totally by hand!
     
  6. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

    4,397
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    Feb 3, 2010
    Racine, WI
    I run the Accubend Model 26. It rocks. totally worth the $$$. Gemini actually runs a fleet of these for their
    There's options out there that will do the notching and bend marks, while the bending is done by hand, but if you're spending the $$$ then you may as well just get the machine that bends it for you.

    noted: you need to be somewhat computer savy, with emphasis on node-editing. this machine will do the work for you, but you need to do some CAD design/prep work to assure proper fit & avoid collisions.
     
  7. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

    4,397
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    Feb 3, 2010
    Racine, WI
    let me guess, you're also drilling & popping rivots by hand? sooooo 2004. get a clincher, invaluable. THERE is your timesaver, if anything else.

    nails are just as fast as magnets for trim capping. i know people who actually prefer nails, because the table surface is less likely to scratch the faces/trim of your final product. we use magnets, however. if you go that route, get the magnets with the handles... they're rough on your hands when constantly having to move/remove/reposition.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
  8. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

    89
    15
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    Sep 28, 2017
    Arkansas
    We actually have a 'red staple machine' to fasten the returns to the backs. Works great, unless the letter is over 60", then you have to have a second guy to help hold the back level and pull the return tight. Then we are using nails for the trim cap, and nothing but channelbond for the gluing.
     
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