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Question How tough is HDU board?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by okeesignguy, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. okeesignguy

    okeesignguy Member

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    Mar 2, 2010
    Okeechobee, Florida
    I have a 3x6 HDU board 1 inch thick that has been engraved throughout 80% surface 1/2 inch deep...
    It seems very flimsy...almost fragile...
    I am very afraid of it breaking when I handle it...

    Just how breakable is this stuff...?
    I feel like I should stiffen it with something on the back like a full sheet of something or maybe some stringers of some sort...

    I don't have any pictures at this moment but will post a couple when I get to the shop this morning...

    Thank you :)
     
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  2. FatCat

    FatCat Very Active Member

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    Columbus, Ohio
    By itself, HDU is pretty strong, but on 1" material, where you've remove 1/2 of the depth, yes, it's going to be pretty flimsy. The biggest factor will be how it is to be mounted. Would probably be OK to do a wall mount or something with a completely solid surface behind it, but if you intend to hang or support it between posts you need to attach a backer to it. (Typically we use MDO, polymetal or aluminum cut to the same size and shape.)
     
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  3. okeesignguy

    okeesignguy Member

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    Mar 2, 2010
    Okeechobee, Florida
    I was considering backing it with a full size piece of signabond (because we have plenty laying around)
    However it is to be mounted on two posts so I am thinking is needs something stronger...something that can be screwed into like maybe three 1x4 boards across the back before painting...

    But I like the MDO idea and feel like that would add enough strength to actually bolt through...

    I have never worked with this stuff before but it sure seems as tho screws would strip out of it pretty easily so I would have to use some kind of adhesive like 3M 5200...?
     
  4. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    I use backer panel on HDU a lot. It the case you have described I would bond it to a backer panel and if it still feels a little wobbly use stringers to install.
     
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  5. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    PA
    Don't use it all that much, but when we do, it's usually 2" stock. With your situation, I'd definitely back it with 3/4" MDO and make sure you seal the edges real-ly good. Fill the voids and putty the whole edge all the way around. Give it at least two top coats and give the edges a coat every time you do the faces, which should give them at least 4 coats. Do this before you fasten it to the main sign. Once you have it glued and screwed fast, give the edges another coat.
     
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