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need help on large outdoor sign

Discussion in 'Electric Signs & Channel Letters' started by shirtsource, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. shirtsource

    shirtsource Member

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    Feb 25, 2007
    I an going to try and build my first large outdoor lighted sign. I need help on design of the structure and the foundation. I am a very good welder and my partner is a electrician to do the wiring. I need to get a name of a good supplier of outdoor backlit materials and I need some guidence on the best way to build it. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Brian
     
    Tags:
  2. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    Most signs need to be UL approved! How do you plan on getting that done!
     
  3. SignTech

    SignTech Guest

    it's usually better to just get a ul listed built box ......
     
  4. cgsigns_jamie

    cgsigns_jamie Very Active Member

    Then you need an ENGINEER.

    Are you licensed and insured to install large signs like these?
     
  5. shirtsource

    shirtsource Member

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    We live in the middle of no where so we are not required to have UL approved signs this is going on my land so I dont have to have a license. I have been wanting to do this for some time now. I need to know what size metal to use on the structure and how much fondation. If I cant get the info I will just overkill everything. I can probably save some money If I knew exactly what size stuff I will need.

    Thanks,

    Brian
     
  6. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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  7. insignia

    insignia Very Active Member

    You actually technically are required to be UL listed, doesn't matter if you live in the middle of nowhere or if it's going on your property, FYI. And you really need an enginner to figure your footer properly/safely/to code. If you're not worried about an inspecor ever seeing or actually inspecting the sign and are doing this as an experiment, that's one thing, go ahead I guess, but don't try to sell a sign to the general public without going through the proper channels and procedures.

    That said, for your first cabinet, I'd just buy a knockdown kit from someone and assembl it yourself. If you want to source the components individually, there alot of sign vendors who sell Signcomp extrusions, sheet aluminum and acrylic, and all of the electrial components you'll need.

    For what to use on the structure/foundation (I assume you mean the pole and footer), that all depends on how big/high the sign is...
     
  8. shirtsource

    shirtsource Member

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    this is just an experiment to make sure that it is something that I want to do before I go and spend money to get into doing it. I need the size on the main pole and the footer the sign is going to be 6 X 12 main board with a 3 X 6 board under with a 20' overall height
     
  9. insignia

    insignia Very Active Member

    If you plan on putting 90 s.f. 20' in the air, on you property or not, you need to do yourself a favor and pay an engineer a couple hundred bucks to figure the footer and pole size for you. If you want to experiment, experiment the way you'd actually have to do the job if a customer were paying you. That is no noke of an experimental sign.
     
  10. shirtsource

    shirtsource Member

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    Feb 25, 2007
    thats what I want to do but I dont know where to go to get that done.

    Thanks,

    Brian
     
  11. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    Look in the yellow pages under Structural Engineers.
    And get out your checkbook.
     
  12. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    yep :thumb: and as for making it, I would, as has already been said, try out a signcomp kit - they are fairly simple to put together and can be ordered custom
     
  13. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Many signs have been built by people experimenting and others that just plain cut corners and not do things by the rules and laws of the land.

    There's no sense lecturing you... you already know all the answers except how to build this thing, but suffice it to say.... you not understanding the law does not give you the right to build it illegally. You get one storm through your backwoods land and knock that thing down and you don't have it up to code.... you'll be doing a lot more than experimenting.... especially if that sign comes crashing down and starts a fire and takes a life or two. Do you really think your insurance company is going to back you..... breaking laws, not getting proper specs and probably not even having insurance for it in the first place ??

    When venturing into an unknown.... it usually pays to listen to good suggestions
    and try to do it correctly, rather than learn to do something wrong and learn bad habits from the gitgo.
     
  14. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    Practice making a monument sign, that way when it falls over it won't have so far to go.
    Pole signs need to be engineered, not something for one man shops to even try. As far as a UL listing,
    we don't need them here, but the wiring has to be done by a licesed electrician.
    That is why I paid a for a license every 24 months.
     
  15. ggsigns

    ggsigns Member

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    I don't have my charts in front of me but I'd guess you need at least an 8"-10" steel pole with a 2' diameter footing 10ft deep. For a sign that size forget the extrusion kits you need a welded steel frame with internal bracing and .063 aluminum skin. A licensed electrician may be needed to connect to power but that doesn't mean squat when building the sign. It is a violation of the OSHA act (stupid, I know but that's the law) to manufacture any electrical device that does not comply with the standards of a recognized testing lab. For signs the standard is UL48 and you must show compliance through UL or MET Labs, the only labs recognized by OSHA for sign certification.
     
  16. smeare

    smeare New Member

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    You can build it out of an aluminum extrusion kit. We do it all the time. But I would definitely get an engineer for your footing. They will be able to tell you what size pipe and footer will be needed at that height for the wind load in your region.
     
  17. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    to understand the size of the footer, you need to find the total weight of the sign, and make the footer/base to at least the same weight(as sign) for every 5 foot of highth. and you also need to figure WIND LOAD on that size of sign, and to have(add more weight to base) it withstand the winds you get where you live. here in fl, at my house, its 140 MPH WIND LOAD...........on any structure. the futher inland we go......the less the wind load. so you really need to find out for your LOCAL GOVT whath the WIND LOAD is for your area.
     
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