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Need tips on HDU

Discussion in 'Hand Made Signs' started by appstro, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. appstro

    appstro Verboten

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    I may be doing my first HDU sign in a part of town that requires a hand carved or hand carved look in any sign that is placed. I am pretty excited about this as it appears to be a high margin type of work. But I am also worried that, well,....it'll be alot of work! :) I was hoping to get some information on what tools I will need, where to get the best pricing on HDU and whats the best procedure for post mounting the sign. HDU seems pretty weak for just mounting to posts, but since I have never used it, I have no real idea. Can you guys direct me to any resources? Books, DVD's, forums, websites, etc...that may shed some light on the subject for me?
     
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  2. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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  3. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    Buy it wholesale. Whether it's single or double face will determine the best fabrication/mounting method.
     
  4. appstro

    appstro Verboten

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    You mean have someone else do it? Are there no books or video how to's on this?
     
  5. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    Yep, I can do it by hand (I used to carve wood signs) and did a few times.
    Never again though. It's not economical or enjoyable, not for me anyhow.
    I sub out the carving to a CNC and then finish it myself.
     
  6. TammieH

    TammieH Very Active Member

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    I would suggest farming out as well, unless you "truly" want to get into this area of sign making...we use to make a lot of sandblasted and hand carved signs with SignFoam...it is easy to work with, but it is also a huge mess, dust and all...

    Do you have any experience with carving?

    Depends on what you are doing, you will need carving tools (chisels and or air rotatory carvers) palm sander, scroll saw. Gorilla Glue if you need to glue parts. A paint sealer/primer...

    Check with your local suppliers for literature ...do a Google search as well.
     
  7. Eric H

    Eric H Member

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    The first one you make shouldn't be for a customer practice on your own stuff first. Just because they are more expensive doesn't mean that they are higher margin. They take alot more time, knowledge and equipment to do them right.
     
  8. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

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    100% correct!
     
  9. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

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    I see on your website, you have a 6 color Heidelberg press ($$$$$ sweet), and in your profile you list a versacamm & a 24" cutter (not so "high end" stuff). I'm going to assume that somewhere along the line, you decided that "signmaking" was a nice fit for your existing printing business........probably so.

    But now you want to read a book or watch a video on how to carve a sign? I believe your first post, you were concerned it was going to be a lot of WORK?

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news.......but not everying in the sign business is as easy as, "HIT PRINT".
    I wish you the best, and post some pictures when your done. :toasting:
     
  10. Whit

    Whit Member

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    Here's your basic tools on carving,,,
    I've found power tools can get you into
    trouble pretty quick,, so I prefer the old
    school hand tools,, they stop when you
    want them to stop,, but to each his own !!!
     

    Attached Files:

  11. SD&F

    SD&F Very Active Member

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    Good Luck. Making HDU carved signs is a skill and it is work. If they are done properly, they are absolutely beautiful. If done half hazardly, it will look terrible.

    Practice, Practice, Practice
     
  12. appstro

    appstro Verboten

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    Thanks for your input everyone. I love this place :) Looks like I DO need to outsource this job. Any recommendations on wholesale vendors?

    Skyhigh are you angry with me? No I dont have a Heidelberg. LOL...:ROFLMAO: I worked in the commercial printing industry for 15 years as a prepress technician and I know just about every aspect there is to know of it. In 2010 I left the industry because its getting pretty bad honestly with the ipads and the internet. Technology has hit printing very hard, companies are spending their advertising on digital mediums now... So I am doing sign work, but I also offer printing because I know the trade and local shops so well. The transition to signs is pretty convenient because I know all the same graphics apps and worked with my dad as a teen hand panting lettering. I am well aware that there is no "hit print" anywhere.

    I would love to learn all I can about the sign business. You guys are the closest thing I have to "mentors". Thanks again for all your advice, I really do appreciate it:U Rock:
     
  13. k.a.s.

    k.a.s. Very Active Member

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    If you want to hand carve it, then carve it. Cut a pattern on your plotter and reverse weed it then stick it on the HDU and v-carve away. But yes, it is a lot of work and it may not come out great the first time but you won't learn unless you try.

    That said, does it have to be "carved" or just dimensional? Because if it just has to have dimension, then take a flat piece of HDU (maybe add a nice routed edge) and then cut letters out to mount on top of it. Also a lot of work, but looks nicer I think.

    Kevin
     
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