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outdoor sign questions (vinyl on plex)

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by cleanslatedesign, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. cleanslatedesign

    cleanslatedesign New Member

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    Hello-

    I am doing a 7x12 foot backlit sign with 2 faces. I am handling the sign, they are handling the install. Currently, it is one sheet per side, but the client wants to split into 2 sections, one above the other, so they will be installing a channel to divide them, they are going to figure out the sizes, but I know the upper face will be larger.

    I am ordering new plex, as theirs is old and yellow and looks pretty hacked around the edges. How much space, if any, should I allow for expansion and contraction of the plex? The sign will hold a 7x12 foot sheet exactly and has 2 inch trim all the way around. The current plex in there looks like it was cut slightly undersize. It's hard to tell because the cuts are very wavy, like they cut it with a jigsaw, freehand while on a boat in rough seas...

    For the graphics, I am using 3m 3630 trans vinyl and wanted to know if there is a need to use a Sealit pen around the edges. Non of my jobs have called for it before, but this is a large and expensive project and I want it to last and look as good as possible.

    For prep, I plan to wash the plex with water with a bit of dish soap to remove any oils from handling and manufacturing. and let it sit for a few days before I apply anything.

    Those are the big question I have now, I'm sure more will come up as I get more into it. Thanks for any tips or advice!

    Ron
     
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  2. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    1/8 inch is all you will need. But with a 2" track it wont matter .. As the wavey cutting from before demonstrates. But a nice straight edge would show more professionalism.
    No seal it is needed.
    Do not wash with soap and water. Why do you want to add that which will reduce durability?
    Washing is not necessary just remove the liner.
     
  3. cleanslatedesign

    cleanslatedesign New Member

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    Thanks for the fast response!

    Is that 1/8 inch off the total size? (so the 144 inch side would be 143 7/8?)
     
  4. ChicagoGraphics

    ChicagoGraphics Major Contributor

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    After romoving the liner, go over it with a tack cloth
     
  5. Geary

    Geary Very Active Member

    I usually find it best with signs this size to go with 3/16" or 1/4" thick plex and cut them 1/2" (one half) undersize for the fit all the way around. So, cut your plex 83.5 X 143.5. :thumb:

    ~Gear
     
  6. cleanslatedesign

    cleanslatedesign New Member

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    Thanks. I was planning on the 3/16" thick plex with that cut size initially, to allow for any expansion as well as just to make it easier to get in there. Seems like I'm on track.

    Any advice on the Sealit pen?
     
  7. Geary

    Geary Very Active Member

    For just regular translucent vinyl....I've never had a problem with the edges curling up. I usually lay everything out butt fit in the shop standing perfectly square on some thick angle iron...like a full 12 to whatever length you'd like...sitting on the floor.

    Then I tape the back of the plex together at the seam while it's square on it's bottom weight bearing edge. This is where you'll find out if the seam is perfectly square or not as well :wink:. That way, you guys can pick it up to set flat on a large shop table or lean it against the wall for your install of the graphics.

    Cut the graphic down the seam. Cut the graphics to within, oh...a 1/4" or so of the edges where they go into the 2" retainer. Pull the tape of the back...load the job....and go put that sucker up....and GET PAID! :thumb:

    ~G.
     
  8. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    I would also undercut about 1/2" total in each direction.

    As far as cleaning, no need to wash with soap and water, but after removing the protective wrap, wiping it down with alcohol will only help.

    Don't edge seal with the pen. Using translucent vinyls will be enough. :thumb:
     
  9. Geary

    Geary Very Active Member

    Well, Gino ol' buddy....looks like no one can say we're not on the "same page". LOL :tongue: Posted it exactly at the same minute. :thumb:

    ~G.
     
  10. cleanslatedesign

    cleanslatedesign New Member

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    Cool, Thanks again Guys, much appreciated advice.
     
  11. Geary

    Geary Very Active Member

    No problemo bud. Man, don't you just LOVE the money that is made on face replacements? I sure do! :thumb:

    ~Gear
     
  12. cleanslatedesign

    cleanslatedesign New Member

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    Ha, yeah, these are big $. Lots of potential in AZ too. You can drive down any street and see at least 1 that needs replacement per block. The sun cooks em good.
     
  13. cleanslatedesign

    cleanslatedesign New Member

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    Noticed I missed everything after "1/8 inch is all you will need" in your reply, Techman. Sorry to ask redundant questions after you answered, ha.
     
  14. cleanslatedesign

    cleanslatedesign New Member

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    Got another question. How do you guys handle things that taper to a sharp point? I usually go back and round them off. Is there a minimum width I should try to stay above?

    Thanks.
     
  15. Geary

    Geary Very Active Member

    "taper to a sharp point"......mmmm? Not sure what you're referring to.

    "Is there a minimum width I should try to stay above?" ....I'm sorry again bro....I'm not following you here either. I'm kinda dense in my old age...:tongue:

    ~Gear
     
  16. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    I have heard that it is important to let the plexi outgas for a day or so after unpeeling the masking to avoid bubbling of your vinyl.
    I think the Sealit pen would only add weird shadows around the edges of your letters.
    Love....Jill
     
  17. JS

    JS Member

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    Outdoor signs

    We build 20 to 25 of these signs per month. The best thing is to peal the liner off right before you apply the vinyl as to not allow much of a build up of dust. Also wiping it with a tack cloth is a good idea. No need to out gas. On times we have used lexan we have had to out gas it. For signs that are 12 feet long you are best to use acrasteel. It comes from a roll and is much stronger than regular plexi. I'm not even sure regular plexi will come in 12' long as we would never use it in a 12' sign so I never tried to order it. Regular translucent vinyl will be OK without sealing the edges.
    :France:
     
  18. cleanslatedesign

    cleanslatedesign New Member

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    Sorry Geary, that is confusing. I was referring to things like stars that end in a sharp point. I usually round them off if they are really tapered, so the tips don't lift. I think I'm being over paranoid with this 3m vinyl, I usually work with the intermediate grade stuff.

    Thanks again everyone for all the advice.
     
  19. Geary

    Geary Very Active Member

    Good Idea

    Oh, no....that's okay, I see your point (pun intended :tongue: ) and that is a good idea...go ahead and round 'em off a little bit...why not? The dull points won't show from a distance anyhow. :thumb:

    ~Gear
     
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