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Sign cabinet frame question

Discussion in 'Tips & Tricks' started by sinclairgraphics1, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. sinclairgraphics1

    sinclairgraphics1 Sinclair Graphics & Installations

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    Des Moines, IA
    Is there a general formula for a sign cabinet retainer to get the true dimension of the sign face you are changing out? When I measure them, I measure the whole cabinet then subtract about 1/2" from each side to give a little bit of play for the sign face to fit properly in the retainers of the cabinet. Obviously you could pop out the side piece of the frame but just curious if there's tried and true method.
     
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  2. jsmoritz2000

    jsmoritz2000 Very Active Member

    There is a tried and true method and it's the one you just mentioned. Remove the retainer, slide the panel over enough to get both horizontal and vertical measurements and there you have it, a perfect fit. I see no reason to do it any other way, aside from laziness.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
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  3. KMC

    KMC Graphic Artist

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    if you have the measurements of the frame and its one of the following you can use the following:
    EX7 frame: 3/4" off the width 1" off the height
    EX12 frame: 3/8" off the width 3/8" off the height
     
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  4. Evan Gillette

    Evan Gillette New Member

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    From what experience I have (not a ton) there are large variations in retainer design and panel clearance from manufacturer to manufacturer and even from sign to sign with the same manufacturer. Obviously the best replication is to measure the existing panel as you mentioned. Most manufacturers have a blurb about calculating "visible area" with their extrusions. So if you know the manufacturer of the cabinet you should be able to work backwards. It will only take one mistake though and you will measure every time, ask me how I know...
     
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  5. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    I always slide the panel PLUS a good thing about sliding it out is if its fitting very tight you will know to take about 1/4" off your new panel
     
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  6. sinclairgraphics1

    sinclairgraphics1 Sinclair Graphics & Installations

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    Des Moines, IA
    Yes, that's the way to go except when you are out doing estimates and don't have your lift/bucket with you. When using a ladder and you're up 15'-20', you cannot pull a 5'x10' sign out safely.
     
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  7. signbrad

    signbrad Member

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    Kansas City
    Always measure the plastic. Guessing is risky.
    Also, large faces on many better-built signs will have hanging bars. You don't want a hanging bar to be a surprise when you are ready to install just because you didn't want to take the time to pull retainers when surveying.

    In addition, if the sign was built the traditional way (angle iron frame with an aluminum skin), dimensions can vary considerably from standard "knock-down" kit dimensions. Lamp lengths have not always determined sign dimensions. For example, cabinets that were built to fit between existing poles may have been sized to fit the space exactly. Lamps were then fitted to the cabinet by adjusting the height of hat sections or even overlapping lamps. When overlapping lamps, you can put an opaque lamp sleeve over one of the lamps at the overlap to prevent a "hot spot."
    If U-lamps were used, a cabinet size can vary for that reason as well.

    Obviously, a custom-shaped face should be brought back to the shop to use as a template.

    Brad
    Cold in Kansas City
     
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  8. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    New England
    "Yes, that's the way to go except when you are out doing estimates and don't have your lift/bucket with you. When using a ladder and you're up 15'-20', you cannot pull a 5'x10' sign out safely" Which is when you guesstimate the size and include the cost for a return trip to pull the faces in the quote, at which time you can also check out the fixtures and maybe get a service call out of the deal too.
     
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  9. Joe House

    Joe House Active Member

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    WA
    If you're just estimating, does that 1/2" or so in each dimension really make that much of a difference? Base your estimate off of the entire cabinet size.
     
  10. 2B

    2B Moderator

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    TX
    measure twice, cut once

    cabinets have too many variables to be "guessing" the size(s)
     
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