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Wood signage

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Pideas, Apr 10, 2019.

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  1. Pideas

    Pideas Member

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    I'm new to producing wood signage. I have a job to print a 4x8ft wood sign for a real estate client. I currently use 1/2" painted one side MDO (RTG). I print onto 3M IJ35C and mount to the wood.

    I'm wondering if I'm using the correct wood material. I can choose from MDO (unpainted/unprimed), MDO primed, or MDO painted one side/two side. Since I'm mounting vinyl to the wood, is there one preferred material that I should use?

    Also, if i use the MDO painted one side material, should I be mounting to the painted side or the unpainted side?
     
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  2. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    Are you having issues with the way you are doing it? We prefer composite materials.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    Mount to painted side but like above I do not use MDO anymore and stick with ACM for all real estate work.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. Pideas

    Pideas Member

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    We haven't had any issues when mounting to the unpainted side of the MDO board. Since one side is painted and the other has the vinyl, we figure it would last longer in the elements.

    We have used ACM as well but we get a lot more request for the MDO/wood. We normally use what the client prefers. I didn't realize folks were using more ACM these days over MDO for this type of signage.
     
  5. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    I just don't like the prep work on the edges and I always sand and put a good coat of enamel on before I apply vinyl. The ACM is ready to go without any prep. I do like the look of MDO on real estate signs over ACM though.
     
  6. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    You want your wood painted both sides as equally as possible. The quality of wood and paints today are kinda poor, at best. Therefore, you want to create the same tension on both sides. When using MDO, generally get unpainted. Then, we'll fill all the voids along the edge and then primer it.... top, bottom and all four edges. When dried, put a top coat on both sides and all four edges. When that thoroughly dries, scare up the paint (very lightly sand), tack it and then give a second coat of top coat. When that's dry, you have a pretty good piece of material for outdoor use.

    However, it takes a lotta time, effort and extra paint and elbow grease to get what you get right off the bat from ACM boards. Get the 10mm stuff and it's about equal to 1/2" MDO. oh, and it's much lighter in weight.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. henryz

    henryz Member

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  8. shoresigns

    shoresigns Very Active Member

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    Wood signs are for clients that want a wood finish. If you're printing and applying to a substrate, you should probably be using coro/pvc/acm.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

    You need to REALLY, REALLY, REALLY seal the edges. I've never been impressed with that stuff in the slightest.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  10. Pideas

    Pideas Member

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    I seal the edges by wrapping the vinyl over the top, left and right edges. I leave the bottom of the wood edge exposed.
     
  11. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    While that might look alright at first and seem like a good idea, moisture will get trapped in there and start a premature rotting right away. Also, letting the bottom open and nothing done to prevent moisture from seeping up will be a bad thing, too. Your method will work, if wood didn't have the tendency to rot, but it does, so you hafta take steps to prevent it. All this is why so many have said, change to ACM materials.
     
  12. neato

    neato Very Active Member

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    Your clients are only requesting wood because they don't know any better. Wood was the standard for so long, that's immediately what people think of. Once you explain to them the benefits of the composite materials you'll make your job easier and deliver a better product.

    When I read the title of the post, I thought you were referring to real wood signs like these guys make:
    https://woodensignco.com/index.html
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Sandman

    Sandman Member

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    Let's crunch some numbers
    MDO primed both sides, seal edges, paint, $79.61 plus labor & materials for sealing the edges, 2 days in the shop just for paint drying
    ACM ready to apply graphics, will outlast digital prints, zero prep other than pulling off protective plastic layer $43.15
    Savings to customer about $100 in labor and materials. Easy to convince them to go with ACM. You can even take half their savings and add it to your profit, they still save money, you make more money and come off looking like the hero.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  14. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Yea, if someone asks me for a "wood real estate sign" I tell them that metal lasts longer, doesnt rot or warp and is significantly cheaper. No one usues wood anymore.
     
  15. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Are y'all forgetting you're comparing a 4' x 8' piece of wood to a flimsy piece of 3mm ACM ?? The wood might bow a little bit, but a 4x8 ACM will bend in half due to any decent breeze. You'd hafta go to at least 6mm and preferably 10mm to be comparable to 1/2 duraply. Now, your cost factor just went up. C'mon people, stay focused.
     
  16. chester215

    chester215 Just call me Chester.

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    We mount 4x8 3mm ACM commercial signs on a piece of plywood to prevent wind damage.
    Just include a sheet of cdx plywood + in your installation cost.
     
  17. Pideas

    Pideas Member

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    I agree, 3mm ACM is too thin for a 4x8ft sign. You would have to go with 6mm or 1/2".
    The 1/2" ACM costs slightly more for me than 1/2" painted MDO.
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  18. unclebun

    unclebun Active Member

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    We use 3mm ACM for a lot of commercial signs. It just depends on how you install it. If you expect the sign to be structural, then you need 1/2" MDO. But we always expect the structure to stand without the face, and the face is just decoration attached to the structure so 3mm ACM is perfect for the face.
     

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  19. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    STRINGERS people. I agree, ACM alone isn't strong enough. $8 worth of treated 2x4s and your good.
     
  20. unclebun

    unclebun Active Member

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    Yeah, I didn't have a picture of that sign during construction. But you can see the rows of screws into the stringers.
     
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