Sign & Digital Graphics

September '14

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110 • September 2014 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ARCHITECTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL 110 • September 2014 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S construction was used. This metal comes primed already, is economical and light- weight but clearly strong enough, and that material was mated to some steel angle and square tubing to construct a simple framework. The structure was built on our sign fabrication table, which is 6' x 12' in size, plenty large enough for this job. Even though it is welded on all the time, its top is made from thick particle board top, and things are often screwed to it to hold them in place while welding. One handy tool we use for jigging up jobs like this, is a shop-made speed square, 12" x 12" made of .125 plate steel cut very precisely on a waterjet and welded with a lip all around like a smaller speed square. But this square can be tack welded, too; it can be screwed into the The formed logo panels of this custom sign were made to be hollow, with 2"-wide edges spot welded in place using an aluminum spool gun, the limit of my aluminum welding skills. Wire fed welders are a real time saver, for aluminum or steel. One smooth welding technique for steel wire welders is to use wire that is one gauge smaller than the lead or sleeve was made for, reducing friction and producing more consistent welds. The hollow rectangular panels were formed on brake, and had ends spot welded in place. Here the aluminum is being prepped prior to coating. The best prep work for mill finish aluminum is done using a fiber disk of a fairly fine grit. Norton makes some good ones, maroon in color, which won't damage the aluminum. All exposed aluminum parts were powder coated for maximum durability.

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