Sign & Digital Graphics

September '14

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • September 2014 • 111 table top using holes in its wide lip, and is just a better item than can be bought at any welding supply. One of the photos shows this shop made square, and it is as handy as a pocket on a shirt. The main structure was quite simple, and was cross braced for stiffness, but rather lightweight and could be lifted by hand, though I did have a helper when we got to that step. Fabricating the main logo panels, which were hollow and 2" thick, using our new aluminum spool gun, was the most interesting part. Thankfully, all the welds were just spot welds that held the aluminum 2" wide stripping in place to form the edges of the round-shaped panels. Working by myself, it took less than half a day to have both of them assembled, and the ends welded into two large rectangular panels as well. Tack welding with the spool gun was fun, but that's where my skill level ends with aluminum welding. All the exposed metal parts on this job, made from .090 mill finish 5052 aluminum, would be finished by powder coating. But to remove all surface oils and oxidation, every square inch was buffed out with a fiber disk of the right grit size. The ones we use are made by Norton, maroon in color, and I believe they are described as A/O Med HS. These fiber disks do a great job on aluminum prep work, but are not too aggressive so they do no damage. They are the best thing we have found for prepping mill finish aluminum prior to painting or powder coating. Two more formed aluminum panels were made to construct the part of the sign that would display the phone num- ber, as well as a flat cut-out piece for the address number. All these parts were cut on a CNC machine (waterjet), and the cut file included small notches indicating exactly how they were to be formed on brake, no mistakes allowed. When the parts were finished and prepped for coating, I did the powder coating myself at our WPC Services facil- ity, easily borrowing the equipment on a Saturday. Out in the field, the pylon unit was set in the ground in hand-dug holes, and several bags of concrete mix were used to make it permanent. The unit was to fit on very sloping ground, so one side and one leg was longer than the other to accommodate the slope. Full 4 x 8 sheets of Hardie textured concrete board The parts were pre-assembled at the shop, and then taken back apart for lightweight lifting for assembly on the job site by hand. Here small clips are screwed in place which the faces will slide over and be secured to. The main pieces are temporarily put together for the trip to the job, but would be put up one piece at a time. The formed phone number signs, which would be boxed in around the pylon would fit over pieces of aluminum angle secured to the base first. Here the parts have been separated, and the background panels are installed first. The open ends would be later enclosed with matching sheet metal parts and powder coated screws.

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