Sign & Digital Graphics

September '17

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ELECTRIC SIGNAGE W hile there are plenty of avenues in the signage world that are a snap to master, you rather quickly under- stand that some jobs are simply more dif- ficult than others. And for those who've made those first attempts at offering channel letter race- ways as a solution for commercial, hospi- tal or government clients, you know that raceway work comes with a steep learn- ing curve—thanks to wiring, mounting and manufacturing challenges that are unique to the technology. Finding the right partners for sup- plies (versus a do-it-yourself approach, especially for beginners) plus plenty of practice will get you headed in the right direction, but experts say you should be prepared for issues with raceway systems, just when you least expect them. "We always say that there will always be a problem on jobsite when installing— and a perfect storm comes around once in a blue moon, so be versatile," says Troy Panehal, operations at Midwest Sign Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan, makers of the EasyMount system. Panehal says newcomers to the busi- ness are probably better off purchasing pre-made raceway brackets and systems, versus trying to build the components from scratch, as you'll still have to face the issues such as accessing interior power supplies and doing the intricate mounting work in the most unobtrusive fashion. "It takes expensive machinery and time… too much time," Panehal says. "Most companies that sell multiple chan- nel letter jobs on a weekly basis spend hours making their own raceway, which can be costly. Getting pre-fabricated or extruded raceway can solve that." Pre-made components such as Midwest's EasyMount system help pro- vide the flexibility, access and weather protection necessary for the wiring har- nesses and power access required to light your letters, with some added versatility. Off to the Races The technology involved in channel letter race- ways has improved the flexibility, durability and aesthetics of lit signage, but it can still make for a challenging install project B Y A N D Y S T O N E H O U S E Andy Stonehouse is a freelance writer based in Greeley, Colorado. 26 • September 2017 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S John Dobie, owner of BSC Signs, suggests project managers do ample on-site research to figure out where power supplies are and the type of wall materials involved before drilling their first holes. (Photo courtesy of BSC Signs)

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