Sign & Digital Graphics

November '12

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Shop Talk BY RI CK WI L L I AMS Playtime with Paint Tackling a tank job Rick Williams owns Rick's Sign Company, a commer- cial sign shop in Longview, Texas. He has been in the sign industry since 1973 and documenting A the sign business since 1986. Contact him at RickSignCo@aol.com. s you will see in the photos, my old brush kit isn't getting much atten- tion these days. But, from time to time a job comes along that, no doubt about it, just has to be done in paint. Such was the case recently when I was asked to paint a large company logo on an oil storage tank located in the small town of Waskom, Texas, about an hour's drive from the shop. Fortunately, the site was still under construction, and a bucket lift would be onsite for me to use at no cost. The main logo was basically a circle, which would be reproduced on their white tank 13 feet in diameter. Their company name would be added along the bottom of the logo in letters about 20 inches high, and overall about 13feet wide like the logo. It took a little while for me to work this into a busy schedule, and I was more than happy to work over the Labor Day weekend to get it done. But to me, jobs like this are just about as much fun as time at the lake, so who's complaining? For the most part, the circular logo would be drawn by hand, but a pattern would be made for the somewhat styl- ized lower case "b" in its center. Another This job of painting a logo 13 feet in diameter, with a company name below was something I would enjoy doing, a simple paint-by-number project. pattern would be made for the company name "BRIDGER," which was done in all caps with the first letter several inches taller than the rest. Now, if you ever need to make a pounce pattern, and need to do it the simple low budget way, a pounce wheel— something like an X-ACTO knife except with a small swiveling spur where the blade would go—can be bought from a sign supply house or even a sewing sup- ply locally. It's used to trace around the drawing and perforate the lines. But, since years ago we did a lot of hand painted work, and made our share of patterns, we still have our "Electro- Pounce Jr.", a paper pattern perforating tool which is basically an electric pen connected to a small, blue transformer box. The pattern is laid over a piece of sheet metal which is grounded to the pounce machine, and as the tip of the drawing tool is traced over the paper pattern a 5,000 volt current burns a repetition of small holes in the pattern cleaner than a pounce wheel and faster too! What's not to like about that? Of course, the patterns were drawn on a plotter sporting a felt tip pen instead of a knife. In the old days we drew them all by hand, sometimes with the help of a projector. After the patterns were fin- ished, I made a pounce bag by stuffing one crew sock inside another, and putting blue chalk line chalk inside with the inner sock. (I later found my "Hansee Pounce Pad," which also works great, but used the standard pounce bag for this job.) I pulled my neglected brush box out from under the work table, and saw that it had a few old fitches and flats, but on this particular job I would only use one brush that it contained. That would be a 3/4" flat used for hand painting the let- ters of the company name. Everything 22 • November 2012 • SIGN & DIGITAL GRAPHICS MASTER'S TOUCH

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