• Posted by Johnny S on October 10, 2002 at 10:04 am

    Hi all,
    I have to do a hanging pub sign, the bracket is already there. Am I right in thinking that I should use ply and face it with veka or foam?
    Any advice would be great.


    Johnny 🙂

    Robert Lambie replied 21 years, 6 months ago 7 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • Sparky

    October 10, 2002 at 11:27 am


    For the little knowledge I have, & in absence of better advice !!

    I did one last year, used 18mm exterior MDF, routed both sides to all 4 edges & hand primed / roller painted to give a traditional look. Not a quickie job but if the customer is prepared to pay, it certainly makes a good, original looking sign with modern materials.

    If you want more info, PM / ask here or ask Steve Broughton, he put me on the right tracks for mine.



  • Steve Broughton

    October 10, 2002 at 6:01 pm

    Johnny don’t use ply cos the surface is too crappy, like sparks said, exterior MDF but you must prepare it properly and paint with a good quality exterior paint, I use Crown Stronghold Exterior Primer/Undercoat & Gloss, 2 coats of each then you’ll get 5 years at least out of it, you could use steel or ally sheet and get it sprayed in a car paint shop as well, don’t use foamboard cos it don’t hang right and it looks cheap and …….. plasticky when covered with vinyl, make a proper job use the proper stuff.

  • Robert Lambie

    October 10, 2002 at 6:38 pm

    hhmmm well sparky and steve are right.. the mdf has a great finish and if they last the test of time then thumbs up… i personaly have never seen a sign or flat cut letter from mdf stand the time test… im not saying it doesnt.. like steve says it has to be prepaired right… so maybe if done right it properly will!

    as for me well like most of us and sparky has mentioned the customer has to be willing to pay for somthing half decent… never really happends that often though…
    a quick one we do is take say 1/2 plywood 36″ x 24″. face it both sides with signi colour aluminium from aalcan or amari plastics. or powder coated aluminium. then all round the outside use “U” shaped angle. you just mitre it all round like you do panatrim. the face sheet and the wood are totaly inclosed at the edges with the alluminium “U” shaped trim… so you have a warp resistant sign… then just drill straight through at the top of the sign were the bracket pins go through and put the nuts on… all done …

    oh and do forget to letter it 😳 😉

  • Martin Pearson

    October 10, 2002 at 11:04 pm

    Dont want to start an arguement, but if ply is primed right I think you can get a good finish on it, maybe not quite as flat and smooth to start with but we have done quite a few signs for pubs in ply and I think they all look fine. I’ve never used exterior MDF so I have nothing to compare the ply against though.

  • Johnny S

    October 11, 2002 at 8:21 am

    Thanks all for the tips, Rob I did’nt mention that it is shaped like a shield!
    Do you feel that ply faced with di-bond will look crap?
    The design is 2 squares of red and 3 squares of yellow, one with a white star. Not much of a design I know.
    The surface of the substrate will not be seen.
    As Rob pointed out I’m only worried about the edges soaking up the water.

    John 😕

  • Mike Brown

    October 11, 2002 at 8:39 am

    what’s the budget on this Johnny?…

    cus I kinda like the sound of metal for a shield type sign and it’s different too – you never know, you might start a trend!

    you could always have two shield shape faces made down the local ‘sheet-metal’ workshop (in aluminium or light steel sheet) and have them ‘Ali -weld’ TIG or MIG weld (low heat – no distortion) a fillet around the edge with a couple of hanging loops in the top…

    though only an assumption – I would expect to pay £100-150 for it and then take it all down the car body shop and get it sprayed White – real cheap as they are always using white on other jobs and can stick it through with something else (though if it’s Aluminium rather than light steel it does need a particular primer). I’d expect to pay £50?

    So for a couple of hundred quid you could get all this done without any messing around and then slap your vinyl on and bang it up! – pay out £200 – charge maybe £600-700 quid, I dunno…anyway , just an idea

    Our local metal work shop (like nmany others these days) have just installed a computer driven plasma cutter that can cut out any computer generated shape as supplied by you the signmaker…but they don’t do welding, so you may have to do some ringing around…

    more soon

  • Mike Brown

    October 11, 2002 at 9:00 am

    …here are three different ways for putting a double sided shield sign together, there are various methods – some of which don’t require intricate welding along an edge, but just two plates spot or tack welded to a frame. Either Aluminium or sheet steel could be used:

    more soon

  • Paul Davenport

    October 11, 2002 at 9:42 pm

    The underlying problem with your suggestion mike is FINDING metal shops that can actually produce the quality, to weld up a double sided aluminium box and have them finish it right is a rare art, being lucky in the fact that i can mig and tig ally and stainless and properly paint afterwards (sod sticking the vinyl on though, thats the hard bit) I HATE having to use outside suppliers…

    on another note why not use foamalux pieces stuck together, fill the sides with cellulose stopper (from car bodyshop suppliers) and sand, then use an etch primer/filler finished with a paint colour of your choice

    Have a look at the signs in YATES’s pubs, theres a lot of foamalux in them than meets the eye !!!!!!

  • Mike Brown

    October 11, 2002 at 10:06 pm

    it’s not a problem Paul – I know a number of shops who can do it…you forget I’m a qualified welder by trade 😉 and as for the paint – well I spent the last two years custom painting Harley Davidson Show Bikes, so I’ve experience enough to know that, for many signshops, it would be simpler to put such work out to a pro spray shop. The cost they often charge for std. White etc. is nominal and with a temperature controlled booth with proper extraction facilites, the finish is always good and fast too…not to mention safe!

    Sub’in out work isn’t always the answer, I agree – but trying to be a ‘jack of all trades’ can be dangerous too! If any signmakers are gunna take on work that they personally are not proficient at – my advice would always be to at least consider using professional sub-contractors…it could save you money and add to the quality of the finished product.

    …like your idea using the foam sheet…nice one 😉

    more soon

  • Johnny S

    October 15, 2002 at 4:34 pm

    Thanks again Mike & Paul,
    I’m not sure the customer will stretch to that sort of budget, you know what they are like!
    Anyway I’ll probably put bits of your advice into the finished sign which I will post for all to see.

    They have asked for matt vinyl though, do they make this in 7-10 year?


    John 🙂

  • Robert Lambie

    October 15, 2002 at 10:08 pm

    im sure europoint do it mate! positive… the life im unsure of but for a sign the 651 series will do perfect… thats if they dont do it in 751 series…
    im sure steve at signagraphic uses only matt vinyl for his work.. he also is a members and user of the board.. you could pm him or just call europoint! 😉

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