Best wood for signmaking?
I'm being pressured to make a sign for a friend and don't want to have to go and buy signfoam and other exotic material (since its a freebee).
I was thinking about 6" fluted columns to hold it up and was still looking at designs but what wood (local to the east coast) would be best to stand up to outside use? What type of coating would be best to withstand the elements? thanks
In our sign shop, we have used heart redwood and western cedar. Both will hold up outside better than most wood, but there is no such thing as wood that will last forever outside - no matter what you do to it.
How big a piece of SignFoam would you need? We have some cut-offs, and I might have a piece you could use that I could give to you.
As Charlie said, nothing is going to last forever. You didn't mention how big the sign was, but it must be rather large to accomodate 6" columns.
Redwood would be a good choice, but would cost more than HDU, at least it does in our area.
Since you have eliminated "exotic" materials, that doesn't leave a lot of choices. I'm assuming that it will be carved in some way. You could use whatever wood is local and then make sure that it is sealed against the elements.
My choice would be to cover everything with 100% acrylic exterior latex paint. If you can keep moisture away from the wood it will last a long time. My personal choice of paint is Porter, but Sherwin Williams' Super Paint is also a good choice.
What it is, around here people name their farms and estates fancy names and his is called "Dogwood Hill" . The sign probably will be 3'x3' and the columns will probably be 4"-6" in diameter. The size of column isn't for size of sign just for looks. I want to make some type of finial for the post like a pineapple design and i know i had one but had a crash but will find it. So suggestions will be helpful. I took clear silicone caulk and sealed the edges of my spoilboard and it has a rubberized feel to it, couldn't i do the same with the sign? Is there any rule of thumb regarding aspect ratio's on signs or optimum deminsions?
We price these out a $125.00 per square foot for a single side, not including posts or installation. This translates into approx. $1,500.00 to 2,000 for your sign. The second side would come in at 70% less, or about $965.00.
Working time for us is three weeks. There's not many short cuts. Finishing alone takes a full week.
Our friends Nancy and Noella do an excellent job on farm and ranch signs. Give them a look see. www.signit-signs.com
Nancy & Noella's website is under construction however, if you click on "Products", there you can go to Farm Signs.
Jack - paint will not stick to silicone.
You could make the sign out of 3/4" MDO (Medium Density Overlay), which is a sign board. We seal the edges before primering with Titebond glue and then prime and paint. You could cut the letters out of a solid hardwood and then apply them to the MDO.
I'm not judging your situation, but it seems that someone is asking you to do a very expensive sign for nothing. They must be very persuasive to put that much "pressure" on you.
Since you are loosing money from the start you might as well make it out of HDU and do it right...in my opinion. You could use it as your "Yellow Page Ad" for future work (for which you would be paid).
That's good advise from Raymond about the MDO substrate. Perhaps you cut the letters from Extira or PVC.
I'm not sure I would pressure a friend of mine for this kind of work. It's just too expensive and hard. Not fair.
Jack: I have learned many things in life and three of them are:
1. Doing big jobs for free for friends costs you twice-once for the job and once for the time lost.
2. Real friends don't pressure you to do jobs for free.
3. Every time I hear someone ask for something for free or at a discount because they will let everyone know who did it and it will be good for my business it's time to run for the hills.
Jack has so much energy towards using his new toy. I think he *is* getting something in return. He's getting experience.
In some ways I envy him. There are a lot of things I'd like to try, but I'm responsible for keeping the cash-flow coming in while my wife is in grad school.
So I get to read about what everyone else is doing and pick up a little info here and there. Hopefully, someday, I'll get to make a free sign for someone (and a new guitar for me).