anyone remember the Gerber 4b

Marlene

New Member
the 4B is what I had way back when. I then went to Anagraph and used the 4B as the plotter. the 4B is a little work horse and they are hard to kill. we sold ours and it's out there some where still working hard.
 

Craig Sjoquist

New Member
wow .. remembers it coming out in the early 80s, seeing what it did watching being done, in Mpls. ..I thought that would be great for smaller copy.. but paying that kinda money was out of reach dream, and still is today

but these days ya can spend less, and get more.. so hope to get a good plotter soon
 

heyskull

New Member
I started my sign career just as these came out in the UK they were marketed by Spandex.
We went right through all there machines IV, IVB, Sprint, Supersprint. We had all the digitising tablets and add ons. The 80s were some of the most innovative times.
I remember having all the latest machinery from Spandex.
We even did a bit of development work for them. We even had plastic knife blades to test!!!!
I remeber setting a job of on Friday night on the IVb and it only finished on Wednesday afternoon!!!! It was so slow compared with our machinery now...LOL

SC
 

gabagoo

New Member
I started my sign career just as these came out in the UK they were marketed by Spandex.
We went right through all there machines IV, IVB, Sprint, Supersprint. We had all the digitising tablets and add ons. The 80s were some of the most innovative times.
I remember having all the latest machinery from Spandex.
We even did a bit of development work for them. We even had plastic knife blades to test!!!!
I remeber setting a job of on Friday night on the IVb and it only finished on Wednesday afternoon!!!! It was so slow compared with our machinery now...LOL

SC

They were slow but you also made more money off of them. Today we have to jam out stuff so much cheaper. In the end I will suppose we all produce more for about the same at the end of the day.
 

aocarving

New Member
Greetings 4-B owners. I thought mine had finally given up. The blade would wander as it was cutting, so much that it would tear the heavy sandblast stencil. I adjusted everything I could, even though I wasn't sure what I was doing. It now cuts as good as ever. I do have another problem though. My LED panel's lights are starting to go out. I was told that the LED's don't burn out, the IC chip degrades sometime. Does anybody know which chip should be replaced? I was told they cost about 20 bucks. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Big AL
 

Richard Flint

New Member
Ah, the machine that had a major impact on us 'ol paint slingers!

Here's my story about the 4B. I've been hand lettering since the early 70's but a major change happened sometime in late 1984 when I added computerized sign making to the mix with the purchase of the Gerber 4B. That noisy 'ol dinosaur was a true workhorse from the first day (which actually was several days later) You know....that whole learning curve thing! Anyways, it served us well right up until the day we sold it. We have upgraded since then but I can honestly say it was a wise purchase way back then.

Speaking of Gerber, seems David Gerber is in the process of writing a biography of his late father, Joseph Gerber who started Gerber Scientific, Inc. A truly remarkable man who is credited with over 650 US and foreign patents for his inventions including the GSP Signmaker.

According to what David has told me, a portion of the book will include a description showing the broader impact of the changes it's had on the sign industry. He asked if I could provide some photos of signs before and after computerization which I have agreed and am more than happy to help out. As for the book, I believe it should bring some recongnition to a man who, for the most part is virtually unknown to the general public. Yet those who know of his achievements quite rightly consider him one of the great American inventors of the 20th century.
 

Bobas Kalobas

New Member
I started with one of those gizmos back before the pc was invented. You could never really set up a job easily as there was no screen with it, just a red led info area. Doing the easiest of jobs took time but still faster than hand painting in some cases. The cost of this baby was $17,000....each font was $300 - 400.00 each. I then remember saving up to buy a digitizing tablet. $13,000 and you could redraw logos by taking artwork and blowing it up and then taping it to the tablet and using a mouse to digitize the graphic. OMG the computer it came with was an Apple 2e and I had purchased an accelerator card to speed up the redraws on my monochrome screen. Doing the simplest of logos was time consuming and in most cases we had to redraw all the fonts as they were not available or just not worth buying. I then purchased the job save program and that made things a lot better as you could save projects and recall them when needed. After that I bought a scrappy which hooked onto the Gerber 4B and allowed you to put scrap material through to save a few bucks. We then moved up to a Gerber Sprint and loaded it with 26 fonts....$35,000. We were really moving now. Twice as fast as the 4b and it came with a monochrome screen for layouts. The pc's were just coming out and then Signlab appeared and we put a fast card into the Gerber Sprint and that allowed us to set projects up in Signlab and cut through the Sprint. That was a major development for us. The signlab back then was nothing like we have now but was eons ahead of the Gerber Sprint setup. Oh the old days lol.
In 2022 I still use my 4b about every day. I also have all the new equipment, but nothing beats this work horse! My brother has one of the first ones, The serial number is only 3 digits.
 

Red Ball

Seasoned Citizen
First machine we purchased was the Signmaker 3. Serial #1744. Really drank the cool-aid. Bought the 4b > Sprint > Super Sprint > Gerber Composer....
 

Bobby H

Arial Sucks.
Our shop had a Signmaker 4B in the 1990's. The unit had around a dozen or so font cartridges. We had an interface connected to the 4B so it could work passively as a plotter/cutter controlled by a PC running CASmate. We sold the machine to a local gravestone/monument company after buying a 36" wide Allen Datagraph plotter/cutter. The 4B had a strong maximum level cutting force, letting it cut through sandblast stencil with no problem. Obviously that was a valuable feature for a monument company.
 

Notarealsignguy

Arial - it's almost helvetica
First machine we purchased was the Signmaker 3. Serial #1744. Really drank the cool-aid. Bought the 4b > Sprint > Super Sprint > Gerber Composer....
The sprint was a huge improvement over the 4B. I wonder if signs would look better today if that is what everyone still used. My friend still runs his 4B, it is painful to watch.
 
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