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HDU questions for a hanging sign

nolanola

New Member
Hello Signs 101,
We are looking to create a routed and painted HDU sign. The desired width is 2".
The route we have gone to create panels in the past is to route two 1" panels and glue them together with threaded studs embedded. We are wondering if there is an easier way to get the same effect or if the panels need reinforcement?

Can 2" HDU be drilled into and glue poured into the holes, and the threaded studs inserted?
Does HDU bow over time and need some kind of reinforcement between the 1" panels?
Any advice is appreciated.
Thank you.
 

Kottwitz-Graphics

New Member
Being round, I'd be concerned with drilling it straight.

When I make an HDU sign, I always rout the sign, flip it and use my hand router and rout a channel for laying in a fabricated steel structure. I glue together with West Systems epoxy...
 

TimToad

Active Member
We do a fair amount of HDU work and depending on the size of the sign, we always use some kind of center core or internal frame to glue the HDU panels to. You should never rely on the HDU alone for anything suspended over anything. I suppose if you used long lengths of threaded rod with some additional nuts added along its path with grooves cut out of the back of the HDU and filled the channels with epoxy, you could use a method like that for a smaller size sign that is just going to hung from a post in a client's lawn as a ground level sign.

The Tobin James sign is nearly 4'x25' for the three pieces combined. We used a welded 1.5"x1.5" aluminum square tube frame on that and after laminating sheets of Alupanel to the back of the foam, we glued and through bolted the two sides to the powdercoated frame.

Even for flat wall mounts, we laminate a rigid backing panel to the back of the foam for added strength.

At $350.00 for a 15 lb. 4'x8'x1.5" thick sheet, our approach is to make sure signs with that high of raw material cost have as much integrity as possible.
 

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tbullo

Superunknown
I have for smaller signs, bored a hole and epoxy t-nuts in with some 404 (West system) added to the mix. Nothing of any large size. I have lots of 8'' x 24'' signs hanging all around my area. Of course they are all low to the ground, most been up since 2001.
 

nolanola

New Member
The signs look great!
What did you use for the middle part of the El Matador sign? What are the hanging brackets attached to?
 

TimToad

Active Member
The signs look great!
What did you use for the middle part of the El Matador sign? What are the hanging brackets attached to?

That sign is about 24"x28" so we used a center core of 1/2" MDO to glue the HDU to on each side and also glued and screwed in lengths of 1/8" x 2" wide aluminum flat bar through the full height of the sign and where the tabs come out of the top. We used the 3/4" panel hanging brackets to through bolt through the 3/4" thick MDO/aluminum tabs.
 

TimToad

Active Member
what type of router do you use for those HDU signs?

We share a small business park with a custom door and woodworking shop that has a 5'x10' Laguna who does our routing for us.

We only have a 2,500 square foot shop with half being clean space for our office, design stations and printers, etc. The other half is our "dirty" space for assembly, vehicles, substrate storage, cutting tools,etc. It just seemed silly to add a router when we have an incredible relationship with the guys right next door who give us a special rate.

We design and sell the signs, determine the textures and depths, then guide them through how we want things routed. Then we handle all the finishing and final assembly and installation. We have a metal shop nearby who builds our frames and brackets as well. We like collaborating with others and not trying to do things that we're just not equipped to handle.
 

Brandon708

New Member
We share a small business park with a custom door and woodworking shop that has a 5'x10' Laguna who does our routing for us.

We only have a 2,500 square foot shop with half being clean space for our office, design stations and printers, etc. The other half is our "dirty" space for assembly, vehicles, substrate storage, cutting tools,etc. It just seemed silly to add a router when we have an incredible relationship with the guys right next door who give us a special rate.

We design and sell the signs, determine the textures and depths, then guide them through how we want things routed. Then we handle all the finishing and final assembly and installation. We have a metal shop nearby who builds our frames and brackets as well. We like collaborating with others and not trying to do things that we're just not equipped to handle.
Sounds like we have the exact same set up for our shop. I wanted to get into the HDU signs like you posted. While I was in Breckenridge, CO. on vacation I saw a lot of very very nice HDU signs around town. Almost every shop had one for their sign. I was curious what type of router I would need to do the 2d routing with the textures for the backgrounds. Thanks for sharing!
 

TimToad

Active Member
Sounds like we have the exact same set up for our shop. I wanted to get into the HDU signs like you posted. While I was in Breckenridge, CO. on vacation I saw a lot of very very nice HDU signs around town. Almost every shop had one for their sign. I was curious what type of router I would need to do the 2d routing with the textures for the backgrounds. Thanks for sharing!

We apply similar traits in our personal life. We and our neighbors in most places we've lived shared big tools and garden equipment and never saw the need for each household to own it's own rototiller, lawn mower, chainsaw, etc. Especially for tools that might only be used a few times a year by each.

We do a few routed signs and need shapes cut several times per month. We do far more vehicles and standard shaped signs that require that second half of our shop every month. It just doesn't make financial sense for us to invest in a machine that exists 100 feet away with good people that we like working with operating it and charging us a rate that both sides are comfortable with.

A real win-win situation.
 

JoeRees

New Member
I too have had great results putting 2 HDU faces back-to-back with a hanging strap of flat steel relieved in between them. The HDU won't warp and the strap can be as long and thick as it needs to be in order to safely carry the weight and stress of a swinging sign - just add some holes for your glue or epoxy to grab into, and a couple of short screws, and those puppies can't ever pull out. The worst problem with that method is trying to hide the seam between the 2 HDU faces. There is always a visible line that requires considerable filling and sanding to camouflage so we developed a 'cheat' to hide it. Where appropriate we wrap the joined edges with a band of 1/8" PVC or ACM which can be hammered and painted flat black to mimic wrought iron. Looks expensive but cost virtually nothing...might come in handy for you.

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letterman7

New Member
You never said how large, what the mounting is or anything like that. Everyone is assuming a hanging sign, but I'm not reading that anywhere. For HDU spanning between 2 uprights, I usually core it with MDO or lately, a welded aluminum framework with the frame extending outside the sign as the mounting point. Hanging stuff, same thing. I have gotten away with smaller hanging pieces (24" square and less) with simply screwing very long lag eye screws into the foam. Never lost a sign, even in the tightest winds. Got beat up, yes....
 

Z SIGNS

New Member
We use a 1" or 2"square aluminum tube frame for double face hanging signs.When we route we make extra pieces to pack the edges top etc. Makes for nice thick sign.MDO as backer or in between 2 pieces of foam does not work.Rots out very quickly because in can't breathe.
 
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