What to use for a lighted sign?

Sroufe7

New Member
I usually only do a few race cars and a some car club logo's, and I have a family friend that moved his business to a different location and he wants me to a lighted sign.

He moved into a mall that has a big main sign and lighted signs under it for the business in the mall. I called and talked to the owners of the mall and they said the renter is responsible for the sign and putting it in.

Anyways, my question is, what and where do you get the material that is used for the signs? And can you use regular vinyl or do you need to use specialty vinyl?

Thanks you for your help!
Scott
 

Gino

Premium Subscriber
Honestly.... this sounds like it might be out of your league. I know you want to do it, but it might be better to give this to someone that has the know~how and ask if you can hang out with them and learn. When it comes time to hang this, you won't have the credentials to even pull a permit, let alone a way up there. If your are only responsible for lettering faces and the owner is going to job the rest of it out.... your pricing will probably force him to go elsewhere anyway.

Anyway..... translucent vinyl on polycarbonate is what you're looking for to complete this job. Is there an existing cabinet or do you have to fabricate that, too ?? How about the pylon sign.... are there rider panels on that for this guy ??
 

J Hill Designs

New Member
probably a blank there - there usually is unless an old tennant has their graphics on it - depending on the size, you might need a hangar rail as well
 

Sign Prophet

New Member
Polycarbonite or Tuff glas with translucent vinyl. The translucent is more expensive, so make sure you build that into your cost.

Oh, and make sure your Genearal liability policy covers sign installtions at height. If it falls and damages someone or something you will be in a whole lot of trouble very quickly.

Not trying to discourage you, but just want to make sure you are informed.
 

gbarker

New Member
Judging by your post. You are only wanting to do the tenant panel in the existing marquee sign out in front of the strip mall, right? If so, the previous posters are correct in that polycarbonate or acrylic with translucent vinyl is what you need. You maybe able to get a piece (not a full 4x8 sheet) of polycarbonate from a local plastic dealer or your normal sign vendor.

The question does come in about insurance and permits if you are installing the sign but my guess is that the panel is probably fairly small. Permits will depend on local jurisdiction whether or not one is required. Since it is just a simple face change you may not need one.

Hope this helps.
 

Sroufe7

New Member
Thank you for the replies. I honestly don't want to do the sign, but I don't really like telling people no that are good friends. But we'll see what happens.

I have attached a picture of the sign.

It would be the first white sign under the black main sign.

Right now, the business that has the top spot moved out of the mall and they removed the signs and flipped them around so you can't read there name.

I don't know the actual size of the signs. I figured if I was going to do it, I would measure what is there now and get some new pieces and put the lettering on them and install them at the same time as taking the old ones out.
 

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TheSnowman

New Member
Yea, that should be simple. Everything is already there, you just need to get an acrylic (or something of the like) substrate, and stick it in there with your translucent vinyl on it. The picture is extremely small, but it doesn't look like it is a molded formed face from what I can tell.
 

Craig Sjoquist

New Member
yes this simpler then what you first described. as long as the letters are vinyl on sign
... remove carefully
... clean with Rapi-tac
.. re apply letters
..sign face can stay
..you can use scaffolding plus wheels & leg adjusters although it appears 30 ft up also part take down of scaffolding to move to the other side will be safer
... that is how I do this type with the lowest cost by myself with what I have
...next would be a lift like a bucket truck easy, safe, quicker, but costly
 

Gino

Premium Subscriber
Okay, I take back a little of what I was saying earlier. This is much smaller than I expected. Looks like about a 3' x 8' or so.

If you have the correct insurance and a helper, the easiset way to do this is to.........

  • Pull permits for this job.
  • Use a ladder and measure both faces to the nearest 1/8".
  • With these measurements, back at your shop cut out all of the graphics using translucent vinyl, weed and tape up.
  • Make a detailed drawing with all of your measurements.
  • Rent yourself a scissors lift.... 19' should do it. [about $300 a day including delivery and pick up]
  • Have it delievered on the day of your choosing and take the two faces down.
  • Clean them off right there in your van or truck.
  • Apply your new graphics.
  • Re-instal the faces.
  • Collect your money.
Again, if you have all of your ducks in a row as far as insurance, permits and nerves.... you can do this.
 

G-Artist

New Member
Forget the posters who tell you to pull a permit. That is absolutely insane!!!

Few, if any, jurisdictions require a permit (which could take weeks or months to get plus a
hefty fee) to change out graphics on an existing sign.

Follow Craig's advice.

Inspect the sign panel. If it is in good shape just clean off the old legend and get the entire
panel squeeky clean. Install your graphics on the back side if there is no evidence that it
has been used before. That will save everyone both time and money.

If you have to replace the panel your local plastics supplier will have some choices of sign
plastic and more than likely will cut to size for you.

It is a simple job and we used to do 2-3 a week. Now it is more like 3-4 a month with the
economy the way it is. They are pure bread and butter jobs.

Do the job, expand your horizons.
 

Techman

New Member
Forget the posters who tell you to pull a permit. That is absolutely insane!!!

Not always,, some do require a refacing permit..

Few, if any, jurisdictions require a permit (which could take weeks or months to get plus a
hefty fee) to change out graphics on an existing sign.

Not in a most of the places I've been too. Refacing a sign is usually just a walk in and get the paper. Maybe just a few bucks maybe not.

In any case **** off the sign nazi and see what happens in the future.
 

Gino

Premium Subscriber
Srou……

As G mentioned…. try to expand your horizons, but do it the right way. Like tech said, it might cost about $20 or $25 to pull this permit, but at least you are legal. If you wanna grow, do it by the law and don’t take short cuts that could end your career for a very long time.

If you don’t want to listen to proper business advice…. go in and ask your codes office what to do. If you don’t need one… fine. Just make sure your insurance company knows you’re going up in the air to do this job. If that’s Okay with them, then proceed and see what you can do with this type of job. :thumb:
 

Craig Sjoquist

New Member
Wonders what South Dakota require or the county that the sign is in

Oh I just read that they flipped the signs around .. 2 ways to clean off old depends how big and how much help you have
... if large meaning more then a 4x8 10 ft max you need a second person on scaffold just to take them down to clean
..Ok you only and large or just plain weary of the highness or taking them down
...un-screw the end cap
... slide sign face out partway little at a a time as you clean till it feels like better not go farther
ok then do the other end same way till all clean

By the way sizers lift will not work in this case .. notice the flower box on bottom your platform needs to be about a foot away from sign so you can work, if much farther well that's alot of reach lol
a truck with a bucket or platform reach will work if sign is large
also look for ..Vise Grips with R-angles welded to them with rubber padding ..use those to grip onto sign to pull out and to pick up you may need 2 if large ..a sign supplier should have

The real problems are
do you need a permit ?..
will you work safe high up ?
is graphics painted on ?
is plastic to old ...? it will look it... cracked like a windshield look or yellowed or rough feel after cleaned
 

petrosgraphics

New Member
as gino said, expand your horizons, but do it right.... pull a permit, it is good practice,

plus you will get to know the nec. people and the process for pulling a permit.

make sure you have a good helper..
remove faces, then remove lettering if you can
if you need to replace plastic, use 3/16 polycarb, this will make it a lot easier to handle
if it happens to be windy, i have always removed the face on the opposite side of the
wind direction 1st, i find it easier to remove having the wind blocked by the other
face.
to install the face, do just the opposite, have the wind help you keep the face close
to the cabinet......

good luck
 

gbarker

New Member
Looks like that panel is no bigger than 3x6 and no more than 15' or so off the ground. Do what the others say as to the proper permit and insurance.

The problem comes in if you don't have access to a bucket truck or scaffolding. You will need to get up there to measure the faces. If you are replacing them you will need to slide them out a little to get a true measurement. Then you will need to fabricate the new faces, go back out and remove/replace the faces.

If you are reusing the existing plastic it can all be done in one day. In this case you should be able to rent a tow behind trailer lift if you have a truck with a receiver hitch. Do the job in one day and cash in.

If you are not interested in doing this type of work in the future I wouldn't bother with it now. Truth be told your customer/friend would probably end up paying more for you to do it by the time you factored the cost of a lift and such vs. a shop that is properly equipped. I would give him a ball park figure as to what it would cost (so he doesn't get screwed by another shop) and respectfully decline the job this time.

Another option is to sub the install out to another shop. Someone in your area is bound to have a bucket truck that wouldn't mind making few extra bucks. In this economy EVERYONE is expanding their horizons. Find someone you trust though.
 

Sroufe7

New Member
I ended up giving him some references of local guys to have do his signs and they said they would stop by to give him a quote and they never did.

So I'm going to end up doing the sign now that I have time to do it.

The size of the panels are 96" x 38" x 3/16" and it's about 20' up.

What would you guys charge to do a sign like this?

I figured I'll end up renting a pull behind lift bucket.

Thanks for the replies
Scott
 

Locals Find!

New Member
I ended up giving him some references of local guys to have do his signs and they said they would stop by to give him a quote and they never did.

So I'm going to end up doing the sign now that I have time to do it.

The size of the panels are 96" x 38" x 3/16" and it's about 20' up.

What would you guys charge to do a sign like this?

I figured I'll end up renting a pull behind lift bucket.

Thanks for the replies
Scott

Double all your materials and rental equipment costs then however many hours your going to have into it at your shop rate to fabricate and install plus whatever costs your going to have for the permit plus 20% for pulling the permit. If you have to purchase an insurance rider for the job factor that in too.
 

AUTO-FX

New Member
if your going to do the bucket lift,i'd like to suggest you make up a holder for the panel. bend up some aluminum flats to hang off the bucket lip to carry the panel rather then trying to balance the thing on the edge while youre going up!
 
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