Consult/illustrate/design sign: 9 hours The client wanted images of one of their favorite cows and one of their dogs on the sign, as well as symbols that represented their heritage.
Cutout panel and sand: 50 minutes We prefer 6mm aluminum composite material over overlaid plywood for signs like these.
Apply and trim prints: 40 minutes The prints were done on Oracal 3551 film, then laminated with Oracal 290 laminate.
Bond banner on spacer strips to sign panel: 1 hour We cut and sanded strips of the ACM to serve as spacers for the banner panel, then bonded them to the face with epoxy.
Mount studs: 45 minutes Threaded studs with pad mounts were bonded to the sign face with epoxy.
Build and stain frame: 4 hours 45 minutes 6-by-6-in. cedar tone pressure treated timbers were used to build the mounting for the sign.
Build/paint steel brackets: 1 hour We fabricated the steel brackets that were used to hold the top crossmember to the uprights.
Make the drilling pattern and drill for studs: 45 minutes The studs on the back of the panel go through three crossmembers, then are secured with nuts and washers.
Load and install: 4 hours 45 minutes It took about 45 minutes to load the sign and supplies, then about four hours to do the installation, including travel.

What’s it cost to produce this freestanding sign?

6mm aluminum composite material makes a rigid sign panel

By RT Signs

Posted on Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

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Two partial 4-by-8-ft. sheets
of 6mm aluminum composite
material: $270
31 sq. ft. 3551 Oracal film with
290 Oracal laminate: $245
Epoxy for mounting banner: $20


Two 12-ft. and one 8-ft.
6×6 cedar tone posts: $100
Three 2-by-4s, 8-ft. long: $16
Stain: $80
Steel brackets,hardware: $20
Total materials: $751


Consult/design: 9 hours
Prep files to print
and laminate: 30 minutes
sign panel: 2 hr. 30 min.
Build frame: 3 hrs. 15 min.
Stain frame: 1 hr. 30 min.
Build/paint steel brackets: 1 hr.
Drill/bond studs: 1 hr. 30 min.
Load/prep for install: 45 min.
Install: 4 hours
Total time: 24 hours

We did this sign for a local family dairy farm. They provided the copy and said they wanted a picture of one of their favorite cows and one of their dogs on the sign. Their heritage is also important to them so they wanted the symbols of the countries where they came from, plus Canada, included.

We have been using 6mm aluminum composite material [ACM] quite a bit for signs like this, instead of plywood. We feel it is a superior product and 6mm thickness provides more rigidity than the 3mm ACM.

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Ralph Toews’ shop, RT Signs, is in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada.

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