Rout two sign faces and accents: 60 minutes I routed the faces on my Gerber Sabre Dimension 200. It took another 60 minutes to shape candles and ornaments by hand on a belt sander. The center globe was also cut from HDU board.
Fabricate and paint the internal steel hanger: 60 minutes I like to use a hanger that is integrated into the sign rather than hooks that go into or through the sign face. There’s much less risk of failure.
Assemble the sign: 30 minutes I glued and clamped the accents, sides, frame and faces using Gorilla polyurethane glue and a spritz of water. Once it dried, it took about 30 minutes to sand the edges smooth.
Spray with polyester resin: 45 minutes This gives the sign a hard, smooth surface. I mix the two-part resin 1-to-1 then thin with lacquer thinner to spraying consistency. I spray it on then pull over all the flat surfaces with a foam brush to eliminate the dimples.
Rout logo elements and apply vinyl: 45 minutes I cut these from aluminum composite material [ACM] then bonded them to PVC board spacers using very high bond tape [VHB]. Doing the digital print on my Roland VersaCAMM VS-540i and cutting the vinyl for the ornaments took another 45 minutes.
Paint sign and apply vinyl: 120 minutes I finished the background with acrylic latex paint and graphics with Ronan Aquacoat water-based bulletin enamel then applied the vinyl film. I used RealGold 22k sign vinyl on Since 1997 and the ornaments.
Apply logo elements: 15 minutes I used silicone to bond the logo components to the sign.

What’s it cost to produce this 20-by-30-in. 3D hanging sign?

By Dayna Reed

Posted on Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Materials:
1-in HDU board — $120
ACM, PVC board, steel, etc — $40
Adhesives and paint — $10
Total materials — $170

Labor:
Design/prep file — 30 minutes
Rout /shape HDU — 120 minutes
Fabricate hanger — 60 minutes
Assembly — 60 minutes
Spray resin — 45 minutes
Logo panel — 90 minutes
Finishing — 120 minutes
Final assembly — 15 minutes
Total time — 8.5 hours
This relatively small hanging sign was made for a store on Cannery Row in Monterey, California. They needed a cool 3D sign to catch the eye of the foot traffic in this very busy retail district. Sign is 20-by-30 in. overall.


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Dayna Reed

Dayna Reed’s shop, Sign Art Signs, is in Hood River, Oregon. His two DVDs, 3D Signs Made Easy and More Super Cool 3D Signs, are available at SignCraft.com. You’ll find more of his work online at SignArtSigns.com and DaynaReed.com.