Prep monument and set up: 20 minutes Once the letters arrived, I went to the site and cleaned the brick wall with a broom and stiff brush. Using a laser level, I checked the accuracy of the mortar joints for levelness. The traditional rule of thumb is to use the mortar joint for alignment of the letters. In this case, though, the concrete foundation was extremely off level. The brick mason had compensated for that and, as a result, the mortar joint on one end was 1-in. and ½-in. on the other end. I chose to split the difference and not follow the mortar joint but to keep the letters on a level plane.
The ½-in.-thick rubber pads aren’t there not to protect the lawn but rather for the sake of my aging knees!
Position pattern: 20 minutes I attached the paper pattern to the brick wall, using heavy-duty Gorilla duct tape. Masking tape does not have enough tack to adhere to the rough surface of brick.
Drill for studs: 40 minutes Using a hammer drill, I began drilling the holes for studs with a 1/8-in. masonry drill bit. The recommended bit size is 1/8-in. diameter larger than the stud diameter. But by using the small 1/8-in. bit, I was able to start the drill slowly, which prevented the drill bit from “walking” and provided more accurate hole positioning. After drilling all the 1/8-in. holes, I re-drilled them with a ¼-in. drill bit. I blew out the dust from each hole with compressed air.
I used 1/8-by-3-in. aluminum studs in the letters.
Dry fit letters: 20 minutes While the pattern was still in place, I attached the letters without glue to check for alignment. Some of the holes had to be adjusted when the hole position landed where the brick met the mortar joint.
Clean up and finish: 20 minutes I removed the pattern, cleaned the wall surface once more and blew the dust from the holes again. I filled the holes with clear 100% silicone adhesive. Once the letters were installed, I removed the protective film from the surface of the letters.

What’s it cost to install acrylic letters on this monument sign?

Once the weather cooperated, the rest was all downhill

By Michael James

Posted on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

Materials:
½-by-12-in. acrylic letters – $258.34
Shipping of letters – $37.99
Installation pattern – $32.40
Silicone: one tube – $5.98
Two 1/8-in. masonry drill bits – $5.99
One ¼-in. masonry drill bit – $3.48
Gorilla duct tape – $4.97
Paper towels – $2.99
Total materials – $352.14

Labor:
Consult/design – 1 hour
Drill holes and install letters – 2 hours
Load and unload truck – 1/2 hour
Travel and cleanup – 1/2 hour
Total man-hours – 4 hours
This project began with a call from a developer who wanted to meet onsite to discuss having letters made for a sign at the entrance of a new subdivision. The developer had constructed a brick wall, monument-type structure parallel to a fourlane highway. He wanted ½-in. flat acrylic letters mounted to the wall.

While onsite, I took photos and measurements. After returning to my shop, I downloaded the photos and created designs with variations of letter styles and sizes for the client to choose from.

Once the client made his choice, I contacted <a href=”/recommends/geminisignproducts” target=”_blank”>Gemini Inc.</a> for a quote for the dimensional letters. It was good to know they would use my vector file to cut the letters and make the installation pattern. This insured that all my measurements and spacing would be exactly as I had planned.

This was a simple and straightforward project that is routine for many shops like mine. The only challenge was planning around the seven-day rain forecast.


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