Cut letters and rout faces: 2 hours We cut the letters from PVC board on our CNC router. The sign panels were two layers of 3/4-in. PVC board. They were cut to shape on the router, then we recessed a pocket in the panel to receive each letter. Routing pockets in the sign panel for the letters makes installing the letters easy.
Paint letters and rout faces: 2 hours It took about two hours to paint the letters and panels with Benjamin Moore DTM acrylic paint, which can be used over wood, PVC, HDU and aluminum without priming. Here you can see the pockets that were routed in the faces to accept each letter. This saves a lot of installation time.
Mount faces to frame: 2 hours We had a metal shop fabricate a steel frame that fit between the existing columns. The faces mounted to the frame with L-brackets cut from aluminum angle. The bolts were tack welded in place.
To mark the exact location of the bolts that came through the steel, I dabbed a little red paint on the end of the bolt, then positioned the bracket and touched it to the bolt. Four 3/4-in. stainless screws and a little Loctite PL polyurethane adhesive holds the bracket to the face.
Once the brackets were mounted to the faces, the faces were fit to the frame in the shop to make sure the final installation went smoothly.
Install frame and faces: 2 hours We drilled the masonry columns and mounted the powder-coated steel bracket in place. Then we were ready to drop the sign faces in position and complete the installation.
The bracket was mounted using expansion bolts, which slide through the bracket and into a hole we had drilled in the masonry column. Tightening the nut expands the fastener walls for a sturdy installation. With the frame installed, it was just a matter of dropping each face over the bolts and securing them.
Bond letters to face: 1 1/2 hours We used a little 3M Windows and Doors clear silicone caulk to adhere the letters, along with four small pieces of 3M double-sided tape in each letter. The tape holds the letters in position until the adhesive dries.

What’s it cost to replace the 4-by-8-ft. faces on this monument?

PVC board letters and faces on a custom frame make installation easy

By Debi Lovelady

Posted on Sunday, December 31st, 2017

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4 sheets of 3/4-in. PVC board: $800
Aluminum frame and hardware: $350
Paint and misc.: $150
Total materials: $1300

Design/sales: 1 hour
Cut letters and panels: 2 hours
Paint letters and panels: 4 hours
Assemble sign panels: 2 hours
Installation: 2 hours
Total time: 11 hours
When our Chamber of Commerce needed a new sign, they talked first with us because we are members. We’ve belonged to the Chamber for years. It has been good for our business because it connects us with the local business community.

They needed a new double-faced sign to fit an existing mounting, and wanted something dimensional. They wanted a clean design that would identify their location, and they wanted it to be durable. We discussed budget and they waited until they had the funds for the project.

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Chris and Debi Lovelady’s shop, Vital Signs LLC, is in Thomasville, Georgia.

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