June '21

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2 0 G R A P H I C S P R O J U N E 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M S I G N A G E & P R I N T I N G S H O P T A L K | R I C K W I L L I A M S Select- ing boards that make a wood back- ground of a somewhat uniform character is an impor- tant step. R ecently we were asked to make a swinging wooden sign for an ex- isting entrance structure mark- ing the driveway into a 1,000-acre ranch near Grand Saline, Texas. The client was the son of a customer for whom we made a somewhat similar sign nearly 20 years before. We don't make that many wood- en signs anymore, and this would actual- ly be a combination of wood and metal, a simple method we are familiar with as compared to masking, blasting, paint- ing, and so forth. BRINGING THE DESIGN TO LIFE After a couple of attempts, a design was settled on. Our initial efforts focused on finding time to get this job moving dur- ing a busy season at the shop. But before long, I was out at the home center look- ing for some suitable rough cedar lumber to construct the sign from. The size was nailed down at 39" high X 48" wide, and rough cedar boards mea- suring at 8" wide and 1" thick seemed to fit the bill. To get the edges straight and true, the width of the boards would be ripped down a bit on a table saw, re- quiring six boards all 6 1/2" wide. The actual edges of some of the boards were a bit damaged, so this trimming would also clean that up as well. It is important to hand-select mul- tiple boards that will be used to cre- ate a single sign, because those boards need to be very similar in color and tex- ture, and with about the same number of knots and flaws. You can't have one perfect board among multiple flawed and distressed boards, and the color of BASIC WOOD AND METAL SIGN WORK Our proposal for this combination wood and metal sign used a photo of their empty framework plus our proposed 39" X 48" sign. (All images courtesy Rick Williams) The logo and letters weren't routed in or sandcarved around, but were to be 3/16"-thick powder-coat- ed aluminum.

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