“Robots” Sign – Complete

We’re coming to the end of the “Robots” project. I’m doing a little painting in place as it hangs in the wall.  First I’m going to paint the “guts” of the letters – then age them a little bit. This is a Modern Masters Metallic Copper.  I’ll then do a glaze of Black Pearl over the copper. Once dried I’ll rust out the metal clamps.

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The last touch is to dry brush some pure silver back over the face of each letter.


Final Assembly is complete, LED’s are on and my “faux” robotic arm moves back and forth when the motion sensor is triggered. All I have to do is tuck away the wires and this baby is done. This was a lot of fun!

Hmmm what to do next?

– Steve.

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Rise of the Machines

I’ve been obsessed with robots for the past few months. Researching and coming up with processes in our shop that I can one day have a robot perform… Yes everyone thinks I’m nuts. I’ve even been playing around with our home vacuum cleaner robot in hopes of “taking control” of it. Not sure of what it will do just yet but I’m getting there.

So in honor of my obsession I started a little side project of creating a “robots” sign.

photoI started sketching an idea and got so excited about it I ran to the computer and began drawing it up in Enroute Pro. I decided to keep it very simple – i’ll have the word “robots” sitting atop a rover robot with two robotic arms hovering above the letters – one will be placing a letter into position. I also want to incorporate some type of movement in this sign so I’m experimenting with a motion detector and a motor to simulate robotic movement. Ok not so simple. But this will be fun and it’s my obsession – so here we go.

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I’ve cut the letters out of 15# Precision Board HDU

Now its time to cut out the robots that will stand behind the letters. I’m cutting them out of 30lb Precision Board HDU on the MultiCAM 3000. These guys will be large and heavy duty!


077 Once cut I’ll glue them together with Coastal’s PB Bond-240 HDU adhesive. I’ve also inserted a cable which will hold up one of the letters. Once dry I’ll sculpt on some



I’m doing the back panel out of some scrap MDF and I’ll paint to look like rusted steel. I’m getting an idea of the layout. I think I want it a little more robust.

011 I’ll get everything primed while I’m figuring out the assembly. I’m using Coastals FSC-88 Primer – 2 Coats. It works great on the MDF as well.


After the priming is done its on to the painting.  I’ve painted the backer with a faux iron paint from Sophisticated Finishes which I can then rust out.  It’s such a simple process and the results are amazing.

009 While the second coat is still tacky I spray on the Green Petina Solution and wait.  The finish rusts before your eyes.


I’m using the Modern Masters Silver as the base coat for my letters.  With a glaze over the top.014

017 Pre-assembly is complete. Now we are going to hang it and do some more painting and LED work.



Bailey’s Project: Day 8 – Happy St. Patricks Day

Yesterday was the install day – it was cold out but the biggest challenge we had was knowing there was Guinness and Smoked Barbeque only feet from where we were standing and we couldn’t touch it!

We started the install by taking some final measurements then prepping the sign to be raised in the air. Now this baby is around 200lbs so it’s going to be tricky. 


We have the rope secured and tied around the bucket truck. I’ll be on the ground with a guide rope – John is working the bucket.


Up we go.  Now I’m scared standing on a chair let alone getting up on a roof, Brian climbed up like a monkey and to get the sign safely connected.

026 Not totally sure what he was trying to say in this picture. It was right after I told him that Bailey’s ran out of Guinness.



And its In!   I’ll post some pics lit up. What a great project – Thanks Bailey’s!!!! – Steve



Bailey’s Project: Day 7 – part 2

Things are heating up!

Brian and Greg are completing final assembly of the sign and working out all of the details of installation.  Wow – what a paint job! Brian has outdone himself on this – amazing! We are ready for install on Sunday. 012

 John is on location with the bucket truck installing the 3″ thick steel sign bracket.007


Bailey’s Project: Day 7 – part 1

OK Its Friday – we are installing on Sunday – St. Patrick’s Day is Monday. Hmm. Pressure is on!!!!!!

Brian has been in the paint shop for days – not sure if he’s seen daylight.  But it’s payin’ off! After all the priming Brian started mixing the paints and spraying. Time is running out but we’re almost there. We have a crew out today installing the bracket on the building so Sunday we can focus on transporting and hanging this 200lb baby. 

The colors are amazing and the finish is incredible. We 3D cut the face of the ribbons and left the accent lines of the font on the ribbon.  This way it would create a dramatic depth when the letters get placed in. Brian hand painted the gold details and the filigree.

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The main body of the sign is painted and its time to attach the front face pieces and the grill.  IMG_3434

The LED’s are inserted and it comes alive!


Captain America

This was a nice little challenge. We were hired to make a sign for the new Captain America film which will hang in the Disney Store in Times Square. The sign has to be lightweight, clean and look high end. The graphics supplied were really cool so we have a lot of work to do to match it.

I started with designing the “Captain America” letters.  I thought it would look great to do it in two parts to match the logo  – the outside letter will be cut out of 1″ 15lb Precision Board HDU and painted silver and the inside beveled plate will be cut out of 1/4″ PVC and we’ll print the blue face and highlights to it on our Oce’ 350XT Flatbed Printer. 001

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Stage 1 Complete!


Now we have to come up with the sign backer. Again it needs to be lightweight and look awesome – something Captain America… ish.

So we decided to make it out of 2″ Black Gator. At this thickness we’ll be able to drill down the center of the material and insert threaded rod to hang it. Here you can see Greg drilling the holes for the threaded rod. Once we have our rod in place we’ll wrap the sign with black brushed metal vinyl. Greg made up some nice low profile hangers to finish it off.049


Here Rad and I are wrapping the panel with our Avery black brushed metal cast wrap material.


Stage 2 Complete!  Great job Rad and Greg.  075

Now we’ll finish up the other dimensional letters and get them over to Brian to paint – he’s going to do some nice airbrushing on our letters so I can’t wait to see them. In the meantime we have to complete the face of our sign. we are going to finish it off with a sheet of 1/16″ Frosted Acrylic with silver cast vinyl backer to give it a real sleek look. we are going to print some of the text directly to this panel then double sided adhesive mount it to our wrapped gator board.


All the elements are complete – it’s time to glue it all together. Mark, Rad and Eddie  jump on the mounting and gluing. We are almost there.



Bailey’s Project: Day 5


We’ve had several project deadlines over the last few days so it’s been a little hectic here.  But we’re moving along with the Bailey’s Project – fingers crossed for St. Paddy’s Day! Now that he has all the elements of the sign Brian is completing the assembly and sculpting – there will be a lot of sanding. 

Once complete he’ll register all the parts and pin them then disassemble. Reassembly after painting will be smooth having all of the pins in place.

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To add texture to the sign quickly Brian is using a die grinder. What a great tool! 

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Bailey’s Project: Day 4

It’s day four and we are making great progress – the sign is REALLY taking shape.  All the precision board cuts are done and the letters are all completed as well. Brian is hard at work fabricating standoffs, welding, sculpting and assembly. Once the sign is put together and the parts sculpted just right he’ll take it all apart to begin priming.

We cut the “smokehouse” letters out of 1/2″ black PVC.  And the larger 3D Cut “Bailey’s” out of 1″ thick 15# Precision Board HDU. 

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