Fetch Sign – Woof 4

Today we are fabricating the interior frame of our sign. We are using 1″ Square steel tubing.

We’ve pocket a raceway into the back of each sign panel.  Peter is setting the steel pieces in place, we’ll tack weld them inside the sign for a perfect fit then take it out and complete our welds.


Untitled-2Here it is all welded up and ready for assembly.




Fizzy Lifting Soda Pop Candy Shop Sign – Part 3

We are getting close. Brian’s been welding, building and painting away. Now that he has all the letters done he’s moved on to the sign faces. these will be a bright red and will really stand out at this little corner shop.

He started by welding the inside frame of the sign.  This will make it incredibly strong.


IMG_4104Now back to the sign faces. Using our Matthews Paint system Brian matches the clients red and preps the paint guns. IMG_4107Several coats of color are put down to get a real nice, and strong, finish.

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Ready to clear coat and assemble!



“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.

enroute sketch

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 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.



Han Solo Continued…


The Control Panels are all cut.  We’ll do some handy work on these later with LEDs and Acrylic faces.

135021 Now its time to complete the sculpting of Hans clothing.  I’m using Magic Sculpt.  This material is great – its a two part sculpting compound that is really easy to work with and hardens to steel! If you look closely I’m using my Iphone case as a reference for the detail.



Disney’s Frozen Project – Times Square Disney Store

Who wouldn’t love working on a Disney project?  This was a fun project with characters, castles and great Disney graphics. We just completed our work, delivered to our client they added their magic and it looks fantastic! If you are  in Times Square NYC this holiday season check it out.

We started out by vectorizing the clients sketch of a giant snow arch and castle with the “Frozen” logo carved into it. In Enroute Pro we gave the outline shape and texture and designed the accurate dimensions to fit on the store fixtures.293294Now this arch is about 16′ Wide so we cant cut it all at once.  I’ll break up the file and start cutting the pieces.

So to keep the weight down we chose to make the arch out of blue insulation foam.  We started by gluing 4’x8′ sheets of 2″ foam together.  Our arch will end up 8″ thick. Once glued we are ready to cut.



Once the panels are cut – we cut out a channel on the back to set the PVC piping wich will hold the pieces together. The PVC is set in place and the safety cables are installed and crimped.


The adhesive is applied and the sides are assembled.



 Now we’re ready to tackle the bases! These need to be large solid pieces of foam so we cut them in discs that will sit on top of each other then Brian will come in with a sawzall to rough sculpt it. Here you can see Eddie assembling the discs and gluing in place.



We’ll finish up the other base and start sculpting. Brian got out the sawzall for the rough cuts then the belt sander for the second go around.


Mark and Kevin doing some finishing sanding.


Here’s Brian and Greg with their homemade sanding tool – Great for taking away a lot of foam fast.


Ready for Bondo and Paint!


While the arch is off to the paint shop we’re busy printing away and building some other cool features for the install.

Here is an 8′ Marquee Gift Tag.


A GIANT painters pallete.


Lots of wrapping paper….


Some cool Mickey Ears….


and a bunch of other cool stuff.


And here is the transformation (with the help of our clients amazing design and installation skills)






















The top of our chest – mechanical fish project

It’s time to put the top on our chest and finish up the base of our sign. I cut the top, two sided, out of 1″ 30 lb Precision Board on our multicam 3000.

This was a tricky one. First I cut the bottom side and used a hatch fill to remove a 1/2″ pocket all around so the piece would fit snug over the sides of the box.

Then I routed a 1/8″ deep seat on the spoilboard to hold the inside part of the cut piece. I set the piece in place and I’m ready to add my texture on the other side.

Once I routed the the texture it was time to cut the piece in half because one side would be removable. Once in place we’ll add the wrought iron metal over the seams so you won’t know the panel is removable.