Creating Faux Stone Artifacts with Precision Board HDU

Coastal Enterprises, manufacturers of Precision Board HDU, is proud to host guest blogs written by some of the signage industry’s biggest movers and shakers, posted to the Precision Board Blog.  This guest blog is written by Dan Sawatzky with Imagination Corporation in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.  This month, Dan tells us how he used PBLT-30 Precision Board HDU to create ‘artifacts’ (in this case, faux stone statues) for the North Star suite of the Hazelnut Inn.


In Dan’s own words…

The website of the Hazelnut Inn describes the North Star Suite thus…

Local lore holds that the North Star was once the home of Temperance Longbottom. An eccentric explorer, Ms. Longbottom gathered artifacts and curiosities from every mythical corner of the world and built her estate around them.  Spend the night in the captain’s quarters of an ancient sailing vessel. Relax in a tub for two. Curl up by the fireplace. Explore the lush private garden, filled with whimsical artifacts. Staying in the North Star is simply a delight.

With this legend in mind we are busy creating the many ‘artifacts’ to be housed there. Two statues are among this collection and they are in construction currently in our studio. We decided the perfect medium would be PBLT-30 Precision Board HDU. For the basic shape Peter downloaded two 3D models from the web. These were imported into EnRoute and sliced into sections two inches thick. The two statue slices filled two full sheets of Precision Board. Since we planned on doing the bulk of the modeling ourselves, and in the process modify the statues considerably, we used a 3/8” bullnose bit with a 50{afbea94bd31582343c3017644f03ec8d7d8fa2386ecb82c250661e06c0c6e111} overlap. The reliefs were pretty rough and basic but provided exactly what we needed.

These slices were then glued up using PB Fast Set. A steel frame was embedded with two heavy duty threaded steel rods protruding out of the back. These will go through the exterior of the wall to be securely bolted to the interior framework of the building. We used plenty of course threaded screws as we assembled the Precision Board, countersunk to hold the material in place while we finished the piece. After using some sculpting epoxy to fill screw holes and apply other details, Peter used a die grinder to surface and shape the model. Some portions of the statue needed to appear broken, and by using a chisel and brute force, Peter did just that. The result was very convincing!


The first statue is now in the painting stage with base coats applied and already looks pretty fabulous! By the time we finish the paint it will be impossible to tell from a real stone statue.

Sawatzky’s Imagination Corporation is a small family company that specializes in the design and creation of dimensional signs and environments. They tackle projects of any size from small signs to entire theme parks. Their work has garnered numerous national and international awards.

Dan Sawatzky is best described as a creative force and visual storyteller extraordinaire. His art career spans almost fifty years of magic. Dan’s passion is to design and create imaginative places that take people from the normal world to a setting of delight and wonder.

Coastal Enterprises manufactures Precision Board HDU, a versatile, cost-effective and eco-friendly urethane sign material that is particularly effective for making professional-looking indoor and outdoor dimensional signs.  It is a closed-cell rigid substrate that does not rot, warp or crack.  You can request free samplesget a quote or sign up for periodic newsletters packed with helpful information.