A Dimensional Sign Update from Dan Sawatzky

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 gives us an update on two dimensional signs his shop is fabricating for a tourism farm project.  He shows us how far along each sign is as well as the concept drawings they are based on.


In Dan’s own words…

A couple of months ago I talked about some fun dimensional farm signs which were in design. Seven of those designs are now in production in the shop. I’ll give a sneak peek at two currently in progress. As with most of our projects we are using a combination of four material; plasma cut steel, hand sculpted fibreglass-reinforced-concrete, hand sculpted epoxy and routed PBLT-30 Precision Board HDU.

Each started with a hand drawn design.


The sign faces (double-sided) were laminated over 2” x 2” square steel tubing for maximum strength. This made this sign about 5” thick. This sign incorporates a planter which is actually a watering trough for animals. I drilled holes in the bottom to provide adequate drainage.

We then applied the fibreglass-reinforced-concrete over the armature and hand-sculpted the woodgrain.

Between the time we received a go for production and when I sent some progress pictures to the owners they had renamed the Cookie Coop for a member of their extended family. I used a die grinder to take off ’THE’ and routed up a board with “BOB’s” on it. Although obviously an addition, it fits in with the story of the farm.

The second sign is a whole lot of fun as I really love trains. It is modeled after the train they run for guests on the farm and is named after the owner’s dad.

The owner wanted very substantial brackets so we cut the pieces from a half-inch thick steel plate.


While we were fabricating the bracket, the router was carving the train. It is routed from five layers of Precision Board. Here’s a picture of the pieces right off the MultiCam. I’ll be adding much of the detail by hand using sculpting epoxy.

As with all of our Precision Board projects we laminated structural steel tubing inside for strength. The train was then glued and screwed around this layer.

This sign is going to be a real head-turner when we are done. I’ll post some pics the next time. Stay tuned….

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.