Veteran sign maker Douglas Hancock with Sign Pro of North Florida was recently interviewed by CNC manufacturer Vectric about a custom dimensional sign he made for a local boutique salon that involved Precision Board HDU, smaltz, and gold leaf lettering. Read on for some excerpts from the article and then head over to the Vectric website to read the full interview!
The body is made from #15 high density urethane foam (HDU) of various thicknesses. We used Coastal Enterprises [PB Fast Set] adhesive to bond the 4 layers into one monolithic piece after carving them on the CNC. The medallions were made from [PBLT-34] Coastal Enterprises HDU.
The lion medallion started from a reference picture that was brought into Adobe Illustrator to hand trace major elements such as eyes, nose and cheeks. I also built the vectors that would be used to make the medallion border. Once completed, the vectors were imported into Aspire to build the 3D model. The medallion border was made using a unique technique of saving the toolpath preview as a component. It is sometimes faster to create what you want this way. The border was a two-rail sweep that had a 1/16” ball nose profile toolpath projected onto the 3D model and then previewed. I saved the toolpath preview as a component and then continued to work from there creating the lions head.
The HDU was primed using Coastal Enterprises FSC-88 primer/filler. We sanded that down and we were ready for paint. We sprayed our black background color using water-based Sherwin Williams all surface enamel. The copper paint was made mixing copper powder and metallic paint. We used Modern Masters acidic activator to react the copper paint and give us the patina we desired. The smaltz was adhered to the sign body using an adhesive. We gilded the letters using Luco fast size and W&B Gold LLC. palladium and 23K gold leaf. We used palladium because it would not tarnish like silver leaf. We double gilded the entire piece so it would have a deep lustre and longevity in the elements. There is something magical about the mix of metal leaf and smaltz that you cannot beat. The mix of the metal finishes really came out great and it does stand out in the signscape. If I had to do anything different, I would have integrated a more ornate bracket to match the sign. We were limited to our projection from the wall so we opted for simple.
You can read the rest of the interview on the Vectric website HERE.
From CNC routed and sandblasted to 3D textured and sculpted, Sign Pro of North Florida can create all types of dimensional signs. They are a fully licensed electrical sign shop that services and installs all electrical signs. Additionally, they do wayfinding, gilding, hand painted, vinyl graphics, printing, vehicle wraps, ADA signs, murals and more. Give them a call at (386) 518-6887.
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 samples, get a quote or sign up for periodic newsletters packed with helpful information.