The Secret to Creating a Neat Glued Joint on Precision Board

Coastal Enterprises, manufacturers of Precision Board HDU, is proud to announce a series of guest blogs written by Dan Sawatzky of Imagination Corporation, which are posted on the Precision Board Blog each month. This month Dan Sawatzky lets us in on a little secret of his when it comes to gluing Precision Board HDU- when he wants a smooth bond-line, he’ll glue the pieces together first and then rout the material.  He gives us an example from his latest project- The Hazelnut Inn fantasy suites.


In Dan Sawatzky’s own words…

A comment I often hear is how layers of glued Precision Board need a lot of edge finishing prior to paint. When folks use PB Bond 240 or PB Fast Set it often squishes out between the layers as it cures. In our work this isn’t often a problem as we texture the edges of our work, most often with an air powered die grinder. It is quick work and adds a lot of value to the finished piece.

But occasionally we need a neat glue joint as we layer up the Precision Board within the edges of our work. I’ve found the easiest way to do this is to glue up the board before we do the routing. It’s a great way to use up smaller pieces of Precision Board and it saves using a whole thick board and turning the bulk of it to chips and dust.

Precision Board also offers custom cut and glued up blocks for your larger projects!

I have a small project in the works that is a great example. It’s a tribal mask for the Hazelnut Inn decor. I went through our scrap pile and selected three pieces of 1” thick material, making sure they were slightly larger than necessary. I then glued and screwed them together. Because the top layers were a bunch smaller than the bottom, the clamps wouldn’t reach. Once the piece had cured, I removed the screws (hitting a screw with a router bit is rather hard on bits).


I threw the piece on our MultiCam 3000 CNC router and ran the job in two passes using a 3/8” bit for the rough and a 1/8” tapered bit for the final.

When the piece was finished I glued a fourth layer of 1” thick Precision Board underneath for extra thickness.

I then used our air-powered die grinder to extend the woodgrain down onto the edges. The piece was now ready for paint.

I measured up some rope we had left over from a recent project and then drilled the bottom edge with a series of holes. These were to accept the rope segments for the beard. I used hot glue to fasten them into place.

I then applied the glazes to bring out the woodgrain. Then the green, red, orange and white was carefully dry brushed on the ridges of the woodgrain. Then I unfurled the ropes and spread out the single strands to form the beard on the mask. The final result looked better than I imagined when I did the design! Some mounting hardware will make the mask ready to hang in the room.

Local lore holds that the North Star Suite of the Hazelnut Inn was once the home of an eccentric explorer, who gathered artifacts and curiosities from every mythical corner of the world and built her estate around them. There will be a whole bunch of ‘artifacts’ of every description on display in the room when we are done. Here’s another piece which we recently completed. The mounting board is made from 30 lb Precision Board.  Stay tuned for many more…


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.

Giving Life to Precision Board

Every year the next generation continues to impress us. After receiving the donated Precision Board Plus from Coastal Enterprises Company, these select creative minds brought life to what was once a block of urethane. Using PBLT hand in hand with 3D Printers, Paper Laser Cutters and CNC Milling machines, the students at Carleton University in Ottawa are working with cutting edge technology. They are incorporating materials and machinery to create amazing works of art.


PBLT 15 & PBLT 18, along with 3D printing, shows the intricate detail in the ‘Reef Project’


PB Bond-240 (one part Urethane adhesive) being applied to bond sheets of Precision Board, to achieve desired thickness for this project.   Next step: CNC machining!


Brant Lucuik, a professional CNC technician, helped the students learn about and use the CNC machine to carve the Precision Board.  There was a combination of densities used for this project. The students used PBLT-10 up to PBLT-20, though PBLT-15 and PBLT-18 were the norm. Everyone was pleased with how easy Precision Board was to work with, “It sands and mills beautifully and I would use it exclusively if I could” said Johan Voordouw, Professor of 2nd year Modeling and responsible for the reef project.


The students at Carleton used several 3D printers from around campus in conjunction with the Precision Board to create this reef scene. Most of the 3D printers used were “smaller makerbots” to create the coral reef shapes. Superglue was used to bond the 3D art to CNC carved Precision Board.




Precision Board in conjunction with 3d printing make ideas become reality. For more information regarding these projects, contact Professor Johan at Carleton University. For any more information about a potential CNC project, contact Brant at Carleton University. To find out more about Carleton University, Click Here!


How To Bond Plywood Or Aluminum To HDU

Over the years many of our customers have asked for advice when bonding dissimilar substrates, such as plywood or aluminum, to Precision Board.

Bonding a dissimilar substrate to Precision Board is easy when the proper procedures are followed.

1. Dry fit the pieces you will be bonding together before applying any adhesive to be sure you have a proper fit.

2. Have all of your weights and clamps ready, especially if working with PB Fast Set – it dries fast!

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3. Mist the surface with a spray bottle or a rag. PB Bond-240 and PB Fast Set require moisture to catalyze it and fully cure, which is critical for a strong joint. Both surfaces should be lightly sprayed with water, with any excess wiped away.

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4. Apply the PB Bond-240 or PB Fast Set in ribbons parallel to the shortest dimension. Apply the ribbons in a 3/8″ diameter, 5″ – 8″ apart. The space between the ribbons will allow the dissimilar substrates to expand and contract without over-stressing the bond or the material. Over-stressing will cause delamination or cracking of the weakest substrate.

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5. The next step is to add a 3/8″ ribbon around the perimeter, about 3/4″ from the edge. This serves to seal against water  (both PB Fast Set and PB Bond-240 are waterproof), dirt and other debris from entering between the laminated pieces.

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6. Finally, place the 2 pieces together and weigh down with a heavy object. Be sure to also toenail in screws in several locations to keep your work aligned. When using PB Bond-240, do not move for at least 4 hours. Total cure is achieved in 12 hours. PB Fast Set will be fully cured in 30 minutes.

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You can also check out our video on bonding to see how to properly edge bond and laminate Precision Board.

Don’t forget, we offer free technical support, so if you have any questions or would like to try a free sample, give us a call at: (800) 845-0745!


PB Bond 240 Turns Scrap HDU Into Inventory

One of the best ways to get the most from the Precision Board Plus you’ve purchased is to carefully plan out your “maximum yield strategy”. Frequently, it will be more economical to bond more than one piece of Precision Board Plus to create unique shapes or thicknesses, versus building your sign from a single block. PB Bond-240 one-part urethane adhesive allows you to assemble your rough sign blank prior to final routing or shaping, creating a custom block that performs as if it were cast as a single piece.

PB Bond-240 is a versatile one-part urethane adhesive that is ready to use right out of the container (no mixing).  It fully cures in 12 hours, allows for maximum working time, and you’ll find many uses around your workshop. Great for both interior and exterior applications, PB Bond-240 also works well on wood, metal and most other materials. With PB Bond-240 on hand, you’ll quickly see your leftover HDU turn into “usable inventory”.

PB Fast Set For a Strong, Fast Bond

As with all of our Companion Products, PB Fast Set has been specifically formulated to meet the needs of sign makers working with Precision Board Plus HDU. A versatile one-part, urethane adhesive that is ready to use right out of the container (no mixing), PB Fast Set will find many uses around your workshop.

Use it to laminate Precision Board Plus sheets to increase thickness or to edge bond them to increase length. PB Fast Set fully cures in 30 minutes, so it is ideal for quickly building three dimensional structures for subsequent routing, blasting or carving. Great for both interior and exterior applications, PB Fast Set also works well on wood, metal and most other materials. With plenty of PB Fast Set on hand, you’ll quickly see that pile of scrap HDU turn into “inventory”.

For detailed use and application instructions, refer to our PB Fast Set Adhesive Product Data Sheet