Vectric interviews Doug Hancock about his HDU Lion’s Lair Sign

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 samplesget a quote or sign up for periodic newsletters packed with helpful information.

Edge Bonding: A PB-Fast Set walk-through

Out technical staff at Coastal Enterprises has received questions frequently in regards to using PB-Fast Set for edge bonding. Here is a quick step by step picture aided explanation of how it’s done.

This sample of PBLT-15 was cut into two pieces. Our goal is to use PB-Fast Set and bond the halved pieces back together without any gaps or separations.



What you will need for this bonding project is PB-Fast Set, a spray bottle with water, paper towels or a shop rag, the Precision Board needing to be bonded, clamps that will fit the measurement of the Precision Board (we used pipe clamps), and a working space large enough to accommodate the project.


Place the two pieces of Precision Board in a way that the edges you want to bond are facing “up” or on top. You will distribute the PB-Fast Set on ONE SIDE of the two edges leaving ¼” of space away from the edge allowing room for the PB-Fast Set to expand. Spread the PB-Fast Set uniformally using a tongue depressor or brush.

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With the spray bottle of water, mist the other edge needing to be bonded. This will activate the PB-Fast Set causing it to set up and secure the bond.


**NOTE** At the point of contact between the two edges being bonded, you will be on a bit of a timer. You have 4 minutes of working time, so you must work quickly to use your clamps and align/connect the edges.

We used pipe clamps to connect the two pieces. You may use any clamps you like that will securely hold the two edges together for a seamless bond line. Wipe excess adhesive off for an easier clean up.

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At this point, you must allow a full 30 minutes of time to ensure the bond has fully cured. Once cured, sand the excess to a smooth finish allowing for a clean and tight bond line.


PB-Fast set requires no mixing, works well on wood, metal and most other materials. It’s easy to cut, carve, sand or machine, and cuts cleanly.



Find out more about PB-Fast Set and our other companion products 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!


The Cold Weather Warrior In Signage

Joel Lunsford, owner of Lunsford Signs, knows how to make an impressive sign out of HDU. Lunsford Signs is a full service sign shop and specializes in all types of signage. When speaking with Joel last week to congratulate him on winning the “Best Engineered” category of our Facebook contest, he mentioned that he hasn’t used wood for a sign in over 20 years!

Being located in Hot Sulphur Springs, CO, means exterior signs face some tough weather and a lot of moisture. When Joel first started in the industry, wood signs began requiring too much maintenance to keep afloat and were at risk of water intrusion. Joel turned to Precision Board Plus HDU – the cold weather warrior – after finding out it wouldn’t allow any moisture in from snow, rain or ice. Noticing that HDU held detail, painted and routed better than wood made the crossover permanent.

The contest winning sign was made for the “Your Art’s Desire” Art Studio using a 1.5″ x 4′ x 8′ sheet of PBLT-20, cut on Joel’s CNC router. Texture was added to the yellow section by hand, while the purple section was finished using purple smaltz, which was poured onto a mixture of Smith’s Cream and One Shot Paint (see the history of smaltz here). The entire sign is painted in Matthews Paints.


Joel Lunsford has been in the signmaking industry as owner of Lunsford Signs since 1996. For those who are curious, he chose a gallon of our PB Fast Set as his winning prize! Be sure to take a look at his website,, for more info.

Precision Board Plus fact: Did you know that Precision Board Plus has been tested from -423˚F to +300˚F with no degradation or breakdown?

Companion Products For HDU – Prime, Texture, Laminate & Bond!

Interested in trying out some of our Companion Products? Your local distributor doesn’t have them in stock?

No need to worry! We always have all of them in stock at Coastal Enterprises – TSF-45, PB Resin, PB Hardcoat, Adhesives, Primers and Fillers. As long as we receive an order from your distributor before 1:00PM PST, it will ship from our Orange, CA location the same day, right to your door if needed.

This means that you can put on that high-gloss PB Resin protective finish on your sign, or use the right adhesive to laminate those Precision Board Plus sheets because you will receive what you need promptly!

All of our Companion Products have been designed for use on Precision Board Plus HDU, and can also be used on many other materials. Trust what the experts use when crafting a professional sign. Want to try before you buy? Contact us for FREE samples!

Also be sure to check out our full gallery of step-by-step videos.

Also check out this Precision Board Plus sign made using PB Resin. Created by David Sherby at SherWood Sign & Graphic Design in Crystal Falls, MI.