Business Signs by Gibbs Graphics


Gibbs Graphics cracks the code for memorable HDU business signs

Gibbs Graphics is a full-service marketing team based out of Leavenworth, Washington. With a talented team of artists and designers on their roster, they can tackle the marketing needs of a company from top to bottom. This includes designing and building some very cool dimensional business signs with Precision Board HDU! Check out some of their weatherproof creations from last winter.

This time around, the job was to fabricate a sign for the Nutcracker Museum in Leavenworth, something fun and engaging to draw curious patrons from off the street. They designed a friendly-looking Bavarian nutcracker figure (affectionately nicknamed Karl) to hang above the heads of passersby. The nutcracker and its faux-wood mounting bracket would be made from Precision Board PBLT-18, then attached to steel frames for additional support.


The initial shapes for Karl the Nutcracker, the mounting bracket, and a secondary sign were carved on the shop’s AXYZ CNC router. The Gibbs Graphics crew routed out a front and back face for the nutcracker and the mounting brackets, then used hand tools for the detail carving. Both high-tech CNC routers and basic hand carving tools are equally effective on Precision Board, giving sign makers a lot of freedom in their tool selection. 


Next, the team primed their creations with our FSC-88 WB Primer. For painting, they used a bright color palette for Karl the Nutcracker and a faux-wood stain for the mounting bracket. You can see that the mounting bracket now closely resembles a long-handled nutcracker, right down to the acorn between the teeth! It’s this high level of detail work that really sets the piece apart and gives it personality.


The final step was to mount the two signs over the Nutcracker Museum itself. The two pieces provide some great atmosphere for the museum, and will definitely generate a lot of foot traffic. Another job well done by Gibbs Graphics! Be sure to check out their website for more of their handcrafted designs. And if you’re in the Pacific Northwest, give them a call at 509-548-1226 to commission some eye-catching dimensional signage of your own!

Custom Tooling Board Blocks: Soft Tooling Made Easy

Custom Tooling Board Blocks Save Time, Money, and Material

Soft tooling can be a time-consuming and expensive process. A common method is to order a number of individual tooling board sheets, bond them together in-house, and then machine the newly formed block to size. This means a lot of added time and labor to bond the sheets together and wait for the adhesive to cure. On top of that, machining large rectangular block into the proper shape wastes a lot of material and ties up the CNC machine for much longer than necessary. Fortunately, we have the solution: Custom tooling board bonded blocks from Coastal Enterprises.

custom tooling board

It’s time to stop working hard, and start working smart. Precision Board custom-bonded blocks and tools are designed from the ground up to save you time, material, and money. Our skilled production team can assemble complex step tools of any size, any thickness, and any density. All we need is an isometric drawing to provide a quote. For our proprietary bonding method, we use our own EP-76 epoxy adhesive filled with our PB Granules to match the material density, resulting in imperceptible bond lines and smooth machining throughout the finished tool. We cut the sheets to size, carefully bond them together, and ship the assembled step tool directly to you. This means you can start machining as soon as the bonded block arrives, instead of wasting days or even weeks assembling it from scratch.

Custom tooling board

Get started on your next project today! We have a large inventory of densities for fast turnaround times, and a highly skilled production team to turn your idea into reality. Contact us for a quote on your own custom bonded tool, and download the new Precision Board Mobile app for easy access to Precision Board info:

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Precision Board Mobile: The Only Mobile App for Sign & Tooling Board

precision board mobileprecision board mobileprecision board mobile

Introducing Precision Board Mobile: The First and Only Mobile App for HDU Sign and Tooling Board

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At Coastal Enterprises, we pride ourselves on providing some of the best technical support and customer service in the industry. We aim to give you comprehensive answers to your questions and complete support for your project, whether it’s sign making, soft tooling or prototyping. But what if you could also have our great service available at the touch of a button on your smartphone? Or put it in your pocket, ready to help you and your customers at a moment’s notice? Well, now you can, thanks to Precision Board Mobile: The first and only mobile app for Precision Board high density urethane! Click the links above to download now!

App Features

Product Overview: A thorough overview of Precision Board, its applications, features, and benefits, as well as the densities and sheet sizes we manufacture. precision board mobileprecision board mobile
Technical Data: Get instant access to our SDS and MSDS, Technical Data Sheets, Material Selection Guide, and more. Material-Selector-Guideprecision board mobile
Request a Sample: Instantly order a sample of Precision Board! Fill out your information and we’ll ship a sample package right to your doorstep. Request-a-sample
Request a Quote: Easily request a quote for your next project. Give us a brief description, and we’ll contact you with a quote. precision board mobile
Contact Us: Use our mobile app to give us a call, send an email, even find directions to our facility, all from your phone. contact-usprecision board mobile
Precision Board FAQ: Check out our Frequently Asked Questions for both Signage and Tooling, filled with a wealth of Precision Board info. sign-faqprecision board mobile
Pictures & Videos: Take a look through our extensive Sign and Tooling photo galleries, and watch our video playlist! Our videos are very short, accessible, and highly informative. video-pageprecision board mobile
Social Media: Stay in the loop and stay connected with Coastal: Follow us on social media! precision board mobile

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Weatherproof Signs with HDU

weatherproof signs

Weatherproof Signs: Outsmart the Weather with Precision Board!

Outdoor wooden signs are put in harm’s way every day. Any number of environmental conditions can compromise a wood sign: Rain, snow, hail, sleet, high humidity, mist, and many others. If moisture is allowed to penetrate a wood sign, it can cause rotting, cracking, warping, and peeling, all of which can irreparably damage a wooden sign. No matter the skill of the sign maker, if an exterior wood sign is exposed to moisture for long enough, it will degrade and eventually fail – Sooner rather than later. Wooden signs are not weatherproof signs!

weatherproof signs

Lunsford Sign Works | Colorado
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The good news is, wood isn’t the only option for dimensional signage, and it’s time to step into the modern world of sign making. Precision Board is a closed-cell High Density Urethane (HDU), which means it keeps water out! It absorbs no moisture, and stands up to temperature extremes with no degradation or breakdown. It’s perfect for outdoor signs and displays that need to withstand rain, snow, ice, sleet and high humidity. Even signs in drier climates can benefit from Precision Board’s moisture-repelling qualities: Repeated dousing with sprinklers or exposure to moist sea air can compromise a wood sign, but HDU stands up!

weatherproof signs

Sign Language | New York
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If you want the beauty of a hand-made wooden sign with the reliability of a modern material, high-density urethane is the only way to go. Available in 15 different densities and 8 standard sheet sizes, with thicknesses up to 24”, Precision Board HDU is the all-purpose substrate for the modern signage professional. Don’t let your handcrafted sign get beaten down by the elements: Outsmart the weather with Precision Board!

Just like every year, winter will be here before you know it! Click here to receive a FREE SAMPLE of Precision Board and get ready to step up your all-weather signage.

Priming HDU – Tips From The Experts

Want to know how the experts prime their signs for an ultra smooth finish? Check out some tips on priming your sign using FSC-88WB Primer/Filler!

First of all, FSC-88WB Primer/Filler is a water-based, high build primer designed for use on Precision Board Plus HDU. It also works well on wood, metal and concrete. Typical primers do not have the amount of solids required to fill the cells of HDU without many coats – a problem we addressed by creating FSC-88WB.

In order to give your sign the smoothest coat possible, be sure to keep these tips in mind:

When Spraying FSC-88WB:

  • Thin only as necessary, usually about 40% +/-, to desired spraying consistency using water. Final thinning will depend on type of spray equipment and operator. Spray at about 40 psi with max size tip available. Adjust thinning for maximum hide and smoothest surface application.
  • First coat should be a little lighter than subsequent coats. Allow to dry, usually about 10 minutes. Do not sand between coats. When tack free, apply next coat a little heavier than first coat. If surface has to reached the smoothness desired, wait until tack free and apply next coat. When spraying, multiple thin coats are recommended over fewer, thicker coats.
  • Be sure to use a large tip, such as a 2.7mm or 3mm tip for your HVLP spray gun.
  • FSC-88WB also works well when used in a “cup gun.”
  • Unlike traditional primers, FSC-88WB reduces viscosity by compression, which causes it to atomize. Other primers reduce viscosity only by thinning.
When Brushing or Rolling FSC-88WB:
  • Reduce the FSC-88WB about 15% with water to reduce roller drag and extend drying time.
  • Always use a short-knap cloth roller – 1/4″ or 3/8″. A heavy knap roller will leave too much texture.
  • Be sure to roll/paint in several different directions to ensure full wet out of the Precision Board Plus cells.
  • Do not use a foam roller! Foam rollers will pick up just as much primer as they put on, leaving no primer build.
Drying/Sanding Precision Board Plus HDU:
  • Allowing the primer to dry is very important. Because Precision Board Plus does not absorb water, all water must be forced out via the surface. If any water is still in the primer when it comes time to paint, blistering will occur.
  • You will know when it is dry when it does not ball up on the sandpaper while sanding it. The FSC-88WB should powder when it is being sanded.
  • Start out using a 120 grit sandpaper, and work your way up to 220 or 320.
  • After sanding, and before painting, place the sign under a shop fan for at least an hour. This will prevent moisture reabsorption, which can occur even if the primer has been applied days or weeks earlier.
Painting Over FSC-88WB:
  • Once  FSC-88WB is completely dry, it is compatible with all types of paints and finishes, including most lacquers, automotive paints, and even gold leafing.
  • All sides of the sign must be painted. This is due to Paint Tension Balance – because Precision Board Plus has no beam strength like wood, it can be pulled in the direction of the drying paint. This is eliminated by painting both front and back of the sign.
General Tips:
  • FSC-88WB can also be used as a filler. Simply place on something absorbent such as cardboard, and give it a few minutes to body up. It can then be used to fill cracks and seams.
  • One of the reasons FSC-88WB works so well is because it is so high in solids. High solids fill the cells of HDU much more efficiently than typical primer which has low solids.
  • Be careful not to apply the primer too thick, or place the shop fan too close as this can cause mud cracking.
  • Because of the high solids in FSC-88WB, for wood or plywood priming it must be reduced by about 50% in order for it to be absorbed.
  • FSC-88WB works very well on wood but it must be reduced with water to make it a “wood primer”:
    Simply pour half  of a gallon of full strength 88 into a clean, gallon sized paint bucket. Take this unmarked, 1/2 full bucket and add water to within about 1″ of the top. Thoroughly mix the water into the 88 to a very smooth consistency. Mark on this container WOOD PRIMER ONLY. You now have  a half gallon of FSC-88WB and almost a full gallon of Wood Primer – All for the price of 1 gallon of 88WB. For maximum wood sealing be sure to use at least 2 coats of “88 Wood Primer.” The first coat will be absorbed deep into the top surface.
Many of these tips can also be seen demonstrated on video in our video library.
Interested in trying FSC-88WB? Request a free sample here.
All priming was done by Insiginia, a full service sign shop located in Anaheim, CA.