Fetch Sign – Woof 4

Today we are fabricating the interior frame of our sign. We are using 1″ Square steel tubing.

We’ve pocket a raceway into the back of each sign panel.  Peter is setting the steel pieces in place, we’ll tack weld them inside the sign for a perfect fit then take it out and complete our welds.


Untitled-2Here it is all welded up and ready for assembly.




Published with permission from KDF Custom Graphics. Source.

Southwestern-Themed Signage & Art: Dan Keith Spotlight

Famous for its Southwest Cuisine, rich cultural heritage and popular extra-terrestrial hangout Roswell, New Mexico is a diverse and unique location. San Acacia resident and Jack-of-all-trades Dan Keith has been an artist all his life and has compiled such an amazing array of Precision Board projects (sculptures, signs, patterns, and more), that we’ve decided to showcase a portion of his art.

 These two signs were built by Dan for the well-known Rancho Corazon and Rancho La Querencia, horse-ranches, which have merged into one. Both signs were built using Precision Board.

McElvain sign 1 of 4 6-12-2011 11-39-22 AM 2048x1536

Rancho La Querencia

Dan’s father, A.J. Keith, had a major influence on both Dan and his art career. AJ learned photo-engraving from a German master engraver during the U.S. occupation of Germany after World War 2. After returning to the US, he began printing plates for all the local papers in Roswell, NM, enlisting a very young Dan as his helper.

dadAJ Keith

Age 9 saw Dan and family move to Corrales, NM where he helped his father build an house and studio for his oil paintings. At the same time, Dan was apprenticed to a lady sculptor, cementing his involvement in the art trade.

This mirror frame was crafted by Dan out of Precision Board PBLT-30, based off his memories of attending the Kimo Theater in Albuquerque as a young boy. The Kimo Theater was built in 1927 in the popular-at-the-time Pueblo Deco style.


Following a diverse period of teenage years that included stints in logging, cowboying, and participating in the construction of the Trans-Canadian Highway, Dan enlisted in the Air Force Reserve. After completing his service in 1971, he started building an art foundry so he could build western-style sculptures like his Dad.

Completion of the foundry saw his most serious learning curve begin on all things related to and involving industrial processes. Curiosity and necessity forced him to learn how to make all the equipment he needed, picking up information about almost all fabrication and production processes throughout and becoming a “Jack of all trades.”

Dan is still heavily involved in learning, researching and implementing industrial processes and techniques. These include sign making, metal casting, welding, plasma cutting, wood working, CNC routing, digital design, stained glass, gourd art, mold making, metal fabrication, metal forming, prop making, blacksmithing and more. Be sure to see additional information on his new website, rlybrdboxco.com or his blog, dansfoundry.bogspot.com.

Old wood? Nope. This is Precision Board Plus with a piece of vinyl cleverly applied over the top of it. Dan Keith strikes again!

sign made for friend of western livestock

The Crow Indian head Dan sculpted in commemoration of his father:


Sign made by Dan out of Precision Board:


Dan and his wife Cheryl:



Rustic Signmaking With HDU: Glazing A Sign To A Cool Finish

Almost medieval looking, the sign crafted by Synergy Sign & Graphics for Teal Insurance practically looks like it was made with ancient wood and hardened steel. In reality, Synergy used 30lb Precision Board Plus and a combination of other materials to give their sign a rustic, aged look.


We’ve worked with Synergy Sign & Graphics on several articles now, and one of the nicest things about working with them is that Jim Dawson, the owner, is an amateur photographer and takes excellent photographs documenting his signs every step of the way.

This unique sign began its life in Adobe Illustrator, based off an initial proof provided to him by the customer, before Jim generated a 3-D model with  CAM software.

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 3.59.01 PMInitial proof (left) and final Enroute Pro design (right).

Once the design was finalized, Jim’s MultiCam CNC transformed a piece of Precision Board Plus PBLT-30 HDU into the design he made in Enroute.


Since he sure didn’t want to see this beautiful sign get damaged by the weather or anything else, Jim reinforced the sign with a custom welded steel bracket, sandwiched into a routed slot in between each sign face. Once inserted, the sign faces were laminate bonded together with PB Bond-240, a single part urethane adhesive. A small opening at the top allowed space for eyebolts attached to the inner frame to mount to the faux tree – a simple, yet complex strategy.

To compliment his sign, and because Synergy Sign & Graphics refuses to make anything run of the mill or standard, Jim designed and built a custom faux tree from which he would mount the sign. The tree’s core was built from a custom-welded piece of steel.


Using an epoxy clay, Jim added a subtle, yet major touch to the signs appearance. The brackets surrounding the sign would be formed with the epoxy clay, and painted to look like hammered steel.

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 4.42.23 PM

A wire mesh frame provided the perfect foundation for the fiberglass reinforced concrete to be applied to and sculpted into a tree and surrounding rocks.


Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 4.47.38 PM

This sign is a great example of the “jack of all trades” skill set that it takes to make a sign. So far, this project has required welding, CNC machining and masonry, and the finishing steps will include painting and glazing – in short, beautiful signs are a lot of work!

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 1.31.54 PMSign primed with FSC-88WB (left), 3 coats of exterior grade latex paint (right).

After priming the sign with FSC-88WB Primer/Filler, and coating with three separate coats of light brown exterior grade paint, it was time to start the glazing process on both the faux tree and actual sign (to see the glazing process, please visit Jim’s blog). Once the three-stage glazing process was complete, the sign was clear coated with exterior grade flat latex clear, resulting in one of the most unique hanging signs we’ve seen!


The recipients of the Teal Sign stated that it was “More amazing than they could have possibly imagined,” which is a real testament to the skill and craftsmanship of Jim Dawson and the entire crew at Synergy Sign & Graphic! Be sure to visit www.synergysign.com for more information and pictures!