Sign Blog

Showing category "Auto repair sign process" (Show all posts)

Rust to Gold for D&S

Posted by Mark I on Thursday, December 1, 2011, In : Auto repair sign process 

Applying the metal paste/paint to the edge of the sign panel. This paint is embedded with iron particles that make the HDU foam look like it's really metal.


Good news, in this case- the rusted edge of the D&S sign... It wasn't easy, either!

To continue the macho-metal look of this sign, I chose a rusty edge and it's looking good, almost ready to deliver. It's a 2 part paint process, laying a thick iron embedded base down that is almost like a metal paste. Always going for the best finish, I app...
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The background comes to life

Posted by Mark on Monday, November 21, 2011, In : Auto repair sign process 

Painting brown on top of the red?! Yup. That brown is a special blend of paint that creates a 'wash' that allows us to paint at full strength and then remove some of that coat to leave a protective coat of color- creating depth and life.


It's not a lot of time actually painting- it's the paint prep, mixing, drying time and planning that takes the time on these projects. This background is coming together exactly as planned, and is gaining more rich life with each step.

Last week I finished the ...
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I'm seeing RED on this project today

Posted by Mark on Wednesday, November 16, 2011, In : Auto repair sign process 


Actually, I expected it, so it's not really a big deal- the whole sign is bright red!

I realized that I haven't painted a sign for over a year, considering our bus trip (www.ourBigtrip.us), and now I remember why I like making signs... Imagine a quiet day in the shop, talk radio in the background, heat is at 70 degrees, snow falling outside the window, snacks and drinks as close as the kitchen downstairs- and painting signs. Ahhh. Did I mention it's a 4' commute to the sign shop? Shoveling sno...
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Goodbye, to my friend the smooth sign...

Posted by Mark I on Friday, November 11, 2011, In : Auto repair sign process 


Creating a sign is a series of well-planned steps that must be completed to insure long life and the 'look' that the customer ordered. The steps don't change much regarding construction, but each step has ample latitude for creativity and embellishment, and this is where our signs stand out.

The priming stage is regarded as a formality in many shops, but it's where the final texture and character is added before color. The CNC router creates the overall texture and layout as it is directed wi...
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Success! (while you were sleeping)

Posted by Mark I on Wednesday, November 9, 2011, In : Auto repair sign process 

The scene of the crime this morning...

Last time I wrote, the router had taken about 4 hours to get as far as: almost being done, I thought.

Keep in mind that this is a learning experience (I keep telling myself, too).  The router started running at high noon yesterday- with a 1/4" end mill tool to do the rough step in 5 passes with 75% overlap, then the same 1/4" bit to do a rough pass that would cut within .1" of the finished surface, making way for the finishing bit, a 1/8" ball nose bit tha...
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3hrs 56 mins (and counting)

Posted by Mark I on Tuesday, November 8, 2011, In : Auto repair sign process 
The project has been under the 12,000 rpm spindle for almost 4 hours, and it's looking good! At this stage, I could finish it by hand if the ol' MultiCam started to cut funny lines...

For this project, I had 15# Sign Foam on hand, so we'll see how it does with the finished project. As much as this will be a great looking sign for the customer, and the companion (duplicate) sign will work hard in our showroom- it is an experiment.

I hope the router will be done by dinner with a real lif...
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Sometimes, my enthusiasm costs me money

Posted by Mark I on Tuesday, November 8, 2011, In : Auto repair sign process 
I am hoping today is NOT that day. But if it was, it would just be another lesson from the school of hard knocks. Life learning. Trial and Error. Trial by Fire. Stupidity?

To get to this day, it has been a longer-than-I-expected road filled with curves and surprises, and my head is recovering from all of the beating against the wall late at night when things wouldn't go.

That's how I learn new things I guess. I can remember struggling to learn Gerber software (I'm up to understanding a...
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Just press a button

Posted by Mark I on Tuesday, November 1, 2011, In : Auto repair sign process 

The perspective view of the D&S sign in EnRoute (our routing software).


I always get a chuckle out of folks that are impressed by the power of the MultiCam router, for when you walk into the shop and the machine is running and I'm standing there marveling at the smooth efficiency of a CNC router- it looks..... easy.

That is the fun part (watching the router work). When that same person sometimes makes comments about how nice it must be to have a router that does all the work for us and sometime...
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First victim, er, willing customer.

Posted by Mark I on Wednesday, October 26, 2011, In : Auto repair sign process 

(above) The sign layout on screen in the 2D stage of design. The red line on the
left and bottom indicated the edge of the substrate and isn't part of the sign.



I recently visited our mechanic to drop off some used motor oil (he heats his shop by burning recycled motor oil), and on the way out he asked if I could letter his door. Well of course I could. But lettering doors isn't what excited me right now, so I asked a few more questions, and found out that he didn't really care what I did, as l...
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Signs of Life, Inc   Estes Park, Colorado   (970) 586-6995 

... meet the signmaker


Mark Igel It all started in 1992, I was working full time as a Paramedic and made a few signs on the side. The word got out, so I made a few more... People will pay me to make signs? I was in! This business is an exciting creative outlet that has allowed me to use cutting edge technology and release the ideas from inside my head- while offering effective signs to our customers. Today alongside my wife Kelly, we're doing our best to raise 7 children from 8-17 years old. I continue to volunteer with the Fire District, and enjoy Scouts with our sons.