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Solutions For Making Signs and Signage?  RSS feed

 
Dan Boone
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Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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We share our 40 acres with oil leases in active production, which means that we have many gates and interior gravel roads in daily use by 3rd parties. We also have deer we don't hunt. So there's a lot of trespass pressure in addition to the oil activity. All this boils down to the conclusion that we'll never have enough signage.

The cheap plastic and metal signs from Walmart are fine as far as they go, but they don't include half the messages we need and they often aren't worded as we would prefer. Custom work from a sign printer tends to be too expensive for our very limited budget. Old school methods (hand-painted or stenciled wooden signs, wood-burning) require a degree of patience and craft skill to get decent-looking results, and don't scale up well if you need to make a dozen or more signs.

I'm wondering whether any of you have devised any clever methods for long-term weatherproofing and armoring of signs printed with a home printer. I've considered lamination but it's pretty expensive at full-page sizes and above, plus the plastics become brittle and opaque very rapidly when exposed to weather.

I'm also open to other suggestions. What are the cheapest, easiest, most-durable, most-attractive sign-creation methods you've devised? (I realize that all these variables are potentially in tension and may have to be traded-off depending on the needs of a particular situation.)
 
Brian Hamalainen
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Location: Chimacum, WA Sunset Zone 5, USDA Zone 8B
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I haven't tried yet, but I'd guess that making a single stencil to spraypaint your signs would probaby be the best option if you are making more than 4-5 signs, which you are.
 
Mike Cantrell
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Location: Mid-Michigan
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Brian Ham wrote:I haven't tried yet, but I'd guess that making a single stencil to spraypaint your signs would probaby be the best option if you are making more than 4-5 signs, which you are.


That would be my idea too. Use your printer to make the sign on printer paper. Glue it to a some posterboard, the glossy kind. Cut out the letters with an Xacto knife. Ta-da, stencil!

Spray as many wooden signs as you need.
 
Dan Boone
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That could work, and I may try it. But I'm hoping somebody has a great do-it-yourself alternative to lamination that's durable and cheap. Probably a pipe dream, but hey, a guy can ask!
 
ben harpo
Posts: 76
Location: Illinois, zone 6b
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I'm hoping somebody has a great do-it-yourself alternative to lamination that's durable and cheap



Plastic sleeves for protecting pages in 3 ring binders. Scotch tape to close the open end.


http://www.amazon.com/Avery-Diamond-Heavyweight-Protectors-75304/dp/B000GRBAGA/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1390954130&sr=8-4&keywords=sleeves+for+paper+binder
 
ben harpo
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I dunno how that plastic will stand up to wind and UV. Transparent marine epoxy is probably the most durable option.

 
Kevin Hedrick
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Location: S.E. South Dakota
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I have a cnc, I could probably make 50 signs out of wood in about 2 days, and I have the wood. You could paint them and finish them however you see fit. I would be willing to barter a work trade deal or? I need organic seeds, heritage turkeys, a dairy cow, chicken butchering help in late summer, hardwood logs ( I dont know where you live or if it would be a feasable option), construction/building help.. Not sure if that would be something you would be interested in, but thought I would offer..
 
Dan Boone
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Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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Ben, the marine epoxy looks like a possible technology I didn't know about before, thanks! I've used the binder pages before and they are great for a bulletin-board sign that needs a bit of short-term rain protection, but they don't survive the elements very long.

Kevin, I don't think I'm in a position to do that kind of business just now, but I am jealous of your CNC machine! I appreciate the offer but I'm looking more for self-sufficiency and an "as needed" capability rather than a bunch of signs all at once.

 
Ryan Workman
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There is a diy lamination that I have seen for making weather proof maps. It involves plastic grocery bags and a clothes iron. The iron is placed on fabric with the plastic underneath, the plastic warms and bonds. People stack up multiple layers of plastic to make waterproof "fabric" from plastic bags. I've never used it for lamination so some experimentation would be required, but that is not a big deal since the materials are so cheap. The plastic shrinks a lot when it is heated so I'm not sure if you would preshrink the plastic or just apply it directly. Also this can emit some fumes so it is best to do it in a well ventilated area.




 
R Scott
Posts: 3358
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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http://www.amazon.com/Scotch-Thermal-Laminating-100-Pack-TP3854-100/dp/B007VBXB48/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1391791196&sr=8-2&keywords=laminator

plus

http://www.amazon.com/Scotch-Thermal-Laminator-Roller-TL901/dp/B0010JEJPC/ref=pd_sim_op_1

plus your printer, or run them on a laser printer if you can. They can be had cheaper, those were just easy links to find.


Run them through the laminator twice to make sure they are sealed. If you need to make holes for nails, cut large holes in the paper BEFORE you laminate and make sure the plastic sealed down inside the hole.
 
Bill Erickson
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I'd go the route of doing the stencil bit, spray painting the words onto a board and then sealing with marine epoxy or some type of marine varnish. This is urethane based so not so cool for the environment. A good layering (multiple thin coats) of beeswax would be a better, if more intensive approach. You could even use that on your printed paper signs and it would seal it to the wood, or use some wood glue to put the paper to the glue and seal it with wax. Shellac could work easily, but it would need to be wax sealed for weather resistance. Trespass pressures are always tough, and having to do different signage for different reasons makes it more difficult. One of the most important things, to me anyway, is that it be large enough to be clearly seen from inside of a rig (Montana word for vehicle) and in direct sightline of the access point if not attached to the fencing or gate. We have a simpler solution here in Montana for long stretches, you should use signage at access points, but the property line can be marked with orange or fluorescent orange paint. I've quoted the pertinent sections of the Montana Code Annotated below. I would make sure what your trespass signage minimum requirements are and follow that. This Linky Thing has all the trespassing signage requirements for all 50 states.

Montana Requirements:
notice must be placed on a post, structure, or natural object by marking it with written notice or with not less than 50 square inches of fluorescent orange paint, except that when metal fenceposts are used, the entire post must be painted; and...


place notice, as described in subsection (2)(a), no closer than 30 feet of the centerline of the roadway at regular intervals of not less than one-fourth mile along the roadway where it borders unfenced private land, except that orange markings may not be placed on posts where the public roadway enters the private land. - See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/mtcode/45/6/2/45-6-201#sthash.QANTqp04.dpuf
 
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