Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 37

SIGNS WIN IN A

ROUTE

DIMENSIONAL SIGNS BROADEN OFFERINGS AND SALES MARGINS.
BY MARK KISSLING

MANAGING EDITOR

E had sold a job
in ¼-in. brass
before we had
our first machine
delivered and
were able to work
on a real job
with the trainer beside us," recalled
Dan Hansen, CEO of D.H. Signs of the
Times Enterprises Inc. (Victoria, BC,
Canada), of the way his company
started routing signs. Hansen had
carefully planned his "route" to this
point; his keen attention to details
aided him as much in his router investment as it does in the intricate signs
his company designs and fabricates
today.
A router can mill textures, inlays
and custom-shaped letters, as well as
provide precision cutting for multiple
pieces of a substrate to fit together
accurately. In addition, a router can
countersink, drill holes, cut out shapes
and mill the background away for
a "relief " or 3D appearance. Finally,
all of this - according to Hansen -
can be done at the same time, a huge
savings in production. Hansen decides
to use a router whenever 3D or intricate details are required, and estimates
that 70% of all signs his company
produces are routed.
If you are contemplating entry to the
routed sign market and you missed
Chris and Kathi Morrison's excellent
intro, "CNC Routers" (see ST Feb.

"W

2017, pg. 30), please read it. (Also, for
more details about carving itself, see
"Strictly Commercial: Big Cat Comin'
at You" on pg. 48.)
AN ALUMINUM MURAL
Signs of the Times Enterprises
routes urethane, plastics, aluminum
and wood. In 2016, they produced
a "dimensional mural" of artwork
by Connie Watts for the M'akola
Development Society building, four
stories of residential units and office
space. "The idea of placement was to
elevate different pieces off the wall at
different elevations and to add some
dimensions," Hansen said. Highcontrast colors for the background
and a clear anodized aluminum plate
on top accomplished the dimensionality. For this, like many of their jobs,
they rode their workhorse, a Pacer
4008 ATC router from AXYZ Intl.
"With double layers of aluminum,
one for the background (color) and
one for the front cut-out details, it was
important to have accurate alignment,"
Hansen said. "As the aluminum was
only ¼-in. thick, the router could
accurately mill the holes on the back
side to an accurate depth and placement, making the assembly easier."
Precision was critical in this case, as
a fine artist's work was being represented. "It was also paramount to
ensure complete accuracy as Connie
Watts was very detailed about her

expectations," Hansen said.
Signs of the Times Enterprises
relied on Gerber Omega and ARTPath™
software to program their router for
the aluminum mural. Routing all
the pieces for this project occupied
approximately 40% of the total production, which also included setting
up the files and tool paths, material
handling, operating the machine,
cleaning up, recycling and restocking
leftovers. They used the Matthews
Paint System to finish the aluminum
and lifted the completed pieces utilizing a bucket truck. "Each piece was
bolted to the wall and had to penetrate
the inner timbers while [avoiding
the building's] flashing, which was
running in both directions," Hansen
said. The result was a 3D mural that
celebrates the traditional artwork of
the urban Aboriginal families who
reside in the development.
A ROUTE TO KNOWLEDGE
Hansen's advice is to ask yourself if
there's a market in your area for routed
signs. If so, then "do your homework,
go to shows, compare the software
and finishes, know the available
options and ask each manufacturer
about their training period," Hansen
said. "Negotiate for three days," he
added. "Most importantly, does the
manufacturer stock parts for your
machine and are they readily available? If your machine goes down,
SIGNWEB.COM

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

37


http://www.SIGNWEB.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - May 2017

Signs of the Times - May 2017
Contents
From the Editor
St Update
At Large
Technology Review
Leds + Lighting
Vehicles + Vinyl
How to Be Hospitable
Signs Win in a Route
Subcontracting Electric Signage
Strictly Commercial: Big Cat Comin’ at You
New Products
Advertising Index
Last Look
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Intro
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - BB1
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - BB2
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Signs of the Times - May 2017
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - BD_L
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - BD
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Cover2
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 1
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Contents
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 3
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 4
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 5
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 6
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 7
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - From the Editor
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 9
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - St Update
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 11
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 12
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 13
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 14
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 15
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 16
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 17
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - At Large
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 19
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 20
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 21
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Technology Review
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 23
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Leds + Lighting
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 25
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Vehicles + Vinyl
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 27
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 28
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 29
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - How to Be Hospitable
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 31
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 32
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 33
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 34
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 35
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Signs Win in a Route
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 37
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 38
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 39
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 40
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 41
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Subcontracting Electric Signage
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 43
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 44
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 45
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 46
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 47
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Strictly Commercial: Big Cat Comin’ at You
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 49
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 50
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 51
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 52
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 53
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - New Products
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 55
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 56
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 57
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 58
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 59
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Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 63
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 64
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 65
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 66
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Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 68
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 69
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 70
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 71
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 72
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 73
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 74
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 75
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 76
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 77
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 78
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 79
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 80
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 81
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 82
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Advertising Index
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Last Look
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Cover3
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201802
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201709
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201401
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201312
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201309
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_bg2013
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201301
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201212
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