Signs of the Times - August 2017 - 53
being able to catch onto the bottom
mounting brackets as we lowered
them by crane. The initial install
only took about two hours per sign
from shop to site. Loading the signs
was probably the biggest challenge.
They went out fully assembled, so
we had to fabricate a custom rolling
bracket that held them at an angle
in order to meet Ministry of Transportation (Canada) height requirements. Each sign was installed on a
different day - it gets very busy on
Mark Wallis stands astride the main Big Top sign during installation.
whole project and all paint was
coated with three to four coats of
matte clear. Two in-house fabricators,
two others, three electrical engineering
students - and my fiancée, Emily! -
provided a great deal of help for the
design and construction.
could plan everything ahead of time.
All the steel work came within 1/16 in.
of our drawings, which made
installation a breeze.
I designed a hinging system that
allowed the signs to pivot on their
top mounting brackets while still
We started on the biggest part of
the sign first - the Big Top portion.
After we had everything welded
together and we started assembly, we
worried that we'd made it too large.
The client was also fretting about
this - but we kept referring to the
size as modeled on the cutouts. This
helped reassure everyone. We were
also given the rare opportunity to
engineer our own mounting system
and we approached the job before
the building was even made so we
EQUIPMENT AND MATERIALS
STEP RIGHT UP
Charlie Burland (our client) was so
excited as we were assembling the
Big Top sign that he would stop by
the shop just to look at it - even
bringing his wife and kids along.
After every stage of fabrication, we
invited him and his crew to the shop
to see the progress. When we were
ready to plug in the sign to test it,
we invited Charlie over. He was
delighted and he said, "All my friends
brag about their big trucks, and now
I get to brag about my big sign!"
And the night after the signs
were installed we saw Charlie at a
fundraiser at the Fallsview Casino,
showing everybody printouts of his
new sign, like a proud papa.
SOFTWARE: CorelDRAW, corel.com; Autodesk, autodesk.com;
ROUTER: AXYZ Intl., axyz.com
PRINTER: Océ, oce.com
PLOTTER: Roland DGA, rolanddga.com
MEDIA: Avery Dennison, graphics.averydennison.com; Coroplast, coroplast.com
PAINTING: Valspar, valsparpaint.com
LIGHTING: HanleyLED (LED contents), hanleyledsolutions; Ushio America
(LED bulbs), ushio.com; N. Glantz & Son (glass standoffs, neon housing),
nglantz.com; The Brothers Markle (custom animation), brothersmarkle.com