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Thread: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

  1. #1
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    New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    Normally I don't have the time to take on major jobs in my shop (Hypertherm and my wife keep me busy), however I agreed to design and build a good sized backlit sign for a local Auto Body business in my area......(just so happens that I need a few auto body jobs on my vehicles, and these guys are the best!). Here are a few pics of this project, which is a 4' high x 12' long steel two sided sign with cut out lettering and LED backlighting. The front and rear panels are 3/16" steel which will be allowed to rust naturally on the outside, but are painted white inside (for light reflectivity). The sign will weigh about 650 pounds when done.....so I will use my excavator to pick it up off my fab table and get it out of my shop! I'll post pictures as I get more done, and a final picture or two after installation! The first pic is the existing wooden sign (rotting after after 35 plus years), the new sign will drop right on the existing brackets.

    Difficulties? Cutting a 12' long sign on a 4 x 4 cutting table (12' x 4' sheets of 3/16" are heavy!). With mu son helping we were able to reposition and index for two cuts (8 feet) then spin the material around (and the cut file) for the last 4'.

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  2. #2
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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    Nice approach to supporting letter interiors Jim.
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  3. #3
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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    When backlit and you have "stenciled" letters....I don't like the look. Hopefully these supports will not show as much!

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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    Perhaps a naive question - but I presume you cut the interior of the letters out by hand with a torch, once you welded on the back supports?

  5. #5
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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    I cut the lettering out with bridging to hold the inside pieces in place, then welded on the inside supports and cut the bridging out with a hand plasma. You can see the lettering as cut in the first two pics. If you look carefully you will see a mistake in my CAD drawing on one of the panels, fixed before I did the second! Jim


    Quote Originally Posted by robster34 View Post
    Perhaps a naive question - but I presume you cut the interior of the letters out by hand with a torch, once you welded on the back supports?

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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    That's going to be a nice birdhouse. Good job!
    My name's not Jim....

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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    Sign looks like wood when it's all done

    I still never understood how people index parts so well.


    Great work
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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    Birds, hornets nest, etc. It will need cleaning on occasion! One side of the sign will hinge down (about 300 lbs worth!) for cleaning or any maintenance of the LED's.


    Quote Originally Posted by Boostinjdm View Post
    That's going to be a nice birdhouse. Good job!

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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    Just wanted to make sure you saw it coming.
    My name's not Jim....

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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

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  11. #11
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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    Awesome work Jim!
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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    A little more progress.....simply have not had much shop time in recent weeks, the pesky day job is keeping me busy! Now to sand the faces, fabricate the electrical box and covers for sides and top, put it outside and get the rust / patina started. If anyone is interested in LED's that can live in wet / hot / cold climates like here in NH....go to Sign Lighting World. Great products, good prices and incredible tech support for choosing the right LED's for your project. These may even be too bright, however a dimmer module can take care of that...which we will determine at installation. Jim Colt Hypertherm

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    Last edited by jimcolt; 06-04-2017 at 09:38 AM.

  13. #13
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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    Looks Good Jim. I'm not crazy about the rust idea, but the customer is the boss.
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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    The sign is ok...

    But I'm diggin the Kubota tractor...
    is that a B7200?
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  15. #15
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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    Nope, it is an L4310 . Great tractor, I also have an RTV900 utility vehicle.


    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    The sign is ok...

    But I'm diggin the Kubota tractor...
    is that a B7200?

  16. #16
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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    Quote Originally Posted by jimcolt View Post
    Nope, it is an L4310 . Great tractor.
    Cool.

    I just bought a kubota BX ... front end loader is very handy to have.

    great machines... love the Oranges.
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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    Hi Jim, curious why you didn't choose a weathering steel for the project if a rust finish was the goal?

  18. #18
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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    The inside all needed to be painted with a flat white finish for good even reflectivity, as well as a rust preventative. Only the face will remain unfinished. Also, I would have had to special order corten steel in a 12' x 4' x 3/16" plate size here in NH, adding substantially to the cost. My experience is that this P&O plate will start out (boosted with rust promoting chemicals) a kind of orange looking rust, then over tome will reach a deep brown. It is exactly what the customer wanted. Jim





    Quote Originally Posted by weldinON View Post
    Hi Jim, curious why you didn't choose a weathering steel for the project if a rust finish was the goal?

  19. #19
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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    Jim, you and your son did a great job on that sign. The customer should be very happy with it.

    Now if you ever plan on retiring you can make a few bucks doing signs.
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  20. #20
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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    George, My son moved to Colorado almost 3 years ago. I miss him in the shop, but it is just me there now! I don't do much paid work at all as the day job keeps me busy. This sign was a request from a friend that has taken over the family body shop...and needed to replace the decades old wooden sign with one that hopefully will last just as long!

    Jim



    Quote Originally Posted by mechanic416 View Post
    Jim, you and your son did a great job on that sign. The customer should be very happy with it.

    Now if you ever plan on retiring you can make a few bucks doing signs.

  21. #21
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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    Simple. Clean. Tough. Unlike the POS they had before. Good work.

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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    That looks great!
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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    When you put the power to it it, it puts it in a whole new light. Looks great!

  24. #24
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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    Great job and thanks for sharing the pic's!!

  25. #25
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    Re: New Cutting and Fabricating project in Jim's Shop

    There will be more at install time, sign is outside getting its "patina". (cost more than just plane old rust!). Jim

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