Best stencil material

The roadside signs announcing my business need replacing...
With a huge laborious effort, I now have the sign as an AutoCAD file. My
next step is to have the lines burned/cut into a material so I can make a
stencil. There are a few sections in the sign where the stencil will be only
1/2" wide and a lot where the stencil will be 1" wide. The sign measures 48"
by 96" (4'x8').
So, what would be the best material to use? I can reinforce the very thin
sections mentioned above but not all the 1" wide sections. If I go with
plasma cut steel, I'm guessing I need to go all the way up to 1/8" thick
making the stencil weight a ton. I'm afraid thinner sections will warp and
make painting no fun at all.
Also, if anyone in Minnesota is looking for work, I'm looking for a CNC
plasma cutter or router.
Reply to
Karl Townsend
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I always just draw the pattern directly on the substrate then paint with a brush. Thats the way the sign painters do it and it makes a superior product.
Reply to
If he has it on computer already, he could just get his hands on a projector, project the image onto the sign substrate and trace the outlines.
Of course, instead of doing it this way, if he finds someone with CNC plasma he could have them cut the characters from sheet metal, add some weld studs, powder coat and then attach to the substrate and have something that should last a long time.
Reply to
Pete C.
I did a 4' x 8' sign for a friends business a few years ago by plotting the sign on ordinary plotter paper and then cut it out with an Exacto knife. I painted the plywood the base color with exterior enamel and a roller. Once it was well sealed for weather, I put the stencil on the board and spray painted the signage with a rattle can. It took a few coats with the rattle can. When it was done, it looked great from 10' and held up for 5+ years in the New Mexico sun and mild winters.
The stencil only survived the one use, but would have been simple to reproduce.
One of the things I did that helped was to spray the back side of the stencil around the characters with artists mounting adhesive. It helped the stencil stay tight on the board until it was completely done, but came up cleanly with careful pulling.
Good Luck, Bob
Reply to
"Karl Townsend" wrote in news:475c1216$0$40796$
Were it me, I'd have it laser cut out of 22-28 gauge aluminum sheet. Use an easily removeable tack glue to hold it in place while working on it, then roll it up and store it for when the signs need refreshing again.
Reply to
Easy way to create your signs-vinyl lettering and graphics are relatively cheap at sign shops. Cad up your lettering and font/color choices, and submit the disc. Then, you get to screw it up trying to align the peel and stick letters. You only get one chance. A little practice first... The range of design possibilities is way larger than being locked to a physical stencil. JR Dweller in the cellar who has made many signs this way.
Karl Townsend wrote:
Reply to
JR North
How about a piece of 1" 11-ply have a sign shop use your file to cut the letters out of rubber sheet. Stick the rubber on the ply and sand-blast it to 1/2" deep arounf the letters. Seal and paint the shit out of it or stain and urathane it. It will last forever...with fresh paint or urathane once in a while.
Reply to
Tom Gardner
Carve it into a handy tree?
I would suggest either the cutting out of paper-3M-spraymount-rattle can approach (used it for smaller stuff in one colour and it works) or the commercial vehicle/sign shop vinyl approach.
Mark Rand RTFM
Reply to
Mark Rand

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