Saturday, June 16, 2007

Salvaging a Roadside Sign

If you have an old roadside sign (i.e. 4' x 8', 40" x 6' or 40" x 8'), various parts for the sign can be purchased to breath new life into the sign. The only thing you have to decide is do you want to put new pieces in an over-the-hill sign.

  1. The Frame: If the frame is dead, you should very serious consider a new sign. I have had machine shop people call me saying they want just faces for the sign, but for the most part if you don't have a good frame to start with, the sign frame should be retired.
  2. The Sign Faces/Panels: Faces can easily be reordered. However, if the faces do not come close to 4 ft x 8 ft, 40 in x 8 ft, or 40 in x 6 ft it might be hard to get the sign face as easily. Custom sign faces can be ordered, but because it would be a custom face, it would not be returnable. You will also need to specifiy what size letters you want on the face. If you are ordering the sign face with tracks, you will need to order the sign face so the track will be correctly installed for the letters you have. (i.e. 6" letters or 8" letters are most common) Lastly, if the sign track is being installed for you, specify 030 track or 060 track. (None of my suppliers install 080 track, but this is also an option for sign track.)
  3. Ballast: Depending on the age of the sign, the ballast could still be under warranty. But, if it is not, most do-it-yourself stores will have ballast that can be used.
  4. Bulbs: Whether you have an arrow sign or just a regular lit sign, the bulbs are going to burn out. The do-it-yourself store will also help you hear. BUT, if you have a non-lit sign and want to make it lit, things get a little trickier. It can be done, but consult with an electrician before you do so.
  5. Letters: And, of course, letters. I have written on this before, but besides the other issues, the letters must match up with the sign track on your sign faces.
  6. Wind protectors: Some customers have previously purchased a sign, and then want to add a wind protector (aka vandal guard). The product I sell needs at least a half inch of metal frame to attach the velcro to. This allows the sign to securely attach to the inside face of the wind protector. BUT, because the wind protector will hold in extra heat, make sure you inquire about the letters you are using. If the heat becomes to intense in the summer time, the sign letters could possibly melt to the sign face.

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