Wood Sign Installation

In this addendum to a two-part series, the author dealves into the complications of wood sign installation for large, heavy displays and provides a little more info about equipping a professional workshop.

| March/April 1976

In Dimensional Wood Signs...How To Make 'Em and Sell 'Em Part II I outlined how to proceed with a wood sign installation manually. However, some signs can be too heavy or too tall to work with in this manner. In those cases you'll need some additional mechanical help, perhaps in the form of a winch or a come-along. Such devices will enable you to take on a much larger sign than you can handle manually.

If, however, the installation job still staggers your imagination, get a crane. In most areas, cranes are available—with operator—for thirty-five dollars an hour. All travel time is included in the bill, though, so—depending upon how far the crane must trek to reach the installation site—a typical tab for such help can run from fifty to one hundred dollars. To avoid unnecessary overtime charges, be sure to do your site-preparation homework before such a piece of equipment arrives. If the crane has to wait around while you assemble the sign to its posts, you'll be billed for the delay and that can run into lots a bucks.

Likewise, you may wish to send for a concrete truck to come and drop any "mud" you need into the appropriate post holes. The usual minimum order of concrete is one yard (that is, one cubic yard) and it's doubtful that you're gonna have any use for anywhere near that much. But you'll have to pay for the minimum anyway, about thirty dollars delivered. Here again, coordinate delivery of the concrete so that you'll be ready to pour when it arrives, because the driver's not going to sit around while you dig the holes.

Assembly of your sign to its supports will have to be done on the installation site, unless you have access to a flatbed truck or trailer large enough to transport the completely fabricated unit. If you're going to move the sign around much during transport or installation, it's a good idea to cradle or support it temporarily on 2 X 4's held in place by double headed nails (which are easy to remove after installation).

When you dig the post holes, place a straight 2 X 4 directly between the two excavations and check with a level to make sure you're measuring to the same depth for both holes. When the 2 X 4 is level, you're ready to slip a measuring tape down inside the holes and check their depths. Which should, as mentioned, be the same.

Before you begin, take a saw or axe and shape the bottom end of each signpost into a point so that it can be wiggled into final position more easily.

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