Sign Board - HDU

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Sign Board - HDU

Postby ezurick » Wed May 15, 2019 10:13 am

I hope it is ok to start a thread here about HDU, although foam board can be used anywhere. But another thread about the subject got me interested and as I searched the www for decent prices just to try, I really couldn't find anything in my budget. Most USA vendors only have 4' x 8' sheets and the shipping is very high. I came across a thread in the inventables.com forum on the same subject and one person posted a link to this company. I ordered a couple of 12"x24"x1" sheets to play with. https://www.interstatehdu.com/products/15lb-precision-board-lt

Yes, $50 for 2 pieces is rather steep just to play with... but that is the going costs of 15# HDU. If others know a better vendor bargain, please share it with me. Because I have exhausted most of my research for a simple 12x24x1 pieces.

My first project with one of these boards is to redo a Harley Parking sign I made out of wood. We have a local bar which many bikers hang out. Most are Harley lovers. Besides wood, this might be a good option for the real die hard Harley fan. lol. Here is a pic of the wood Harley Parking sign I had made. It is only around 7.25" x 12" and it was roughed out with a 1/8" EM and vcarved with a 60 degree V bit at .2 depth.

IMG_7743.JPG
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Re: Sign Board - HDU

Postby Leo » Wed May 15, 2019 12:57 pm

Yes, very expensive.

I have set myself up as a sign maker with a local sign supply store. I have to deal on a profession level with them, but it IS a source of a LOT of things that are not available elsewhere.

Often times they have damaged products on sale and I will take advantage of that. They just had a 5'x10'x2" thick sheet damaged for $325. Usually the damage is a corner that is mashed, but 95% of the sheet is good. Whhoooeeee - I had to pass it up only because I have other stuff I need to pay for.

I have an impressive stock of stuff I have saved up over the last 5-10 years.

Other materials are PVC sheet (AZEK). I have seen that for sale at Home Depot. I will often times use PVC trim boards again available at the borg.

EXTERA - NOT to be confused with Medex - is an EXTERIOR grade of MDF. Good stuff - VERY VERY HEAVY, but cheaper than Signfoam.

Soooo - moral of story is Local Sign Supply Vendor and set yourself up as a commercial sign maker.

Hmmmmm - I wonder is this is a good opportunity to sell small qty's of 18# Sign Foam???
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Re: Sign Board - HDU

Postby Phil » Wed May 15, 2019 1:47 pm

Home Depot sells two brands of PVC. One is Azek, if I remember correctly the other is Veranda. Veranda is a good bit more reasonable than Azek. Can anyone tell me what the difference is? Is Azek a better product? PVC is a very good choice for signs.

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Re: Sign Board - HDU

Postby WNC_Ed » Wed May 15, 2019 2:54 pm

Seems like the Veranda is a "cellular" material which I think means it has air bubbles in it.
Where the Azek is a solid material.
Pretty sure you can feel the difference in weight if you have them side by side.
I have used both for various things in the past. The Veranda looks like MDF when routed where the Azek looks like a solid surface material.
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Re: Sign Board - HDU

Postby SteveNelson46 » Wed May 15, 2019 5:14 pm

If it's an HDU outdoor sign it will need to be well supported. To quote T.R. MacMunn, a sign maker on the Camaster forum, "It's kind of like dancing the polka with a fat girl. You may want to lead but..."
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Re: Sign Board - HDU

Postby ezurick » Wed May 15, 2019 9:41 pm

Thanks for all the replies and info. Unfortunately, like exotic wood, I have no local vendor for that stuff. So I have to rely on the online sources. In fact a few of you mentioned stuff at Home Depot. We don't have one of them either. All I have is crappy Lowes who don't carry anything decent like that. Since there is no competition in the area, the customer service is about as poor as a 3rd grade bully club. My closest Home Depot is about 40 miles away.. very drab drive, and usually not worth the trip unless I plan to visit other stores for something.

Btw, that company I just ordered from already shipped out my 2 pieces... so I give them a thumbs up for processing. I know most you folks are light years ahead of me in this stuff. But I'd like to share a blurb I found when researching that really cleared some things up for me. This is for other newbies like me that may get interested in HDU and PVC. http://www.danthoniadesigns.com/evaluating-hdu-signage.html Maybe some of you know the folks that wrote it... I just want to say thanks to all... and remember, I am still open to new vendors online that have good prices. Oh, there is a guy on ebay selling HDU scrap pieces in a bundle. I didn't mess with it because it mostly looks like pieces that are just to small for my liking. Perhaps there are other things you can do with it, but I mainly would consider it for outdoor signs only. The main thing is the weather resistant and suppose to be easy to carve and paint. I guess I'll soon know... ;)
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Re: Sign Board - HDU

Postby Jim_in_PA » Thu May 16, 2019 2:07 am

A great source for HDU is to get friendly with a sign maker...you can sometimes get the "scraps" for a very reasonable cost. I got a vehicle full that way for $100 last year when I stopped by a friend's shop while traveling.
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Re: Sign Board - HDU

Postby Leo » Thu May 16, 2019 12:23 pm

I am pretty sure I will be selling HDU on ETSY, and maybe EBAY in the future. I have some a few full sheets of 3/4, 1" and 2" in stock. I can cut pieces and ship if anyone is interested.

I can also get more if needed.

My supply is Sign Foam 4.
I have 18 pound and 15 pound - both GREAT product.
This is equivalent to the Precision board 20-25 pound.

If anyone is interested, email me or PM me, and we can talk.
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Re: Sign Board - HDU

Postby jerry carney » Thu May 16, 2019 3:05 pm

These people have a very nice on line catalog, they are very willing to help.Dedicated to service and quality since 1948 In 1948 Harry Niese opened a small store front facility (Mid-West Neon Supply) on the north side of Chicago to distribute sign supplies to the local sign makers. Having worked for a large sign company as its controller, he had the wisdom and foresight to recognize a need in the Chicago sign community for a full line sign supply distribution source. Harry passed away in 1981 but the company still runs as a family business.Randall Niese managed the business from 1981 to his untimely death in 1995, and Harry’s oldest son also named Harry purchased the company in 1995. In 1998 Harry’s son Todd came on board and together they continue to expand the company and product line.From that small store front the company has grown to become the largest sign supply distributor in Chicago. The company maintains a fleet of delivery trucks that deliver product in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and Iowa.Serving all of Chicagoland to Central Illinois, Northwest Indiana, Southern Wisconsin & Southwestern Michigan.SIGN SUPPLY COMPANY5521 N. Lynch Ave. • Chicago, IL 60630info@midwestsignsupplyco.comwww.midwestsignsupplyco.comHours: Monday–Friday, 7:30 am to 4:30 p
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Re: Sign Board - HDU

Postby Makingtoothpicks » Thu May 16, 2019 9:22 pm

Home Depot sells two brands of PVC. One is Azek, if I remember correctly the other is Veranda. Veranda is a good bit more reasonable than Azek. Can anyone tell me what the difference is? Is Azek a better product? PVC is a very good choice for signs

I looked at the Homedepot website for these 2 products, I could not find anything
that looked like it would be useable as a signboard substitute. Does anyone have an
SKU or part number for these products.

Thank You
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Re: Sign Board - HDU

Postby WNC_Ed » Thu May 16, 2019 10:10 pm

I looked at the Homedepot website for these 2 products, I could not find anything
that looked like it would be useable as a signboard substitute. Does anyone have an
SKU or part number for these products.


These are basically exterior trim boards. Not sheet stock. I am pretty sure they come as wide as 1x8 but can't say I have seen wider than that.
They glue up with clear PVC pipe cement - well, most any PVC pipe cement but clear is what I have used.
From Memory the Veranda is "wood grain looking" while the Azek is smooth surfaced.
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Re: Sign Board - HDU

Postby Makingtoothpicks » Fri May 17, 2019 1:18 am

Thank you
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Re: Sign Board - HDU

Postby ezurick » Fri May 17, 2019 8:16 am

WNC_Ed wrote:
I looked at the Homedepot website for these 2 products, I could not find anything
that looked like it would be useable as a signboard substitute. Does anyone have an
SKU or part number for these products.


These are basically exterior trim boards. Not sheet stock. I am pretty sure they come as wide as 1x8 but can't say I have seen wider than that.
They glue up with clear PVC pipe cement - well, most any PVC pipe cement but clear is what I have used.
From Memory the Veranda is "wood grain looking" while the Azek is smooth surfaced.


Interesting. I see my local box store does carry the Azek and they do have pieces as wide as 9.25" x 8' with a .75" thickness. Rather expensive, but it is an option. I would suspect to find these where the roofing supplies are? Sometimes the online Lowes tells me what aisle to find the product. But not for these things. So does the Azek glue together well without having to finish the edges? My box store doesn't carry the Veranda.
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Re: Sign Board - HDU

Postby Phil » Fri May 17, 2019 2:05 pm

I googled for Veranda PVC, there were several finds. This is the one from Home Depot. https://www.homedepot.com/b/Lumber-Comp ... vZchzpZ1ko

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Re: Sign Board - HDU

Postby Leo » Fri May 17, 2019 3:52 pm

ezurick wrote:
WNC_Ed wrote:
So does the Azek glue together well without having to finish the edges? My box store doesn't carry the Veranda.


Any of the PVC I have ever used, either Home Depot, Lowes, of from the sign supply store, it's all very similar, though the sign supply store stuff is a little better.

The surface is a nice smooth surface, but any cutting into it will reveal a coarse porous structure under the surface. That does not mean anything bad, but it does mean there will be the need for sanding and maybe filling the porous structure. Many ways to fill it, some people even suggest drywall mud. Epoxy resin is a possibility. REALLY thick coats of sign primer paint.

I have used Lords Epoxy to glue PVC to a variety of materials. The PVC will break before the EPOXY fails. I am sure about any good PVC cement will work well.
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