Jump to content

ELECTRIC SIGN SUPPLIES

If You're Looking For Premium Electric Sign Industry Components Like Trim Cap, LED's, USHIO LED Lamps, Neon Supplies, or LED Power Supplies, Then Please Visit Our Online Store or Feel Free To Call Us For Inquiries or Placing an Order!!

Buy Now

NATIONAL SIGN & SERVICE COMPANY REVIEW LIST

For Sign Company's Who Work As Subcontractors

Before You Work For A National Sign & Service Company You Need To Look At The Reviews Of These Companies Before You Work For Them. Learn When To Expect Payment From Them and What It's Like To Work For Them, The Good, The Bad, The Ugly. Learn and Share Your Experiences Yourself For Others

You Must Be A Registered Member & A Subcontractor
Click Here

MEMBER LOCATION MAP

Looking for a fellow Sign Syndicate Company Member For A Sign Install or Maintenance Call? Locate a Supplier or Advertiser Regarding Thier Goods & Services?

Become a Member & Upgrade Your Free Membership So Others Can Locate You
Click Here

Recommended Posts

My 19 year old asked me if I had any cars with crank down windows ? I started thinking, this kid, any many of his age have no concept of how easy they have it. Now they push buttons for everything.

When I started in the sign business at 17. The shops had real sign painters who were "God" They told you the sign you were getting and the colors too. They designed it in pencil, a wooden yardstick on a piece of white roll out paper and "One Shot" paint. No computers, no PMS Colors or any back talk from anyone. The patterns were also drawn by hand. All the plastic letters were cut with jig saws and band saws. The trim installed by hand. The entire sign was a combination of skilled talent. How many remember the "Flicker signs" Installing these plastic black boards on the sign backgrounds and then installing thousands of these quarter sized colored flickers,all by hand. The flickers would move in the wind and create a waving appearance. Pounce patterns by hand and pouncing powered charcoal thru them. The best was the salesmen, designing and selling entire jobs on a piece of paper. Anything that you could write on. A hand shake, cash deposit and good to go. Those were the days when we were having fun. Any other stories out there.

Todays unknown languages.......One Shot..Cut all..Charcoal sticks..Quills..Flats..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 19 year old asked me if I had any cars with crank down windows ? I started thinking, this kid, any many of his age have no concept of how easy they have it. Now they push buttons for everything.

When I started in the sign business at 17. The shops had real sign painters who were "God" They told you the sign you were getting and the colors too. They designed it in pencil, a wooden yardstick on a piece of white roll out paper and "One Shot" paint. No computers, no PMS Colors or any back talk from anyone. The patterns were also drawn by hand. All the plastic letters were cut with jig saws and band saws. The trim installed by hand. The entire sign was a combination of skilled talent. How many remember the "Flicker signs" Installing these plastic black boards on the sign backgrounds and then installing thousands of these quarter sized colored flickers,all by hand. The flickers would move in the wind and create a waving appearance. Pounce patterns by hand and pouncing powered charcoal thru them. The best was the salesmen, designing and selling entire jobs on a piece of paper. Anything that you could write on. A hand shake, cash deposit and good to go. Those were the days when we were having fun. Any other stories out there.

Todays unknown languages.......One Shot..Cut all..Charcoal sticks..Quills..Flats..

Boy, that brings back some memories. And the reminder that painters were notoriously bad spellers! Journeyman is another lost word. Bulletin paints for redoing poles and signs on site. These are your choices, period. Pick one. Now its expected a PMS color, on site, in 5 degree weather or colder. How bout carbon paper to duplicate patterns? And the heavier pattern paper that we liked that was bought from the local meat company. Or a Scotch border on a sign? Or renderings that were done by the sign "artist" - by hand. And deals by a hand shake - man, that was normal. Or forget the hand shake - just a "get it done". Or I'll do you sign - trade it for a car, or TV, or stereo. I loved doing trades with my local meat market. Do the repair - and the wife wouild go in for weeks on end buying our choice of cut meats. The meat guy would keep tally. Never had to buy fresh meat, or the liquor store repairs for parties. Or the furniture store.

Damn, those were really good days. And we got paid better money too.

gn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm only 37, so I we have had computers and all that since I came into the trade. We Installed an old porcelain neon sign made in 1952 yesterday and the thing I noticed is that there wasn't one self tapping screw in the entire sign. There are several more projects coming up where I get to bring some of the old neon signs in Oklahoma City back to life, I am really looking forward to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love hearing old stories, true ones. Anyone have stories of installs? I have heard many about the days of no baskets on the skyhooks, installers climbing the ladders on the cranes up 50' to put an 8x8 face in a sign. It really blows my mind and is hard to grasp. I mean these people really were nuts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love hearing old stories, true ones. Anyone have stories of installs? I have heard many about the days of no baskets on the skyhooks, installers climbing the ladders on the cranes up 50' to put an 8x8 face in a sign. It really blows my mind and is hard to grasp. I mean these people really were nuts.

Stories? Hardly. Mine was a 75' radocy ladder crane. YOu wanted up there - you climbed. You wanted to put a face up in the air, you carried it up. Weld? - take your leads with you. Tools? Better not forget anything cause it was long ways back down. Weld a sign or flag pole - you stood up and welded.

gn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

how did you guys make channel letter patterns on the projector?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh yes, i remember very well the old sign painting days. I'm second generation sign painter...talk about learning from the ground up... my first brush was the BROOM....forget bucket trucks and cordless drills, premade background were unheard of. You made everything, wood frames, brackets, prime and paint. We never had a sign up before the store opened. it was two to three weeks for a belt sign. no sketches, emails or faxes. most of the time we drew on scrap paper or the back of business cards. If you showed up for a job ,the customer was so happy you got the job. We would install a sign downtown and always came back with another job from a neighboring business or passerby. same with truck lettering on site, always came back with another or sometimes do on site, we didn't always use patterns, we used patterns for repeat customers , not most jobs , we drew on the vehicle and boats. I would like to see what the sign business would be if computer never came about.....2 truck doors $500.....$600.00? van lettering?...$1200.00 oh well...I sound like the guys I would make fun of back in the day. I still enjoy making signs, but not doing the business end, too much BS in our industry with PO, insurance certs, W9 and general crap somebody with an art program ( who uses every function on the program with highlights, shades, outlines , clipart, colors with no contrast etc.)gives you. Mostly we take orders for signs I don't even like how they look...but thats business...we got to eat...

anyway thanks for the trip down memory lane....The Old Gray Mare.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

how did you guys make channel letter patterns on the projector?

Depends - sometimes on the projector, other times by hand. Alot of times the sale of the sign was based on the talents of the sign painter, artist. And quite often - the letter style was his design. Wasn't like he was doing the entire alphabet - so he designed away. If you get into the archives of old signs in Vegas - quite a few of the original casinos had their renderings, hand done, by an extremely talented sign guy, Terry Crowell, aka Terry McDonnell. What a talent - and yet he wasted most of his efforts on being a crook in the sign business. Long time family friend of my dad, but what a crook. To him it was fun. Take a client out to show him his lighted sign - only for the guy to later discover that his sign didn't work - no neon, no transformers, hell, not even any holes for the conduit connections. But what a talent.

gn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still have my squirrel hair paint brushes when I learned to do lettering by hand...Kinda miss that to be honest...Even got my airbrush to mess around with...Seems the only thing left untouched by machine is bending neon!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still have my squirrel hair paint brushes when I learned to do lettering by hand...Kinda miss that to be honest...Even got my airbrush to mess around with...Seems the only thing left untouched by machine is bending neon!!!

Yep the only time I break out the brushes is to re-furb a sand blasted sign. Kinda relaxing!


Installation & Maintenance Services

Brian Phillips | expresssignandneon@sbcglobal.net | P. 812-882-3278

Express Sign & Neon | 119 S. 15th Street - Vincennes - IN 47591

express%20neon%20sig.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about "gold leaf", Remember the bank Jobs Windows & doors with Real 23K old sign lettering done reverse( second surface) with gelatin. Matte centers with bright outline. That is talent that isn't known today. I guess I am old. WOW. I miss the days of making money with a few ounces of One Shot and my quills. What paper work...Heres your hand written invoice/ recept for the job & a Hand shake & the phone woulkd always ring again with a satisfied customer needing another sign or truck done. About the only place we get to come close to this today is a sandblasted or carved sign, but the computer is still envolved. We still do some loose leaf 23 gold surface guilding. I really enjoy those jobs, but they are becoming quite rare. Still have a few truck drivers request hand pinstriping so the sword brushes are in the oil waiting for the next job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stamford signs said it all. The more we remember the past, the better it was. The inner workings of the shops was a 3 ring circus with talent everywhere. I remember doing signs in the street, lettering trucks in the street and all by hand. A painters box with one shot and brushes. The maul stick and stabillo pencil. The jobs were endless. Go to a truck dealer and you were set forever. I walked away with bags of money and smiling ear to ear then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love hearing old stories, true ones. Anyone have stories of installs? I have heard many about the days of no baskets on the skyhooks, installers climbing the ladders on the cranes up 50' to put an 8x8 face in a sign. It really blows my mind and is hard to grasp. I mean these people really were nuts.

LOL, I learned to drive on a 100 Skyhook. We walked the ladders every day with our hands full. I worked on pick boards set on the back side of 40' I frame extension ladders. I didn't work in a basket truck till 2003. LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back when my dad started our shop in 1974 he was getting $475 to do 2 sides of a van for an electrical contractor. Belive it or not, we still have the account, the logo never changed, we have been doing it in vinyl since the mid-80's and guess what- I am still getting $475! My dad put $450 in his pocket for a days work and a thimble full of paint. Man I wish I was doing this back then. The Gerber 4B changed the business forever, and the new printes have only made it worse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back when my dad started our shop in 1974 he was getting $475 to do 2 sides of a van for an electrical contractor. Belive it or not, we still have the account, the logo never changed, we have been doing it in vinyl since the mid-80's and guess what- I am still getting $475! My dad put $450 in his pocket for a days work and a thimble full of paint. Man I wish I was doing this back then. The Gerber 4B changed the business forever, and the new printes have only made it worse.

justin, how is the elliot treating you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back when my dad started our shop in 1974 he was getting $475 to do 2 sides of a van for an electrical contractor. Belive it or not, we still have the account, the logo never changed, we have been doing it in vinyl since the mid-80's and guess what- I am still getting $475! My dad put $450 in his pocket for a days work and a thimble full of paint. Man I wish I was doing this back then. The Gerber 4B changed the business forever, and the new printes have only made it worse.

justin, how is the elliot treating you?

The elliot is OK- but very expensive to keep up. I have about $25,000 in repairs on the dam thing- How is my old skyhook? I miss being 64' up on a round tube!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the crane is great but the truck is a piece. I sold it, its gonna get picked up in the next week or so. I bought a sx57 on a freightliner FL60 in august and im never looking back. I bought it with another bucket truck for an amazing price and dumped about 5k into it on repairs that I knew it needed.

whats been giving you so many problems? I assume the inside cylinders?

Edited by Signsfast

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My very first pattern as being self employed for my first channel letter set was done on a projector by a sign painter. It was for a Boll Weevil restaurant. It's too bad people learn straight on a machine rather than by hand, CNC's are great and all but you have to know how to use hand tools as well. That's the problem with schools these days, they cut out all the shop classes (Wood, Metal, photo, Auto)because they buy CNC's and computers. Does any kid these days know what a screw driver is for?


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also have screen-printing equipment that we do as well. Make screens, hand print a 4-color job of 1000 shirts.. Today you can get a machine to print the design all out and all you have to do is iron it on....The days of the true skill man or woman seem to be fading.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My very first pattern as being self employed for my first channel letter set was done on a projector by a sign painter. It was for a Boll Weevil restaurant.

Just curious, were you a licensed contractor at the time? :smiley2eatingpopcorn:

I still have all of my lettering quills, but it's been years since I used them. I still have the projector but don't remember the last time I plugged it in. I still use the electric pounce on really big water tower patterns and practical jokes in the shop. About the thing I use most from the old days is black pounce powder, for weeding white vinyl.

Edited by shooter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually no, it was before and when I thought subbing it out was legal. I thought this was legal because one of my formal employers did it. Imagine that! That's called learning the wrong way


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually no, it was before and when I thought subbing it out was legal. I thought this was legal because one of my formal employers did it. Imagine that! That's called learning the wrong way

Have you considered turning yourself in to the authorities? I think dog the bounty hunter provides bail bond service in your area. :coffee1:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually no, it was before and when I thought subbing it out was legal. I thought this was legal because one of my formal employers did it. Imagine that! That's called learning the wrong way

Have you considered turning yourself in to the authorities? I think dog the bounty hunter provides bail bond service in your area. :coffee1:

Too late, already got busted a LOOOOooooooonnnng time ago. Went in front of the judge, he made me obtain a license or go to jail. So I went from illegal to "going legit" as Johnny Dangerously put it. Got my C-45 at 22, pretty cool huh? I guess had I known I was doing it illegally I should have just obtained one prior.

For your well being, you really should stop running with scissors in your mouth. :scratchhead:


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually no, it was before and when I thought subbing it out was legal. I thought this was legal because one of my formal employers did it. Imagine that! That's called learning the wrong way

Have you considered turning yourself in to the authorities? I think dog the bounty hunter provides bail bond service in your area. :coffee1:

Too late, already got busted a LOOOOooooooonnnng time ago. Went in front of the judge, he made me obtain a license or go to jail. So I went from illegal to "going legit" as Johnny Dangerously put it. Got my C-45 at 22, pretty cool huh? I guess had I known I was doing it illegally I should have just obtained one prior.

For your well being, you really should stop running with scissors in your mouth. :scratchhead:

Just out of curiosity, how did you get busted? Did the signs you've built and installed prior to getting your C-45 spontaneously combust? :rock_band:

I do fine on my own taking care of myself, my family, my business and my well-being on my own. Can you even have pointy scissors in California? :headbang:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Long story short.

Did a CL job over/on 12" tiltup what turned out to be a very time consuming job where almost every hole was rebar. The couple got impatient after a few days (some days would take 8 hours and only get through a few holes) and decided to call the BB (unknowing by myself) to complain about me. I guess after showing them the difficult wall wasn't good enough for their inpatients.

So on a day where we had at least half the holes drilled I was standing below monitoring the job, a man who was asking for a business card came by asking about giving him a bid who was really a agent from the consumer affairs dept. He asked if I install signs, then asked me my name, then told me to put my hands behind my back. Took a picture, handed me a notice to appear in court, then told me to remove the ladders and get off the job site.

Showed up in court, explained everything to the judge. Told him that I signed a contract with the client and hired my friend who was a licensed contractor. Told him that I THOUGHT we were doing it legally. He said "nope" then asked me if I could qualify to get my own license to stay out of jail. I told him that I'm sure I could. I was told to report back in 6 months with a progress report, 9 months or so later after the skooooling, tough background check, I got mine.

This situation, what I called a "set back" at the time, and thinking it was a low point, IS probably ONE, of the best thing that ever happened to me. I was able to pick and choose the jobs I wanted to, and make more money.

You can have/do anything you want in this state, it's just getting caught is a different story.


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Happy birthday Erik. I hope I keep my baby face like you have managed to
    • I was always under the impression that the mass produced neon signs where pushed through a die and made. I had no idea they where actually hand made. thanks for sharing.
    • I split these posts off to create it's own topic because it's far too interesting to get lost in the shuffle in a LED discussion.   Those are some awesome pics Frank, thanks for sharing those....oh and by all means I don't think anyone here can get tired from hearing about Neon!
    • Sure, I'm on the wrong computer but I have some of Fallon Shanghai...   This is an order for 3500 Miller Lite (Old Logo), we are waiting (too long) for Ventex transformers coming in from the states so all these are minus them - this was a typical month's production - we could do more but it was waiting for materials which always screwed with the schedule.   All the masterpack boxes behind are with the power supplies.  We only did pattern bending, no jigs or fixtures, with 25 benders.  Each table had a QC girl who checked every bit of glass made by the benders by slotting them into a jig.    We used all EGL glass and electrodes and when we ran out of clear I did source Chinese clear that was made for lamp manufacture (I kept this a secret that we're using Chinese glass lol).  On a side line I wanted to do our own coating, its not rocket science once you have the right phosphor / binder and kiln. I've coated before in Australia ( tes I was there too! ol).  Where people sourcing glass come undone - the glass formula needed to be for lamp manufacture and the tubes are acid washed and dried before packing.  If you just buy any clear glass its ok for small units ~4 feet. Anything more than 5 feet you're pushing it and 7~8 feet fuhgeddaboudit! Yes it will pump and age ok, neon looks good bright red but then after about a day or two the electrodes cannot keep up with the outgassing and the tube fails.    This is the pump I designed- 12 ports three bombarders (custom made with the secondary center tapped like a neon transformer for safety) at the far end was another pump. Each port could be isolated if there was a problem with a unit. We had three of these running continuously with two pumpers at each one.  One was the operator while the other one tipped off units on one end and connected six more on the other end.  So when one side was doing the final pumping down the other side was ready to go when the GTO was switched over.  My original plans had a bombarder GTO switch so it was just a flick of a switch to do the other side.  Our standard was the electrodes would be heated to a bright orange and we did a helium flush   The neon aged for 4 hours with the Hg in the trap, any unit not dull was rejected.  The ones that passed the first aging were aged for 7 more hours when the Hg was admitted. We had a lot of aging tables with three layers.  We could switch between 30 and 60mA, usually it was 60mA for 8mm we would use 30mA.  Aging neon with 30mA is too slow.     Cheers...   PS Don't get me talking about neon...I'll bend your ear off!
    • have any pictures you can share? sounds fascinating!
  • Best Sellers

  • Recent Product Reviews

×
×
  • Create New...