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Everything posted by Rocco

  1. Hmm, isn't that company from the OP located on Long Island? IIRC quite a few of these national maint. companies started out on L.I. Just an observation, though I guess I don't have enough statistical data to draw a meaningful conclusion. And I just popped onto google maps and that address is the first bank of long island. Hmm, curiouser and curiouser. Wasn't there another thread with a national maint. company with a questionable address? I'm glad that, at 59, I only have to deal with this sort of people for another 30 or 35 years before I can afford to retire. 🙂
  2. What I need is a plain 1 3/8" round punch without "wings". The one shown in the photo is the one I have with "wings" for an older style snap-in socket. While it does the job, it leaves a pair of burs after punching the hole.
  3. I checked and yes, it's a true 1 3/8" punch. The one on the left is the 1 3/8" and the one on the right is 1 5/16" (which I forgot that I had). The blue tape in the photo is holding the "wings" for the punch. IIRC the 1 5/16" was for small glass housings. Anyway, still looking. Will trade a good D punchor cash or other sign "stuff".
  4. No, this isn't a for sale post, but I figured it should go here. I'm in the market for a 1- 3/8" round punch for chasing light sockets. I have the one with "wings" and these are removable and so do the job, but not well. It leaves a rough edge where the wings used to be. I have an extra "D" socket punch to trade and or can do cash. I've been getting more requests for reworking theater marquees and would like a good punch. I used to have one but it must have gotten lost somewhere along the line. Thanks all!
  5. Ah, the old "you can't get good help these days" song. I sing it, my father sang it, Moses (no relation though my kids think that he apprenticed under me) probably sang it too. Yes, good installers are hard to find. The good ones have steady jobs and aren't interested in talking to you. The bad ones will tell you that they have worked for this shop (but got laid off), for that shop (which closed down), that other place (fired this time for using the company CC*), cut trees for a few years, spent time in jail (or rehab or on the lam from a wife or..). Hmm, but can you give a guy a 2nd chance? Don't you mean 22nd? It's an uphill battle. Paul - I love that comment. However, at times I think half is being generous. UFB - LOVE LOVE LOVE that graphic. * - relative of my wife really did get fired for running up "ONLY $2500.00" on the company CC for personal expenses and seriously couldn't understand why he got canned, and why he ended up in court. He would have paid it back eventually. SIGH.
  6. Now let's not be too hasty to pass judgement. I mean, after all they DID use wire nuts to make the electrical connections. And that electrical tape was probably UL listed as well. The mold, well they intentionally must have made the drain holes smaller because those bulbs need the added warmth that only mold insulation can provide. You just interrupted the molds natural growth cycle! Mold is a natural, renewable resource whose manufacture has little or no carbon footprint. Plus they decided to save landfill space by leaving the neon posts in place as well.
  7. We recently were given the job to install a new sign for Lakeshore learning. They were moving from one space to another in the center. Corporate didn't like how the old sign looked so we serviced it and installed a transformer to the attached image. It would only have been for about ten days, but I guess I can see their point. I've seen sign people deliberately wire signs so that when one section goes out the resulting copy is "funny". Breaking words like "cocktails" down into two sections was always a popular one.
  8. The sign bracket store has some. At least one looks like your photo so you may have already looked there. Call you friendly neighborhood electrician (at least a good one) and ask him what he can do with his pipe bender.
  9. TBH, I think that it is possible that my agent misunderstood what was requested. My ins agency was bought out by another company and we had "issues" with them for a while. Missing COI's, delays in getting COI's sent out, no call backs, etc. it's gotten much better but I'm still checking around for another ins agency. I'll run it by them again and see if I get a different answer. However, sometimes these ins companies have really weird policies.
  10. I'm only talking about company trucks, all completely covered by our insurance. IIRC it's a $1mil auto plus an $2mil umbrella. While I don't claim to be completely fluent in "insuranceeeese" I was told by my agent that their ins company wants us to insure ALL of the vehicles on a jobsite, not just our truck. I guess that they want us to cover everyone else in case they smash each other and blame us for being on the same continent. IDK. My agent told me it would double the auto component of my business policy. Chandler was a good customer but didn't give us THAT much work. I have an independent insurance agent who has yet to steer me wrong, though I guess those things happen to the best of them. While there have been a couple of times in the past few years where we had a long term project and guys would drive to the site instead of the shop, that is far from the norm. I really wish we did more of those because they are always quite profitable. Usually we drive to a site, install the signs and leave. We occasionally spend two/three days at a site, but almost never leave the truck(s) there overnight.
  11. We used to do a decent amount of work for Chandler. The reason I'm posting this today is a designer/permit expediter I know just told me that Chandler is doing all the signs for the renovation of a local mall. it's a pretty large one in Center City (aka "downtown" anywhere else) Philadelphia. We had to part ways with Chandler recently, not because of problems with jobs or payments, but due to their new insurance company and the demands made. They just went with Progressive insurance and now instead of the normal Auto insurance coverage (owner, hired, leased, etc.) they want us to insure ALL the vehicles on a site. I spoke with my ins agent, and to get that one box checked would have doubled our auto policy cost. Now I will be shopping around come June for a new agency, but I can see where insuring ALL vehicles on a site would be really expensive. Especially at a site like the one in Phila. Do I have to insure all of the cars that drive by the site too? Naming a company as "additional insured" and getting the "waiver of subrogation" is bad enough, but this is too much. How is someone supposed to insure all of the vehicles on a jobsite? I've heard that Progressive does their best to never pay out any money in claims. It all must go to pay for the commercials with FLO. I guess that this is a ploy on their part to pass the buck to someone else. Have any of you had similar experiences with Progressive or other insurance companies? I hated to turn away a good customer but was forced to do this. The PM even told me that they were losing subs by the truckload because of this new insurance coverage.
  12. I've been looking for such a truck myself but am probably going in a slightly different direction. On the equipment trader website they have a bunch (of varying priced and vintages) under "Aerial Platform Lift Trucks".
  13. a quick web search came up with https://www.watergallery.net/wall-fountains/ And they showed what looks to be your exact unit.
  14. Side jobs have always been a fact of life in the sign game (not saying I approve) and it was a big issue back when my father was around and in charge. I don't allow any for profit side jobs since I "took over the payments". If they need a banner for the local cub pack, etc. I'll probably even do the layout. However, if it's a paying sign job, it goes to the company. If the company doesn't make money, they will be out of a job.
  15. For eifs I usually use the extra wide gorilla tape. It's about $15/roll around here but worth every cent. For those times that even what won't stick, a friend showed me a neat technique (Thanks Ken). Run a line of duct tape (cheap stuff ok) around the perimeter of the pattern. Then use a staple gun and attach the pattern to the wall with staples, making sure to land them on the tape. The tape strengthens the pattern and also makes removing the staples almost effortless. Of course there are always a few staples that want to stay in their new home so use SS staples. I find one of those reverse handled staplers work better for me, though I've always thought of using a hammer stapler like they use to put up tyvek house wrap. When I do just go with tape I tap the tape onto the wall (eifs or masonry) with the tape roll to get it to stick in the nooks and crannies better. My friend uses a rubber mallet. For masonry, if I have a really hard time, I put a few tapcons into the pattern (again through tape), making sure to be inside the letters. Occasionally we have trouble with painted walls and screw those patterns up as well. I know of one local company that often spray glues patterns onto that corrugated rolled cardboard and attach the pattern to the wall with anchors. That way their signs go up rain or shine. I'm not that hardcore.
  16. Just as a sanity check - having a lockable disconnect switch that is NOT in sight of the sign is still acceptable, correct? I have one town (using 2014 NEC as their rulebook) that keeps asking for a switch in sight of the sign. That's not always possible (or at least the customers/LL's don't like to see switches) and why that we use lockable switches. If I've been doing it wrong yell at me, but I thought I was correct. Even the 2017 NEC should allow lockable switches that are not in sight of the sign, right? That's how I read it but my brain is old and tired. Thanks all!
  17. Thanks but my customer told me that they already got someone. I'll still pass along your info though.
  18. A customer of mine called me earlier asking if I'd go to Boston to do some work. I'm too busy, and much too far away, plus don't have any MA licensing. TBH, we didn't get into details but all of their other work has been electrical signs in malls. PM me if you work in Boston and I'll pass along the contact info. Thanks!
  19. If you need enough to make it worth the travel time, Joseph Fazzio in Glassboro has it listed in both perforated (round holes) and expanded (diamond shape holes). Even Grainger has it listed (both ways) on their site but IDK about their pricing compared to others.
  20. My daughter had an appointment and had to go to a regional office.. She texted this photo. I guess they bought the letters online but didn't spend the $ for a pattern. Or pins or good tape or a tape measure or level or... And this isn't some tiny doctors office in the middle of nowhere. CH probably has half a billion bucks in buildings alone. SIGH.
  21. OMG, gerber font cards. That brings me back. I actually still have a 4B that runs though it's not aligned properly and lives under a table. A couple of years ago, a belt broke (only the 2nd or 3rd thing in a zillion years) and I just couldn't line it up right. If I had a swivel blade for it I could still cut vinyl with the beastie. I've moved on to a larger plotter so that belt breaking was a happy accident. It forced me to move into the 21st century. Though if you ask my kids I'm still stuck in the 1800's. I admit to never being a great artist though I always start with pencil/paper. I'll probably never win any design prizes but can at least do a rough draft with a customer.
  22. I'm going to avoid the comments above but throw in my two cents (which may be all my post is worth but..). Way back in the dark ages when signs were still hand painted, a company called Gerber Scientific came out with the first good vinyl plotter. And yes, there may have been others, but this was the first one that (at least in my area) saw large sales. The local sign writers bemoaned the fact that now any "monkey with two fingers" (a phrase I heard more than once) could now lay out and make signs. Other phrases like "its ruining the industry", "taking away jobs", etc. flew about. I wonder if the first mass produced brushes got the same kind of comments? We used to make wholesale channel letters (all by hand) and after I saw the Gerber 4-B at other shops, I tricked (long story) my father into buying one. it cost $10K (in 1982 dollars) when that was a tidy sum. it came with a whopping seven fonts. It saved us a lot of time, allowed us to stop hand cutting/reverse spraying faces, making letter patterns, etc. I was just learning to hand letter at the time, but that was left on the wayside. I still wish I had fully learned to hand letter but i digress. Anyway, channel letter benders are just another tool. In the hands of an experienced shop they can really be a money maker. Digital printers are another similar item. If you know how to use them (and market that service) you can make a lot of dough. In the 21st century channel letters, digital prints, aluminum extrusions, etc. are all commodities. You can buy an assemble-it / install-it yourself set of channel letters on-line from at least one source. I wonder when Amazon or Walmart will start carrying channel letters, cabinet signs, etc. Now, anyone with deep enough pockets can gain entry to the sign business, be it with electric signs, vinyl graphics, 3d carved signs, etc. by buying the right equipment AND hiring the right people. TBH, isn't that the new business model in these times. If you have enough $, you can get into most any business. Put together a business plan, get a loan, assemble a team, rent appropriate space, buy "stuff" and run with it. It will never be as easy as the franchise salespeople would make you believe, but people will try and some will succeed. Now I'm putting on my helmet, body armor and hunkering down in my foxhole and try to avoid the shrapnel.
  23. Hi all. Has anyone ever dealt with these folks before? A PM who used to work at North American and also another who worked at Ruggles contacted me about working for this company. Both were really good to deal with at their former companies. However, the PM's don't sign the checks, no matter how nice the working relationship might be. So, any experience good or bad? Thanks! Rocco
  24. At least your lines are straight. Even I can't always read my early AM scribbles.
  25. Nice, A while back I missed out on getting a full set of Signs of the Times from start to ~1990 and have been kicking myself ever since. My favorite part was Justin Green's "Sign Game" monthly cartoon. Hmm, maybe not cartoon. Comic? Illustration? Anyway I have a box around here somewhere with years worth of those cut from the magazines. I looked forward to it each month.
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