Sign for My Brother's Business

My Brother wanted a new sign to display on the building for his ATV & SXS Business. So I signed up to make it lol.

Sign will be made from 1/2” PVC Sheet so no worry of it ever rotting. Will be painting the outside layers. Everything I have read said it’s no problem to paint this with some special paint from Sherwin Williams. Hopefully that’s correct info. The words will also be backlit with Green LEDs

Getting the backer board started tonight. Milling in a 1mm deep pocket that the “mid stage” letters will sit in. Hoping that will help like everything up easier. Also have it set to drill pilot holes that will line up through everything to help line up even more. This board is $100 a sheet so hopefully I don’t screw anything up with the CAM! lol


Well its official. PVC board is my new favorite material to mill on the LR3. This stuff cuts like butter. Chips well. Quiet. I cant say enough good about it. Hopefully it mounts and stands up to the Florida weather well too!



Love it, where do you get 1/2" PVC sheet from?

Agree with the painting concern. I bet you have to rough up the surface a bit and get an etching type primer.

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Only place close around here that I could find. And its at one about an hour away. Looks like it had been on the shelf for a while. If I go back to get more (will need to eventually) I might see if I can swing a deal to buy all they have at a reduced price lol

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Oh cool. My store doesn’t carry that, but good to know.

When I was looking around, I found other colors on Grainger but its pretty expensive. Might be better than painting if they have what you want.

Everything I read from that link said its very easy to paint. So we will see. This will be a test. I know for sure if it doesn’t work out he will let me know lol. And he also knows we are trying something new that everything I’ve read says will last but we have no first hand knowledge of. I’m not charging him anything other than material for the sign so it works out for both of us. I get to learn and he gets a nice sign for cheap LOL

My favorite kind of projects. Pay for me to learn something new

Exactly! And he has a bunch of Big Money friends with businesses. Hoping for some more business from it as well LOL. Going to hand him an invoice at the end for what it “should” cost then put the “family discount” on the end lol


Quick tangent about that. In college I had two professors that talked about this sort of thing all the time. They could not have been more different.
-One said, never ever compromise your price, ever. Once you work for less you are worth less and you can get stuck with accounts that will not pay your normal rate.
-The other said, work at all costs even if that is free. You will always learn something and you never know where it will go.

I worked for free for months when I really really needed the money to pay rent, I am where I am today because of it. While working for free I learned 50x more about my current line of work than I learned in school that I paid for, and that directly resulted in my next job, and me eventually to me doing this.

I also think those are both extreme, you got the best of both worlds. You worked for cheap, got materials covered, you will learn a lot, made the family happy, and free advertising… This is the ideal getting started in a new field story in my opinion. Congrats on getting your first large sign job! Cheers to many more!


Hmm, my Lowes stocks quarter sheets in 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 inch thick. I might have to try this out.

The free/cheap thing goes both ways here. So its not one sided and I don’t feel shorted in any way even if this was something I had done 100 times and knew how to with my eyes closed. Also I will point out that at no point did he ask me to do it cheap, He would have paid whatever I asked, so this choice was 100% on me.

I agree with you 100% that this is the kind of thing that will pay me back 100 times more than if I had charged a lot to make it. Its new material and my first big “on display” project and I couldn’t be more happy about it.

I wish I could have found 3/4" thick but no one around me had anything that I could find. I could have shipped it in but that was astronomically expensive and not at all worth it for this one sign.

I do have some aluminum square tubing that I am thinking about making a frame for the back to stiffen it up some and also give something to hang it by. If I have enough left overs of the sheet I will cut it down into strips and stack it around the back edges to give the illusion that it is thicker and to hide the frame/wiring for the LEDs.

There was a short story about a cobbler and his daughter’s fiance. He needed his shoes repaired and the cobbler wasn’t sure if he should give a discount so he offered him half price. In his internal monologue he wished he would have either charged him full price or done it for free because the boy didn’t know he was getting a discount, so it didn’t feel quite like a gift or a job.

I don’t remember anything else in that story (honestly, I don’t remember much from any story in high school). But this always stuck with me. I either do it for free or charge full price. And if I don’t want to do it, I charge double.

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Well got some progress done on the sign today. Below is a pic of his actual Logo, a bit cut off but its screen shot from FB.

And here is where I made it to today…

I don’t have the right screws on hand so they pieces are just loosely mounted for now just to get a visual. Hopefully the lights will get here soon and I can get started with the wiring and all that mess.

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Nice work! I have a quite a bit of PVC left over for just this sort of project so it’s great to see it working - You appear to be running slower than I thought it would need though? The machined bits in my pic were hand cut with a trim router, and it takes a bit of feel to get the speed just right. You seem to have it pretty much nailed!

I’ve used this stuff a lot my lightweight camper fitouts and other boating bits and bobs - it’s used a lot in the sign industry as a backing board - I use a PVC (or generic Krylon or bumper bar) primer first if I’m painting it, usually after giving it light scuff with 320 or 400 grit . In the pic - the black bits are bed liner (like Raptor) sprayed direct, the other dark bits are vehicle wrap applied with no primer.

If you don’t prime it, paint tends to stay there if you don’t touch it, but the special paints should do the trick!

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Having never run it before, and with having just paid $100 a sheet for it, I took the safe path lol. I have increased a little bit. Mostly in DOC. Cutting it in 2 passes now instead of 3. It really mills nicely. Better than anything else I have ever worked with that’s for sure. I have a few more upcoming projects with it so I will get it dialed in better as I spend more time with it.

Excellent! I’m hoping you’ll have it dialled in before I need it. I fancifully thought that I’d cut the van panels with the LR2, then the LR3, but the reality for me is that I had the van finished before the LR2! :rofl:

I do however have a lot of left over bits calling from the corner!

Sounds like its time to make the LR3 a priority again and get it finished!

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