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Tim Bateson
08-18-2010, 4:13 PM
A client wants a large dedication plaque similar to the one pictured. It appears to be some sort-of bronze. They are leaving a lot up to me (too much I think) such as what materials to use, its size, and text layout.
Our conversation was something like: We want something like that & we'll get you the names and dates at a later time. Of-course they wanted to know how much it would cost - even tho I have almost no layout and I don't even know what materials I'll yet be using. No problem, my standard price for this type of quote is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Didn't seem to be an issue with them.

Any suggestions for pulling off this type of look?

Dan Hintz
08-18-2010, 4:18 PM
I could be wrong, but I believe the "general" consensus has been the IKONmetal stuff is hard to work with on lasers, particularly for large plaques. I seem to remember it warping heavily if you wanted any depth, and your 35W may have a really tough time getting through it with an speed.

I might suggest a true bronze plaque...

Chris DeGerolamo
08-18-2010, 4:27 PM
**** Ikon, we bought a sample kit years ago in Vegas after we were told we could etch it with a 35W. At the recommended settings, it barely did anything and lowering the speed/upping the power made it cost ineffective and it yielded such a horrible product we trashed the other sample pieces and chalked it up to a loss.

Martin Boekers
08-18-2010, 5:07 PM
Tim,

here is a sample I made for and outdoor address sign. I used black acrylic
and painted it with a bronze or copper Krylon Fusion.

I cut a frame around it out of theis to give it depth, this was epoxied to
another sheet of black that was also sprayed with a Krylon Fusion, a black speckeled type.

On the Scott Field I lasered and cut it out of the Bronzed painted piece
then epoxied it to the back. This gave a simulated version of the much
more expensived bronzed castings.

It did look nice and should stand up to the weather with the Krylon finish.
It's not bronzed, but then again it didn't cost any where near it either
and it was all done inshop.

If you want to get an actual casting I haven't ordered from these guys,
but they are always at the NBM shows and I keep a catalog on file
as they give a trade discount so you can make some $$$ on the mark up.
It's always nice to have companies like this in your files. The more I move
into signage they can cover much that I can make inshop but still keep the sale.

http://www.signletters.com/Metal_Plaques/index.html

Marty

Ross Moshinsky
08-18-2010, 5:21 PM
Ikon is THE WORST. I won't deal with them again. Ikonmetal is impossible to work with. I even tried to sand blast it and the mask they specifically told me would work, would not stick to the material. It is incredibly brittle. It's an AWFUL material to work with.

In the end, you want bronze. Matthews and Gemini are two big ones. I've done a lot with Matthews and I think their quality is better than Gemini, but Gemini is cheaper by about 10-15% I believe. I use Gemini when a customer doesn't want Corian or stone and can't quite afford Matthews. The quality difference isn't huge, but it is somewhat noticeable if you've touched both products.

Without knowing the size, you're talking about thousands to do a decent sized bronze plaque. Either company is very easy to work with. Lay out everything in 1:1 ratio in Corel. You pick the finishes. Send it over, they send a proof back, you approve it and in 6-8 weeks, you get it back. The biggest issue in the whole process is approving the layouts and figuring out how you want to mount it. Both companies offer a number of different mounting methods. You also should add shipping into your costs. Expect shipping to be quite a bit. These plaques are big and relatively heavy.

One last piece of advice, if they want bronze, get bronze. There is no substitute. The wanna-be products don't hold a candle to bronze. Either convince them to get bronze or figure out a completely different material like Corian or granite.

Todd Suire
08-18-2010, 5:53 PM
Tim,

That looks to be cast bronze. I've gotten quotes for these before, and depending on the size you're probably looking at $700 - $1,400 net.

You wouldn't think so, but there are lots of options to choose from that will determine final net cost.

Mike Null
08-18-2010, 6:52 PM
Tim

Ikon metal isn't worth your time. don't even think about it.

Your simple answer is Gemini. It's bronze. They will make the plaque for you; they're easy to deal with, and your customer will call you every time they need something.

Find out how the customer wants to mount it. Usually Gemini will place studs on the back which will be cemented into the wall. They'll also provide a drilling pattern for a few bucks.

Martin Boekers
08-18-2010, 7:09 PM
[QUOTE=Mike Null;1493420]Tim

Ikon metal isn't worth your time. don't even think about it.

Your simple answer is Gemini. It's bronze. They will make the plaque for you; they're easy to deal with, and your customer will call you every time they need something.
[QUOTE]

I have wasted (ok, invested!) :o much time and money to try new products
and ideas, none as expensive and futile as Ikon Metal.

The website I posted is for Gemini, I have kept their catalog for the
last few years so that if needed to I could provide this service.

It's great that everyone is saying that Gemini is the way to go, now
if/when the time comes around, I feel a bit more confident to place
an order with them.

Thanks all for pointing it out!


Marty

Scott Shepherd
08-18-2010, 7:18 PM
I use Gemini all the time. First class company, products are excellent. Gemini is easy money. Send the artwork, no matter how rough to them, get a quote, price your product, if you get the job, send the final artwork for quote, get that, submit it, they send you a proof to approve, do that, and it's over.

A++ for Gemini. Plus, they only sell to sign companies, so you don't have to worry about people bypassing you and going right to them.

Mike Chance in Iowa
08-18-2010, 9:26 PM
Tim,
here is a sample I made for and outdoor address sign. I used black acrylic
and painted it with a bronze or copper Krylon Fusion.
Marty

That looks fantastic Marty. Great job! Thank you for describing what materials you used.

Rodne Gold
08-18-2010, 10:18 PM
You could try a DIY thing with this in that you can use a cold cast method.
Cold casting involves mixing metal powders into casting resin which can simulate cast bronze/copper/whatever (can be polished or patinated - looks like real metal cos there is real metal in it)
You can laser a reverse sunken mould in the material of your choice , cast the plaque and then finish the bas relief surface with a sander.

Tim Bateson
08-19-2010, 12:17 AM
Thanks for the info. I'm now pricing Gemini as well as offering a couple alternatives such as Mike's stainless steel & Cermark plaque.

Dan Hintz
08-19-2010, 6:34 AM
Marty,

I kind of like the look of that Krylon version... sure, it's not bronze, but it has a unique look of its own.

Belinda Williamson
08-19-2010, 6:54 AM
Tim, I've worked with quite a bit of Ikon metal. It is very messy if you are doing a lot of material removal. As for warpage, I glue it to a blank of Corian cut to the same size prior to engraving. The back and sides are painted black. If you don't adhere it to some sort of substrate the Ikon metal will warp. On this small plaque holes were drill to countersink screws and Ikon metal plugs were also supplied. As others have said, it is also brittle. It is more cost effective than cast bronze though, but that doesn't seem to be an issue with your customer. Not the best photo in the world but you get the idea.

158813

Edward Bertrand
08-19-2010, 10:17 AM
Tim,

Get a quote from Matthews, fax 1-412-571-5561
They are in Pittsburgh, PA 15226

We do a lot of cast bronze plaques through them.

Ed

Martin Boekers
08-19-2010, 10:48 AM
Marty,

I kind of like the look of that Krylon version... sure, it's not bronze, but it has a unique look of its own.

Dan,

I use this alot on base for signage indoor and out, It does give a nice effect
that is a bit different.

I do military shields quite a bit and the hammered silver finish works well.
These I've used on everything from dressing up a small plaque, to larger
ones on recognition boards, entrances to building, address signs you name
it.

I find it to be very versitile. I always have black sheet stock for letters that
I cut out plus a few can of Krylon when I want to get creative.;)

Marty

Bill Gailey
08-19-2010, 11:58 AM
Can you explain how you made the shield? what material and process

Martin Boekers
08-19-2010, 12:14 PM
Basically I use black plex sprayed with Krylon Fusion (they make a variety of metal colors) It's designed to repaint outdoor furniture so it will hold up!

I raster the image then vector cut.

You can experiment with other colored acrylics or use clear and spray the reverse side for a different effect.

As I said it is very versitile and I always keep sheets of plex and Krylon on
hand for special uses.

Marty

Mike Null
08-19-2010, 7:28 PM
Ed

Welcome to the SMC. I know you from another engraver's forum and know you have a lot to contribute.

Glad to have you aboard.

Patrick Licata
08-20-2010, 1:24 PM
Another choice is Grandview Aluminum. I have used them a number of times and have been very happy. They have a product called "Hollybronze" which is an aluminum that looks like bronze but cheaper. (they offer bronze as well)
Pricing if I remember off the top of my head is just over $2 per square inch for the material and .42 cents per character. These are retail prices. Dealer cost I think is 40% off.