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Creating a Sand Blasted Sign

The following pictures show the steps in creating a sand blasted (background carved) sign.  Not shown is the shaping, sanding, and painting of the surface of both sides of the sign board prior to the photo steps below.  The sign board is 2" thick western red cedar, imported from Canada.  The lettering, flourishes, and borders are protected from the sand blast by a rubber mask that is cut on a plotter with data sent from a computer.

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The computer cut rubber mask for the lettering, flourishes, border and center disc are applied.  These masks will bounce the blast media away while the exposed painted wood is carved away.
 
 

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The sandblasting strips the paint and soft wood between the grains of the wood panel.  The masked areas will be left untouched and appear raised from the background.
 
 

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The rich grain of the wood is exposed with deep grooves between the harder grains.
 
 

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The blasting of the first side of the sign is now complete.  The masked areas have the glossy white painted finish of the original surface beneith.  A layer of wood has been stripped away giving dimension to the sign.
 
 

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The second side, identical to the first, is now sandblasted.
 
 

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Its hard to tell from this photo, but the blasted out wood areas have been primed and sealed.  A coat of rich blue oil base paint is applied.  Company owner, Bill Ofca, is doing the painting.
 
 

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The first side dried for 3 days, and now painting the second side is nearly complete.  Brush painting is slow and difficult because of the grooves between the grains, but the results are beautiful after the masks are removed.
 
 

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With the masks removed, the center circle was decorated with a hand painted "protect and serve" firemen's emblem.  Sign gold has been added to the border, flourishes, and center emblem.
 
 

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After 3 weeks of off and on work, waiting for paint to dry between work, the sign panel is finished.
 
 

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Installing the traditional style powder coated steel post and frame.  From left to right, Gary Siggelkow (customer rep.), Chris Hargrave (volunteer helper), and Bill Ofca (company owner).
 
 

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A few weeks after installation, the completed sign.  The light reflection from the 22 kt. sign gold trimmings actually over-exposed the photo and look more white than gold.  In real life, the gold looks fine and brilliant.  The flourishes, outline border, and center emblem outlines are real gold.
 
 

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This is the memorial stone, among flag poles, flower gardens, and other exhibits at Hackett Hill Park, East Market Street in Hyde Park, NY on dedication day, September 11, 2004.

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Paul Tegtmeier was a beloved resident of Hyde Park, NY.  He was a volunteer fireman in Hyde Park who became a paid fireman in New York City.  On September 11, 2001, Paul lost his life in the World Trade Center tragedy.  The sign was built for the memory of this hero, and to point the way to a dedicated monument at Hackett Hill Park on East Market Street, Hyde Park, NY.  Hyde Park, NY is home to the Franklin D. Roosevelt presidential home and library, and attracts thousands of tourists every year.  If you are in the area, please be sure to visit Hackett Hill Park and the Paul Tegtmeier Memorial.