Gnome pub sign step by step – part 3

Each time we create a hanging sign we think of a number of things. The first is that we want to create a bracket that fits perfectly with the sign design, not merely an afterthought. Our second thoughts are about strength. Hanging signs can be dangerous if not done correctly. Precision Board, even the heavy 30 lb density has little structural strength. We have to engineer hard mounting points in from the start. The fact that this hanging sign is to go into a pub means we have to design in a little more in case some tough guy who’s had a few too many decides to do a chin-up.

It starts with the internal frame inside the sign. We opted for 1.5 inch square tubing in this case – plenty strong for the task. I laid out a vector which is 1.6″ wide – which allows a little extra wiggle room. These rectangles were combined and formed the cut path for the internal welded steel frame. The brackets will weld to this frame.

I then laid out the 3/8″ thick angle brackets we would fabricate for three corners of the sign. The fancy bracket was then drawn around these mounting points using EnRoute drawing tools.

I then duplicated and flipped these vectors for the bottom portion of the bracket.

The wall mounting flange was built using a variety of arranged shapes which I then combined. Adding the bolting holes finished this piece off.

To create the welded 3/8″ plate angle brackets I created a 4×5″ reciting;e and then added an oval. This would cut out leaving room for the 5/8″ round rod that would go through them.

I also rounded the outside corners using the chamfer drawing tool.

The files were then ready to send to the plasma cutter.  I’ll cut these while the router whittles out the sign faces. I can hardly wait to assemble this little beauty and see how it all looks together. Stay tuned…

Published by

Dan Sawatzky

Dan Sawatzky is best described as a creative force in the sign industry. He and his wife Janis are owners of Sawatzky’s Imagination Corporation – a small family company that specializes in the design and creation of dimensional theme signs and environments. They tackle projects of any size from small signs to entire theme parks. Their work has garnered numerous international awards and Dan’s articles appear frequently in the sign trade publications. Dan and his crew also host Sign Magic and Sculpting Workshops in their studio a number of times each year with attendees coming from around the world. For more information please visit

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