01/01/2013 New Store Front Sign with Standing Seam Copper Awning
We have been lucky over the years to have some great long term customers that know the value of great signs. The Works Bakery & Cafe based in Keene is one of those. We at Keene Signworx have been doing all sorts of creative projects with them for over 20 years. This project was for a new location in Brattleboro Vt right on Main Street. The space they had leased was 45' long with glass all the way across and about 5' of plywood facsia above. In short it needed something to dress it up. We had logo art that we had to use and it was going to be a challenge to use up that 45' gracefully. The solution was an awning but instead of the usual fabric covered awning we were proposing a copper standing seam roof awning. Their new look was using a lot of recycled or re-claimed materials inside, both wood and metal, so our idea was to distress the copper and trim it with re-claimed chestnut salvaged from a Vermont Barn. There was also a sign that was incorporated into the awning. Copper is a great outdoor material but requires some carefull consideration to prevent corosion. It should never be designed and used in a way that allows the copper to come in contact with steel or aluminum or it will cause rapid corosion of the other metals this is called galvanic corosion.
We get around that issue by framing with plywood, wood and epoxy. I have been invloved in a lot of wooden boat building projects and this one is borrowed from that experience. In this case we cut multiple bulkheads of station frames on our CNC router with cutouts to accept longitudinal strapping. In this way we can build a lightweight, strong, easy to wrap structure from low cost material and have it last for decades because it is protected with the copper. The hip roof ends add to the overall look.
The sign itself was built the same way as a plywood box, wrapped with copper and faced with re-claimed chestnut. Then we added a curved steel panel that was allowed to rust with raised HDU letters mounted on it.
The upper carved portion was hand carved and laminated to a curved composite panel and mounted over the steel. Everything went up as planned on install day and the store was their best performer right out of the box. We lobbied hard to add color to this sign but were overruled by the owners. It was my only regret but...the next location got the color treatment and it was so well received we were asked to re-pint this one adding the color. I will show that in another post.