I've been holding onto this post for a while and glad I can finally post it. My brother, sister and I wanted to get my dad something that was special. See, he worked at a Park's Texaco Service Station back in the mid-70's. It's a fond memory for him. Now that he has gotten older and able too, he has started collecting Texaco memorabilia. Automotive related collector items have really seemed to go up and there are tons of replicas out there for everything. You can even find stuff a Hobby Lobby. One of the most coveted items is the old banjo style service station signs. By the time my dad was working for Texaco, they had "updated" their logo and sign but the banjo sign is the one everyone wants - including my dad. These signs go for impressive money, and we did not want to spend that kind of money. We decided to make our own replica - a smaller, more manageable size. From my knowledge, the original signs were 6ft in diameter but our replica is 4ft in diameter. We haven't gotten to the sign post yet, but here is the sign panel build.
We started with a 4ftx8ft, 10ga piece of steel sheet metal, cut it to 4x4 square then to 4ft diameter. We cleaned up the edges with a grinder and sanded the surfaces to prep it for primer. I marked the center of the 4x4 square and the two axises. This allowed me to cut a perfect circle and to lay out the graphics. I wanted the sign to be sturdy, but man it's heavy!
My sister had access to a large format printer so she printed out a template for the graphic. It was pretty good but not perfect so there had to be some tweaking here and there. The first "TEXACO" I did was too small. I ended up printing a larger size font that fit better. To make sure the second side was aligned to match the first side, I drilled tiny holes - small enough for the paint to fill back in - at each star point. I was proud of this idea! It was time consuming to mask the letters and the "T", and I had to do some touch up once the masking tape was taken off.
All in all, I'm satisfied. To help myself NOT be my own worst critic, I thought of this one as a test or pilot run. I didn't want to tackle a 6ft diameter sign because I did not have a good place to work on one and I did not want to have to weld two pieces together to make the full diameter. It would've been heavy TOO! Having done this one now, I would be very willing to take on a six footer. The sign pole has not been done yet so I will do a post at a later date when we do that.
I'm a family man enjoying what God has blessed me with and trying to fuel my passion as an automotive enthusiast but on a budget.