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Perferated Steel Tubing Magnet Signs Plans. - Free Designs and Tutorial
Welded Steel Frame Signs & Free Plans/Tutorial


Will Last A Lifetime

Make your own Magnet Signs. Easy  to make. 2 free hours, and a shade tree. What you'll get is a  nice do it all  magnetic sign. The techniques used  here will transfer over to larger signs if that is what you wish.

Steel tubing, drill,grinder and hardware Safety Glasses, Drill with 7/16th bit, 4" Grinder with Dewalt .45 cutting disk, pencil, and speed square. Later, we'll need 4 - 4" L-Brackets,  8 -Strong ties for sign corners, 16 - 2 1/2" bolts, along with washers and nuts. All the hardware comes from Lowes Home Improvement Center.
Steel tubing and steel sign blank. Your  going to need steel tube. In Ft. Worth you can get steel tubing from Lowes but for the money, you might be better off checking with your local Highway Department and ask them to sell you a 12ft stick of 1 3/4 inch of perforated galvanized steel tubing. If not ... Lowes carries perforated tubes.
Sign Blanks.  We order our blanks out of Dallas and get free delivery. They  come painted white but for the purpose of this tutorial we used a  black panel. Another good source for sign blanks are Real Estate offices. Many Real Estate offices will have signs they don't need or the realtor quit. Ask for them. Make sure their steel and not aluminum. If you only have aluminum, then use Magnamagic paint. Paint them and your ready.

This next step is the hardest.  The Sign Blank I used is 24" x 36". My Tubing is 1 3/4" inches. The perforated holes in the tubing are1" center. 2 pieces will be cut 23". 2 pieces will be cut 38 3/4". The two 23" pieces need both ends cut to allow for 2" centers. To do this, measure 7/8" inch for the center of your last holes. You'll see why this is important later. Look at the pictures below.

23 Inch cut

 

Steel tubing cut and ready to be assembled.

2 -23". Notice the cuts. Click for a larger look.

38 3/4" measurement to cut

 

Corners are Simpson Strong Tie. Lowes carries them. You will need eight.
8 Strong ties. Measure 7/8th of an inch to center holes. Strong tie drilled. Notice lines marking 2" center holes. Strong tie with 7/16" hole drilled. 2 strong ties clamped together. Drill them 2 at a time. Strong Ties drilled.

2nd image shows pilot holes drilled 2" centers. A speed squares flat base (if you have one) is exactly 7/8" of a inch wide. If you don't have one, measure 7/8th of an inch from the inside of Simpson Strong Tie then mark a straight line with pencil, drill your pilot hole then finish drilling with 7/16 drill bit.. Click for larger image 2. ** Using a clamp speeds up the process to do 2 corners at a time.

Next thing  to do is cut the slots. The 23" tubes are cut down their centers end to end. The 38 3/4 tubes, leave the last holes uncut.  I used a 4" hand grinder. I have table mounted equipment but for these small jobs I found it was just faster, easier to run the grinder down the middle of the holes. Dewalt makes a metal grinding disk just for cutting steel. One disk cost around .69 cent and will complete this job and probable another. Anyway, take a straight edge and mark the centers of the holes. Cut the center slot making sure you don't cut the last holes on the long tubes. ** If you do cut the last holes it won't matter but I prefer not to. Either way, it will still work and stay strong
Important! Notice these end cuts on your tubes. Tubing clamped to table. Ready to grind the slot down center of the holes. Do not cut the last hole on 38 3/4 inch tubes. Look at the end marked in red.
All tubes have been slotted. Only needed one 4" Dewalt .45 steel grinding disk.

If you've attempted to make this simple sign, you have come to realize how easy this actually is. The really good news is  the hardest part is over. All that is left is inserting the sign blank into the slots, attach the corners, bolt on your feet and the sign is complete.

Fabrication of the sign is self explanatory. Sign fits into the slots, corners bolt on each side held together with 2 1/2" 3/8th nuts and bolts, and feet can be attached.

Lay out your sign first. 23" inch perforated tube fits inside the long tubes.

Start aligning your corners. Long tube should be aligned on the outside. All tubes are aligned. The steel sign blank should be 1/2 wider than the framing. This allows the frames to clinch the sign and hold it.

  Slide your sign blank inside your tubes.

Text on the magnet sign is important. This type of construction will make you happy.
Sliding the sign blank inside the sign tubing.
Steel sign blank in one side, getting ready to slid on the other.

Assembling the larger sides first is the easiest. Laying a couple of blocks under your blank helps but assembly can be done without. Use 3/8th nut and bolts, a 9/16th wrench tighten the corners. Checking for square,  tighten the 4 center bolts. The center bolts are what clinches the sign together. Make sure the center bolts are tight.

With the sign blank inside its frame, your now ready to square it up and bolt together. Squaring up your corners with a speed square. Notice the center bolt. Its design is to add strength. Magnet Signs can be made using the technique in any size. Here is what the finished sidewalk sign looks like.

Attach your feet if your needing a sidewalk for street sign. You can use L-brackets from Lowes.
The l-brackets come from Lowes. With all the corners on 2 inch center, mounting your hardware is easy. Finished magnetic sidewalk sign. L-bracket mounted showing sign standing. Nice job. Very easy magnet sign built to last forever.

Changing or moving the  L-brackets to different mounting points is a snap. The corner strong ties on 2 inch centers  and the L-brackets come with 2" centered holes. I hope you found this useful and it help you if your needing a  Magnet Sign. If you have any questions, send email to magnetletters@gmail.com

Welded Steel Frame Signs & Free Plans/Tutorial

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