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  #1  
Old 06-02-2011, 08:59 PM
Attila Bethlenfalvy Attila Bethlenfalvy is offline
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Default neon garage art

Here's the beginning of a fun project that has been eating away at me for some time. To date, the only person that has procar neon art from me is Carl Woerner.

Rather than get hyper-technical turning jpgs into vectors, I started by enlarging images to the desired size. In this case, 48" length. Then I hand draw over the top with width of neon tubing (10mm here), tweaking as needed.



Neon is bent in reverse so it is 'flat' and readable from the front. Keep in mind that neon tubing is 3 dimensional. Excess glass portions are then blocked out (specialized rubbery tar/paint) on the finished piece. Glass underway:



Couple favorite torches include ribbon burners (different lengths and adjustable) and a knife point cannon fire. Cannon provides intense heat without much deflection, so it is perfect for welding glass together and preheating short bends, before transferring heat to a ribbon. The above photo shows what started out as 4' sticks of 10mm tubing after shaping. Although white on white, you can see letters taking shape before being welded together.



On the bombarder being processed. Notice they're still backwards, face side down. Yes - they are two different colors; white and clear glass with straight argon fill. (Closest to replicating 'chrome' feel in neon having more depth. Downside is that when placed with other colors or in direct sunlight it washes out.) Processing requires burning atmosphere and impurities out of the tubing under vacuum with (sometimes) more electricity than it takes to kill someone in an electric chair. When the glass reaches 275 Celsius it is about done... Fun stuff!

Slightly more legible now burning in:



See how some areas are brighter than others? Fresh off vacuum pump being processed, the tiny amount of mercury injected in the tube hasn't vaporized yet. The areas that are brighter have higher concentrations of mercury. An hour on the burn-in transformer will even everything out.

August marks 20 years I've been bending glass for those wondering what I do. Chasing coaches is a hobby. Matter of fact, I'm headed away from the shop tomorrow for another goose chase. Will finish painting and mounting these Eureka scripts next week and update completed works.

Superior logo up next. Thinking white and red on those as there are a lot of Superior ambulances out there...
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The Following 19 Users Say Thank You to Attila Bethlenfalvy For This Useful Post:
Adam Borkat (06-03-2011), Bill Head (10-13-2013), Dana Bennett (07-12-2011), Denny Shira (03-04-2013), John Burchfield (07-12-2011), Jonathon Fowers (06-03-2011), Keith Snyder (07-10-2011), Ken Novak (10-13-2013), Kent Martinson (06-03-2011), Kurt Arends (10-10-2013), Martyn Donaldson (06-02-2011), Mike Burkhart - Deceased 1948 - 2016 (06-03-2011), Mike McDonald (06-03-2011), Mike McGeehan (10-12-2013), Nicholas Yassan (06-02-2011), Pat Caruso - Deceased 1966 - 2013 (06-03-2011), Steve Loftin (06-02-2011), Terry Lange (06-06-2011), Tom Hoczyk (06-03-2011)
  #2  
Old 06-02-2011, 09:24 PM
Todd Merrifield Todd Merrifield is offline
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I did two semesters of neon bending in college as an elective. I got the basics down, but I never really got all that good at it, and never returned to it after college. My final project was neon installed in the grille and windows of my 62 Belair station wagon, including a Chevy bowtie in the back window, which ran off the cars electrical system so you could drive down the road with it on. This was about 1990, before you could just go down to Autozone and buy a neon underbody kit for your car.

That's great work, knowing what it takes to follow a pattern and form letters that are readable. Good luck with the Superior logo...from what I remember red is the most expensive glass, and the easiest to break.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:35 PM
Brady D Smith Brady D Smith is offline
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Default I gotta have one of those........

Can you do a HENNEY sign for me Atti???
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:12 PM
Nicholas Yassan Nicholas Yassan is offline
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I like that you started with eureka! Nice blue one
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WTB 3way Eureka table

'58 Eureka 3way #168
'59 Cadillac Series 75
'60 Eureka Combo #130
'60 Eureka 3way #167
'60 Eureka 3way #259
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:07 AM
Mike Burkhart - Deceased 1948 - 2016's Avatar
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Like Brady said, I want a HENNEY one too!!!!!

Mike
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:46 PM
Greg Sander Greg Sander is offline
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I, too have taken a couple of neon classes sometime in 1994-96 and still find it fascinating. I have had neon kits on my car, and have a couple of custom signs.

I had a chance about a year ago to purchase all the equipment that my instructor used for his business but decided I didn't have a good place for it. Neat tutorial, too Atti!
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:35 PM
Bill Carlin Bill Carlin is offline
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As long as your making the Henney signs.... I would love one too!
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:41 PM
Attila Bethlenfalvy Attila Bethlenfalvy is offline
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So which of you Henney owners can provide a clear, level, centered logo picture first..?
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Old 06-03-2011, 06:14 PM
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Probably Brady, but I'll try to get a good one and e.mail it to you. I still don't know how to post a picture on here.

Thanks, Atti!!!
Mike
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:50 PM
Brady D Smith Brady D Smith is offline
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Default I am working on it.

Give me a couple days.
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