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#779626 Thu Jul 28 2022 02:21 PM
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Skydog Offline OP
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Hello, I have half of an old White Rose sign that was lit with neon, meaning it was 2 sided in a steel frame. Unfortunately I only have one side and no frame.
I took the sign to a neon person I know, and she has some ideas on how to light the one side, but they involve drilling a 1/2 to 5/8 hole in the face of the sign. Has anyone tried this with any success?
I was thinking of a step drill bit, she suggested a diamond bit for drilling thru tile, I don't know how that would do going thru the steel.
Please don't tell me I'll destroy the value, the sign is not perfect by any means, and it is an old family piece that I would never sell
Thanks Greg

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Hi Skydog…I drilled a 1/8 inch hole in a porcelain sign one time. I started with a smaller (carbon bit for metal) drill bit and worked my way up. The carbon bit had no problem with the metal but did “shatter” some of the porcelain around the hole. It was a piece of cake.

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Just a thought but why not fabricate a narrow can to mount the sign on? Then mount the tubing stand-offs to the can? No need to drill through porcelain and damage the finish. Paul www.severngaspumps.com

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Originally Posted by Stephenwarren30
Hi Skydog…I drilled a 1/8 inch hole in a porcelain sign one time. I started with a smaller (carbon bit for metal) drill bit and worked my way up. The carbon bit had no problem with the metal but did “shatter” some of the porcelain around the hole. It was a piece of cake.

Originally Posted by gasmansgp
Just a thought but why not fabricate a narrow can to mount the sign on? Then mount the tubing stand-offs to the can? No need to drill through porcelain and damage the finish. Paul www.severngaspumps.com

Stephenwarren30, when using this process above use some strong tape over the desired hole too keep the porcelain down

gasmansgp, this sounds like the best logical way too go .. ... cool


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Skydog Offline OP
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Thanks for the replies!
She and I talked about a can on the back, she is worried about exposure of the perimeter neon being easily damaged, plus the bottom of the sign is bent out probably an inch.
We looked at a couple of examples of this sign and decided to light the red lettering with rose neon, bring everything in from behind and mount a lightweight transformer on the back.
So i get to drill a hole in the W,E, R, and E. The top 2 I will drill in the defect areas the bottom wherever it works best for the neon artist, we will grommet the holes as well.
I like the idea of covering the area with strong tape, I think a new step bit with some lubrication should work.
Greg

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We chose this look, without the perimeter green since the bottom is bent.

https://cdn1.mecum.com/auctions/sc0516/sc0516-246166/images/sc0516-246166_1.jpg?1459269535000

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I've done it a few times. Can't seem to find the exact bit I used but I believe it was a carbide hole saw. I predrilled the guide hole and then used the hoe saw, trying to keep it as straight as possible. It will chip the porecelain some but its generally under the neon insulators so you dont see it. This sign has neon added, I also put some lumber behind the sign to keep the sign from mvoing or warping when I was cutting the holes. That reduced the chipping.

90987352_538443240144074_7136152831626575872_n.jpg

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Skydog Offline OP
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Thanks Paul, that looks great!

Greg

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Picked up my sign and it looks great.
My neon friend is a real artist!

IMG_3121 (1).jpg IMG_3122 (1).jpg
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