To stay in business in today’s very competitive world, a sound marketing strategy has to be developed. Name recall can be aided with not just a catchy brand or business name but with a unique sign. A neon sign is the most literally attractive sign and works wonders to make a business more appealing to its customers. Venturing into neon sign making would be a profitable business. This could also be a hobby that could make a great present for friends or relatives or for one’s own home display.
For neon sign making, the things that you’ll need are: a good design or pattern, glass tubing, a blow torch for small items or hobby work but firing equipment if it is a large scale project, needle-nosed pliers, canister – an empty whipped cream can will do, helium balloon valve, neon canister, wire hanger, grease pencil and a heat-resistant work bench. There is a specific process to be followed.
Pattern making. With today’s trend of having a neon sign in every establishment, you already have an idea on how to make your own neon sign more attractive. If creativity is not so much part of your talent or skill, then perhaps you have to acquire the services of an artist who could design your neon sign. Once you have a design of your neon sign, this could be made into a pattern. The design or pattern is necessary for glass bending.
Glass bending. Bending the glass tubing for the neon sign is the most demanding and difficult part of the entire process. Basing your work on the pattern, mark the glass with a grease pencil to indicate where to apply heat. Normally, the part to be heated is the location of the bend of the tubing.
- Very slowly, turn the glass tubing within the flame of the burner or torch while moving it forward and backward within the flame. Normally, when the temperature is reached the mark of the grease pencil is already gone.
- Remove the tube from the flame and bend the glass tube according to the design. While bending, blow lightly in the glass tube to maintain the right diameter of the glass. Blowing of air inside the glass tube is important to prevent the glass from caving in, thus maintaining the diameter of the tube.
- When forming a bend, it is important not to stretch the glass tubing. While heating the glass tube, it is in the melted stage that it can easily be stretched. After bending, it should be cooled down sufficiently before starting another bend. For the succeeding bends, just repeat the process of heating, bending, blowing and cooling until all the required bends following the design of your sign has been reached.
- Once the desired design has been reached through bending, the glass tubing is ready for the neon gas. To finish the process, connect one end to the neon tank, and slowly open the tank until you feel gas coming out at the other end. Let the air and other impurities be flushed out. Once air is flushed out and the glass tubing is filled with neon gas, seal both ends of the glass tubing. Your neon sign is done.