Making a Neon Sign

Step to Step Guide

Neon Signs - Where Science Meets Art!

Neon sign making is a hand-made product that involves a highly skilled craftsman, bending and shaping glass over a flame. A technique that takes years to master. The entire process has numerous steps, meaning each sign can take days to make from start to finish.

Here's a Step-to-step guide on the amazing craftmanship that goes into every neon sign.

Step 1 - Design

The neon sign needs to be designed and agreed. Once all parties are happy. The design is printed to scale and in reverse.

Step 2 - Mark out Glass

Every bend in the design needs to be planned and individually bent over a hot flame.
Mark out the glass tubing where to heat for each bend one at a time. Using the printed template as a guide for the exact lengths and bend angles.

Step 3 - Shape and piece the neon together.

Depending on the complexity of the neon sign it may need to be made out of several pieces and all joined together.

Step 4 - Fit Electrodes

Heat weld electrodes to the each end of the glass tubing

Step 5 - Bombarder

Remove air using vacuum pump called a bombarder

Step 6 - Apply Electricity

Apply electricity through the tubes causing them to heat up and activating the electrodes.

Step 7 - Fill with gas

The glass tubing is then pumped with neon, argon or a mixture of both gases.

When applying a high voltage it ionizes the gas, causing it to emit coloured light due to fluorescence.

Neon gas comes out red and argon is blue.

Step 8 - Aging In

The aging in process is keeping the neon connected to a transformer for 24 hours to ensure the gasses have burnt in and any failures with the glass tube can be spotted.

Step 9 - Blocking Out

Blocking out is when any parts of the tube you do not want light to shine through are painted black. This way you get a clear form and can be easily read.

Step 10 - Assembly

The neon is then fastened to the back panel with tube supports.

Step 11 - Wire up

Wire all parts of the sign together to create a full circuit and tidy any wires with silicon covers on connection points.

Step 12 - Switch it on & Enjoy!

Plug it in and switch it on and enjoy your new neon sign for years and years to come!