Updated: Sep 28, 2019
They say that necessity is the mother of all invention. Many of us are looking for ways to shave off a few bucks of real estate expenses. If your like me...your probably not a big fan of handing off your real estate signs to a sign service, when your still going to effort of ordering a new one and handing it off again when it gets destroyed. This is especially a problem in areas that have regularly windy conditions. I put together a YouTube video with some ideas that you can use, and have been working for me. It always nice to put a stop to draining expenses like replacing signs that have whisked away from a storm. Maybe this life hack can help you save few bucks on keeping signs from getting lost or damaged.
Below is an example of a sign tether that I used. This method has been fairly effective and the costs of the steel cable saved me hundred of dollars from replacing lost signs due to wind. However.....while this method is working well, it takes some time to set up. If your married to this business like I am, this is the cheapest method long term. So you might ask, what do you mean "cheapest method long term". Here's what I mean. There is some initial tooling cost that I put in to building these inexpensive steel cables. I needed to purchase a swedging tool and two crimp connectors for each cable.
After having tried so many different incarnations. I have come to the conclusion that the best sign configuration is the 10 mm corrugated plastic sign with eyelets made from tension cable used for chain link fencing.
Here is my Bill of Materials that I use for each sign:
x 1 - Spool of Steel Chain link tension cable
x 3 - 3/8" x 4" course thread eyelets
x 2 ft of 6 mm steel braided cable
x 4 - Stainless steel carabiner clips or you can make clips from the tension cable. Both are good
How to do it:
Step 1. Get a working length of cable to get started - I take the tension cable, roughly eyeballing more than twice the length of the sign to be hung. Fold it in half and cut a length longer than the sign by several inches....don't worry about the cable being too long, you can always trim it up later to suit your needs, but for now, longer is probably better. The cable is rigid and you don't want to do this twice.
Step 2. Making the eyelet - Where you folded your cable in half in step one is where we are going to begin work. I use a old piece of 1/2 in black pipe for a mandrel. Any rigid material will do. You can use an old piece of galvanized water pipe, and old gas line or what ever you have laying around that you can use to wrap the cable around. Place the pipe in a vise so that you can keep your work from slipping while your working with it. Place the cable around the pipe at the apex of the bend where you previously bent the cable in half. Give the cable a couple of good wraps around the pipe so that your left with a nice clean eyelet with two loops of cable. The eyelets will resemble a key ring once your done. The remaining length of the cable should be pointing both the same direction when your done with your wraps. Your end result will look like a stick figure man with no arms and really long legs.
Step 3. Finish off the Eyelets - Your going to finish the eyelets with a twist. You should have your 1/2 pipe still secured in a vise with your wraps of cable around it. Take the pipe out of the vice leaving the cable wrapped around the pipe. Place your "legs" of your stick figure man into the vice, leaving about an inch of cable between the vice jaws and the pipe. Your going to use the pipe now as a lever to twist the legs in place to be sure that your loops don't come undone in the wind as it gets blown around by the wind. Two full twist is plenty.
Step 4. Placing and securing the eyelets through the sign. Take your stick man legs and run them though the corrugated plastic length wise. Be sure that the legs are nice and straight to avoid the rigid cable from tearing through the exterior of the corrugated sign. I find that a spacing of one to 2 plastic holes is good to keep the sign from bending or collapsing.
Step 4. Placing and securing the eyelets through the sign. Take your stick man legs and run them though the corrugated plastic length wise. Be sure that the legs are nice and straight to avoid the rigid cable from tearing through the exterior of the corrugated sign. I find that a spacing of one to 2 plastic holes is good to keep the sign from bending or collapsing. Take the end of the legs and bend them over like brads, returning them back into the holes of the corrugated plastic. The bent over feet serve three functions. The first is to captivate the cable and eyelets to attach the sign to the sign post. The second is to provide rigidity to the sign so that it doesn't get creased in the middle and turned in to a fancy taco. The third and the most important is so that the sign also has an attachment point at the bottom to attach your tether to the sign post.