We were mandated to make a monument sign for the Nigerian Army headquarters in Abuja that would be durable and stand the test of time.
We choose to use black granite, concrete, steel, and fiberglass.
The Nigerian army logo has some interesting components to it. There is the eagle, the six pointed star, and the ribbon. We wanted to achieve a 3 dimensional effect, so we opted to mold the eagle out of fiberglass.
This, we commissioned a professional sculptor to achieve. For the star, we used mild steel . A spot of cutting, welding, filing and sanding got that sorted out.
For the ribbon, we also used mild steel. We enclosed this in a round steel frame, with a glass cover. This was all finished in three layers of top quality car paint.
At the time we made these signs, there was no CNC machine readily available in town, so we had to use what we had: a jigsaw! Tracing the letters from computer printouts, we cut out the faces and sides from mild steel. We welded these together, to achieve an extruded look.
We also used steel rods, to act as stand offs for mounting the letters. We choose to use caps and lows for the letters, so as not to come out too aggressive. These were all primed, and sprayed with three layers of yellow car paint and a layer of gloss varnish.
For the base, we wanted a solid structure that could support the weight of the black granite tiles so we used a steel skeleton to form the backbone. We then cast concrete slabs, using steel to reinforce then, and to make holes for easy assembly.
The legs were made from large steel pipes with a thick cross section. These were long enough to support the whole structure with a massive foundation block that we had to cast in the ground a week before installation.
Having prepared the site for installation a week in advance, the concrete block was set and the support poles were standing firm. We then brought over the concrete slabs and mounted them on the steel frame. It was a delicate operation, using a large crane to align the heavy slabs just in place to be fastened by steel bolts.
This was now given a smooth dressing using cement. We had pre cut the black granite slabs to size, and had them mounted with high adhesive strength tile glue. This had to dry for a couple of days.
We had a template of the letters and the logo made on paper. This way, all the stand – offs’ positions were marked accurately. We placed this template on the granite and drilled holes for the letters. We also cut the hole for the logo to fit in. The logo and the letters were then mounted.
We made some solar powered flood lights to light up the sign at night. These were mounted on the ground in front of the sign
The site was cleaned, and the sign was handed over to the elated client. Making the Nigerian Army monument sign was a delight for us, having to work with various materials at once.