The Evolution of Signage and Why Versatility for Sign Makers Matters

The Evolution of Signage and Why Versatility for Sign Makers Matters


In honor of the International Sign Expo 2021 – Virtual that was kicked off yesterday, Wednesday, April 7, 2021, the Saw Trax team would like to pay homage to our friends and partners within the sign industry! In today’s world, anyone can take a stroll down the street and within minutes encounter a multitude of colors, shapes, sizes and even lights galore. If a business has a brick-and-mortar establishment, it is pertinent for that business to have a well displayed sign that is easy to read. The sign serves multiple purposes such as displaying a company’s name and contact information, allows consumers to easily locate the establishment, creates interest from potential new customers; honestly, the list is endless!

With the abundance of signs and graphic displays that seem to flood the streets and every corner in today’s market, it is difficult to envision a time without such advertisements. After a quick look at the overall history of sign making it may be surprising to learn that a time without outdoor signs goes back farther than many may believe! Historians have evidence of the earliest signs dating back to an amazing 3000 BC and experienced great strides in advancements up to approximately 500 AD. Usually depicting a single image to convey the messages, these ancient signs were originally made from wood, stone, leather, and even terra cotta.

ancient civilization carvings used as signage
Ancient Civilizations Used Carvings to Act as Signage Well Before Literacy was Common

After the Dark Ages came a time of prosper while the economy rebuilt. By time the 17th Century came around materials like iron, wood and textiles were common in sign making. Signs were still being made with an image or symbol as opposed to including text; however, signs featuring single letters were beginning to be found. As the times progressed, signs became more and more wordy allowing the business to convey more information to any passerby.

The first gas illuminated signs were not made until 1840, well into the 19th Century, and manufactured in Chicago for the Barnum Museum. These newly created bulbs were a part of the first electric signs and were able to illuminate, for a whopping, 5 straight hours! The use of gas illuminated bulbs exploded across the US. Storefronts such as retail stores, theaters and banks were popular establishments well known for displaying these early signs.

Great Chariot Race Illuminated Sign

Roughly 40 years later came the introduction of incandescent bulbs. These types of light bulbs are common in many homes and offices even in today’s world. America took to the forefront with the first designs of “night display” signage that used these new incandescent bulbs that took sign making to a new level. As the use of these types of signs surged, it became more evident that this type of advertising was much more effective than newspapers and the like. In 1910, the most famous sign in all the world called New York City home and proudly displayed 20,000+ lights in different colors that would flash to give the horses the appearance of running. That infamous sign would be known as the Great Chariot Race Sign. A truly remarkable invention to say the least!

Great Chariot Race Sign

The sign industry kept growing and saw the likes of neon tube and fluorescent tube lights. With less and less restrictions as innovations progressed, the finding of plastics seemingly relinquished them all. Manufacturing improved and quality thrived all while the costs remained effective and profitable. The best part, since plastic is so versatile, it could be incorporated with any type of bulb to produce much more complex signs. Acrylics surged in popularity and virtually every business/organization had an acrylic sign whether it be with or without illumination… they were simply used everywhere!

In today’s age and time, sign making has never been perfected more. Shops utilize a host of different materials ranging from Dibond, Foamboard, PVC, Acrylics and so much more. To take advantage of these materials, it is imperative for sign makers to have the correct tools on hand that is sure to give a precision cut every time, no matter the material, no matter the thickness, and any limitations must be negated. Saw Trax wanted to give all sign makers the ability to work with any material they see fit for their design by creating The Sign Maker’s Series Vertical Panel Saw.

Saw Trax Sign Maker's Series Vertical Panel Saw with Substrate Cutter
The most versatile panel saw and substrate cutter all-in-one Sign Maker’s Series Vertical Panel Saw

The Sign Maker’s Series Vertical Panel Saw puts just as much versatility into the designer’s hands as the material itself. Quickly, and effortlessly, release the tool insert plate which allows for the fastest tool change possible. The insert tool plates include different substrate cutting tools, the best in their class, such as an ACM cutter and OLFA Knife, as well as a “blank” plate that is compatible with most 7-1/4” saws.

Sign Makers are designing, creating, cutting, building signs indoors which justifies a dire need to keep a handle on all the dust an average machine/saw will produce. The Saw Trax Sign Maker’s Series Vertical Panel Sawn is far from average and includes our very own dust collection system! Not only does the saw pull the dust and debris but also includes a medium coarse brush around the blade that cleans as it cuts. With each pass, the brush gives the rip or cut a clean sweep every time. Talk about convenience removing the need for extra cleanup after the job is done.

The most amazing, stand apart aspect that sets a Saw Trax machine apart from the competition is our patented spinning plate mechanism that allows the user to cut in both directions horizontally and vertically! Named the most accurate of the panel saws, each Saw Trax Vertical Panel Saw will remove limitations giving your shop the versatility the materials expect. This all-in-one tool makes leaps and bounds in terms of space saving! You will never need multiple machines to cut different materials just to complete one job. We took the design of the panel saw to the next level to give each user results that are not only time saving but material saving as well. One thing is for sure, if it’s not a Saw Trax, it just doesn’t cut it!

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The Lesser Known Raised Safety Dolly & Maud-Max

The Raised Safety Dolly is a version of the yel-Low Safety Dolly that is raised with 4 locking casters. These raised casters offer 4 inches of ground clearance over the standard yel-Low Safety Dolly. CLICK HERE to download a full specification sheet on the Raised Safety Dolly!

The Raised Safety Dolly has some great benefits that other dollies may not offer such as:

  • Dolly Fits within Standard Doorways
  • Move in Any Direction
  • Move Multiple Objects, Different Sizes and Weights
  • Base Model Dolly Can Carry Up to 1000 lbs
  • Durable Welded Metal “Box” Construction

A few features can be seen as standard on all Saw Trax Carts and Dollies such as:

  • 12 Gauge Steel Body
  • Powder Coated Steel Frame
  • 16 Gauge Square Posts (if applicable)
  • Units Range Up To 1000 lbs. Weight Capacity (if applicable)
  • Adjustable Post Hole Positions (if applicable)
  • All Carts Fit Through A Standard Door Opening (accessibility depends on load size)
  • Standard E-Track Strap Slots Help To Secure Loads (if applicable)

We talk about accessories pretty frequently, but one dolly accessory is exclusive to the Raised Safety Dolly and is extremely useful in most warehouse settings. The Forklift Channels are sold in pairs and attach underneath your dolly body. These channels give a perfect place for forklift forks to grab a load. Other accessories that people generally like on the Raised Safety Dolly include the Corner Protectors/Connectors or longer than standard post lengths.

Our most powerful dolly here at Saw Trax is the MAUD-MAX. Standing for Motorized All-Terrain Utility Dolly, the MAUD-Max was a specialty Dolly made for heavy duty projects like landscaping. The MAUD-Max uses a standard 110 volt Battery. It can be charged with your normal wall outlet. It comes with six 56″ posts that you can configure to your needs. There is only 1 MAUD-Max left. Saw Trax has stopped Manufacturing this Dolly and for a short time is offering 10% off of the MAUD-Max. If you find yourself needing more power and control when transporting heavy goods like stone at your job site, give us a call and ask about the MAUD-Max.
Quick before this limited unit is sold!


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  1. the quality of being able to adjust to new conditions.
  2. the capacity to be modified for a new use or purpose


With all the changes happening because of the novel coronavirus, adaptability has been an important trait for all of us to cultivate. Although adapting to the new standards in the workplace and in

social life has not been easy, it is necessary for us to take care of our own and to take care of our valued customers.

Saw Trax is a small home-grown manufacturing company, and social distancing rules have been so much easier to conform to thanks to this nature of the company. All our Vertical Panel Saws are built to order by one of our technicians and do not pass through all sorts of people before coming to you, the customer. These technicians know the saw inside and out. They ensure our panel saws are built sturdy and square. Our technicians even crate the panel saw themselves. You know they care for the safe transportation of the products because they have already spent so much time building them.

Our Vertical Panel Saws, much like our employees and customers, are also adaptable. They can be easily moved around the shop or to new job sites thanks to the optional factory attached folding stand and transport wheels. The quick release spring locks on the saw carriage allow for ten second tool swaps, and the spinning insert plate makes switching between standard and rip cuts fast and easy. Have you had to take on new material to fill a customer’s needs, or do you switch between different cutting jobs frequently? Our optional vertical panel saw accessories, like the OLFA pivoting knife insert plate or ACM cutter insert plate, allows you to be versatile and opens the door to new opportunities.

We are incredibly grateful for our dedicated employees here. They have continued to show their adaptability in this crisis. We are selling saws as fast as we can build them and that just shows how adaptable our great customers are as well. When things get challenging, you assess, you adapt, and you drive on.

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The New Normal – Getting Back to Business

The ISA International Sign Expo back in April may have been cancelled, but the world is picking back up and changing. As we get back to business, protective barriers and signage have become more prominent than ever. Clear plastics are being utilized for their ability to keep people safe and keep business going.

Our Vertical Panel Saw Sign Maker Package is perfect for cutting these barriers that are becoming an industry standard. These panel saws were designed specifically for the multitude of materials used in sign shops.Our patented Accu-Square alignment system assures that your machine will never go out of square. Our unique sealed roller bearing system provides for smoother carriage action and tighter tolerances. The Sign Maker Series comes with a lot of great features such as the pivoting knife insert and spring hold down.


  • Pivoting Knife Cutter and Makita 5007F 15 Amp Saw
  • Patented Accu-Square keeps cut accuracy 0f 1/64″
  • Cuts a Multitude of Material, easily changing from Saw to Router to Knife
  • Accu-Glide sealed bearings make for smooth repetition for cuts
  • Clean Dust Collection System
  • Mid shelf for cutting smaller projects at waist height (optional)
  • Spring Hold Down for Material
  • Folding Stand and Frame Wheels allow for easy transportation




Pivoting Knife                                                   Dual Rip Pointers                                      Sealed Steal Bearings









Cut thin poly-carbonate or thicker plastic acrylics and anything in between!

Your cuts need to be clean, fast, and accurate. The Sign Maker Package has all the tools you need to get this job done and works with a variety of thickness. Use the 15 AMP Makita circular saw or the Pivoting Knife Cutter. Both of these inserts work with our Mid-Fence option for cutting smaller pieces without having to bend over to the bottom of the saw. Safety barriers are being installed everywhere to create separation and protection. Meeting these standards doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Saw Trax has a variety of cutting supplies that can help you.

Cutting Plastics for Protective Barriers

·         Perfect machine for cutting your plastic blanks

·         Depth of cut up to 1 3/4 inch

·         Cut Accuracy up to 1/64 inch

·         Available Accessory Insert Plates for various sign making materials

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Saw Trax 1052 vs Competitors H-4 Silver Package

At Saw Trax, we are all about manufacturing products that are easy to use. Not easy to make. We go the extra mile to make sure your vertical panel saws get the job done and get it done right.

Let’s see how the Saw Trax 1052 compares with our competitors H-4 with silver package.

The 1052, like all our other saws, has our patented accu-square alignment system. Your vertical panel saw will come to you already squared. Our unique saw carriage has 2 locks instead of 1 and allows for many great optional interchangeable cutting tools. The saws carriages are held to the guide tubes with 12 steal sealed roller bearings. These won’t become brittle and crack or shift over time like our competitors U-bolts.

Ours                                                                                              Theirs


Alignment is important for any vertical panel saw. At Saw Trax, we have 18 centered material rollers that hold your material. Our competition, however, uses 14 adjustable rollers. This makes aligning our competitors’ rollers a difficult process that requires a custom-made tool and leaves little room for error on the users part.

All of our saws come with a 7.25 inch blade that is non-proprietary and can be easily found. Our competitor can’t say the same with their non-standard 8” blade.
This blade is protected from damage and you are protected from the blade with the guard attached. Our competitors’ saw  has no guard and their blade is exposed.
Unlike our competitor, our saw motor includes a viewing port for a closer look at your cuts.

Ours                                                                                      Theirs


You can easily move our saw into your workspace and set up in seconds thanks to our folding stand and transport wheels. Both come factory attached on the 1052 model and make moving your saw a breeze. Our competitors stand must be installed by the user and can’t be adjusted. Attaching the stand is a long and complicated process. The wheels also must be installed by the user and lifting the saw frame is the only way to place them.


(As you can see in the last picture, this poor design has no durability. The stand components of our competitors can easily be bent and damaged.)


The 1052, like all of our other saws, allows for rip cuts in both directions, which means we have two rip pointers for maximum accuracy on either side. The h-4 only had one rip pointer…. Because it only cuts in one direction… You have to cut from left to right.

Our saw frames have a quick stop that is easy to use on both sides. The competitions quick stop has to be mounted and secured in several places and can only be used on one side of the saw frame.

Ours                                                                                             Theirs

Our dust collection system is like no other. With a dust hood and brush included and factory attached, your workspace can stay neater and cleaner. The competitions dust collection system must be attached by the user. The process is tedious, and you could easily damage their system if not installed properly.

Just above the accu-square, you will see our optional frames dust collection that helps reduce the workspace dust. The center support is used for small material that doesn’t reach the material rollers. The material will be supported for cutting unlike our competition.

When held together, it becomes clear that the Saw Trax doesn’t take short cuts in providing a vertical panel saw built with the customer in mind. 

The 1052 coming in at approximately $3,099 and the H-4 Silver Package being over $500 more at approximately $3,676.

For a complete walk through on our differences, please watch our comparison video. 

To check out the 1052 click here!

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Protecting Employees and Customers

Together, we are all facing a truly unprecedented situation.

The global Covid-19 pandemic is affecting our families, our businesses, our communities, and our way of life.

Our hearts go out to anyone who’s been impacted by the virus, either directly or indirectly.
Our thoughts are especially with those who are sick, to whom we extend our heartfelt wishes
for a full recovery. And we’re truly inspired by the selfless healthcare workers around the
world who are on the front lines working tirelessly to care for people in need.
As with your business, our employees are our most valuable assets. We are in continuous
communication with our employees reminding them about the importance of good hygiene,
providing them with health education and support whenever needed. Employees who
feel ill have been told to not report to work. We have specific quarantine and communication
procedures in place should an employee be diagnosed with COVID-19 or is asked to
self-isolate by a public health authority, and to provide comprehensive benefits to support them.
We have taken steps to limit exposure to the virus. Saw Trax has put restrictions on travel, limited
the size of meetings, and we continue to reinforce safe behavior in all our environments.
All of us are intrigued by what the future holds, know that we will continue to uphold the core values of our company.
We continue to be overwhelmed by the character of our staff, their work ethic and talents.
This moment reminds us that we’re all connected. We’re called upon to be our best selves, with patience, understanding and compassion.
On behalf of all of us at Saw Trax, we’re committed to being your partner and persevering together in all the days and years ahead.
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Follow Up From MODEX 2020

Modex 2020 was an excellent show, although different from previous years. Above all we wish everyone great health, and safety during this challenging time.  For many attendees, their trip was cut short and they were unable to visit all the exhibits they had hoped for. Accordingly, we used the show floor opportunity to create some great new videos about our dollies. Here is one of the videos we made on the Shuttle Dolly that we hope you will enjoy.

Saw Trax was able to demonstrate many of our dollies and accessories. We brought some incredible Material Handling solutions to this year’s show floor.  In addition to our ever reliable yel-Low Safety Dolly and Scoop Dolly, we also brought our new and exciting Lift Dolly and Shuttle Dolly. These new solutions make working in your warehouse, distribution center or supply and logistics division easier, safer, and more productive.

You can see our Shuttle Dolly front and center HERE.

The Shuttle Dolly, much like the others we offer is fully customizable and has angled post slots to allow posts to be used a wheelbarrow like handles. This really makes the Shuttle dolly easy to maneuver and can be pulled OR pushed easily.

As we all expected, there have been cancellations and postponing of our next planned trade shows. This is a good time to rest up and reflect on our schedule for the year. We have some great things planned and, as always, we are here to continue to provide excellent service and quality products.  Follow us on social media and reach out with a call to our staff if you have questions or would like to place an order.


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ISA Sign Expo Postponed

As many of you can relate, we recently received the show cancellation update from the ISA. Although we wish the show could go on, we understand the choice due to the current environment regarding COVID-19. We are putting the health and welfare of our valued employees first!

The International Sign Association Board of Directors had this to say:

Given the latest developments with COVID-19,
the ISA Board and staff were not confident we could deliver
the exceptional experience the industry deserves.
In addition, many of you contacted ISA staff to share your concerns.
ISA’s purpose is to listen and serve the industry. We heard you.
ISA Sign Expo® 2020 will now occur Sunday, August 23 – Tuesday, August 25,
with preconference sessions on Saturday, August 22.
ISA Sign Expo® will remain at the Orange County Convention Center.”

You can stay up to date with ISA’s rescheduling here.

Not cancelled, just postponed!

With the postponing of the show, Saw Trax has begun to revisit our own show attendance schedule to make sure we can see you in August.  In the meantime, we will continue to keep our operations running to provide the quality products you expect.  Feel free to look here to review our Sign Maker Series Package and reach out to our staff if you have questions or would like to place an order.

Blog post are available here, and we will be working to keep you informed of any additional changes to our organization and the market as we receive them.

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ISA Sign Expo is coming up fast!

Still at MODEX and we already have ISA Sign Expo to think about. With just over three weeks to go until our trip to Orlando for Sign Expo, we have some great packages to show all the innovative sign makers out there.

Take a look at what ISA International has to say about us.

Saw Trax has the Sign Industry’s Premier Panel Saw & Substrate Cutters for Today’s Sign Shops! With our sign maker panel saws & substrate cutters, sign shops now have one machine for all your cutting needs! Today’s sign shops needs are specialized & we offer a machine that is clean & capable. Cut through or score cut corrugated plastic signs, posters, & sheets in seconds with our Coro-Claw! The most economical hand-held flute cutter on the market. Our dolly carts are perfect for the Sign Industry! You can move sheet goods to vinyl rolls, large channel letters & box signs.” 

Vertical Panel Saws

These panel saws were designed specifically for the multitude of materials used in sign shops. Our patented Accu-Square alignment system assures that your machine will never go out of square. Our unique sealed roller bearing Accu-Glide system provides for smoother carriage action and tighter tolerances.


Standard Equipment:

Accu-Glide Sealed Bearing System

Accu-Square Alignment System

Quick Change Carriage

Spring Loaded Retraction Mechanism

Powder Coated Welded Steel Frame

11 Gauge Steel Guide Tubes

Material Cutter Support Step

Accu-Fence System (Full Size)

Saw Cord Holder

Makita 7.25” Circular Saw


Package Includes:

Folding Stand and Wheels

Dual Rip Gauge

Stop Bar and Tapes

Spring Hold Down

Pivoting Knife Cutter


Some optional accessories include: Full Mid-Fence, Floating Router Plate, Laser Pointer, Sheet Clamp!

Our panel saws aren’t the only products that make sign making easier for your business.
We also have a variety of handheld cutting and scoring tools.

Our Coro-Claws have replaceable blades. Inner prongs are used for cutting and outer prong is used for scoring. We offer Coro-claw models for 4 mil and 10 mil corrugated PVC. You will also love the Buddi Safety knife.

The protected blade and ergonomic design make work safer and the bi-directional blade cuts forward AND backwards.

Last but most certainly not least, our dollies and carts are perfect for the Sign Industry! You can move sheet goods to vinyl rolls, large channel letters & box signs. PLUS, our positional posts allow you to separate the different materials.

These carts and dollies are fully customizable to be perfect for the job you need done.
Check out the Rack and Roll Safety Dolly that we recommend for your sign business needs!

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See You At MODEX 2020!

It’s official, Modex 2020 is Less than a week away!
We are looking forward to seeing everyone there &
are busy in our facility building and packing for the show.




You may have seen in previous blog posts and the February SawTrax News that we are bringing some incredible Material Handling tools to this year’s show floor.  From our tried and trusted yel-Low Safety Dolly and Scoop Dolly to our new and exciting Lift Dolly and Shuttle Dolly, we look to bring solutions that make working in your warehouse, distribution center or supply and logistics division easier, safer, and more productive.


Is your facility littered with hand trucks and flat carts?  Condense your footprint with the versatile and capable yel-Low Safety Dolly.  A great asset when moving in-house equipment and furniture as well.

Are you having trouble loading tall, long and just plain out of the ordinary crates into your trucks?  Be like the Third-Party Logistics and Transportation services companies from around the country that have been grabbing their Scoop Dollies with optional Dock Transition Wheels to add to their Loading Dock Equipment.

Ecommerce with parcel, freight and cargo is on the rise; is your facility ready?  With the implementation of our Fulfillment Dolly to our product line we are helping to address the narrow cross-docking facilities that are popping up across in the horizon.

Are you picking and shipping?  All size packages are welcome as our configurable post systems offer outstanding vertical and horizontal capacity.  And our “indestructible” manufacturing makes Saw Trax carts and dollies sustainable equipment for your facilities.

We have some great demonstrations to show you and would love to have you test out our innovative dollies yourself.
Please come say “hello” and meet our great team!

Pictured left to right:
(Jacob; Christopher; Derek; Owner: Mike; Art; Robert; Allen)

Just head right after entering and find us at Booth #8802

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