Humans of Harbinger – Signmaker

Danny Bell - Master Fabricator (and flintknapper)

Danny Bell is a natural at making anything with his hands. What started as an arrowhead collection, soon turned into a fascination with how to make age old weapons.

Danny Bell, Master Sign Fabricator with his arrowhead collection

Danny Bell standing on one of the CNC Routers he operates with some of his arrowhead collection.

“I started picking them up in gardens and along the road and always wondered if I could make them myself,”Danny Bell, Master Fabricator and Router Operator

Flintknapping

The art of crafting arrowheads is referred to as flintknapping. This highly skilled process has been revived in the last 25 years. Flintknappers gather together to share techniques and pass on knowledge at events called “knap-ins.” It was at a knap-in that Bell first learned how to make an arrowhead of his own.

Arrowheads crafted by Harbinger Signmaker Danny BellHe attended his first knap-in 15 years ago and became fascinated with the art of turning different types of stones into arrowheads and spearheads. Over the years, Bell has made a variety of ancient replicas of everything from axes to pottery. Though he admits his pottery skills need some work.

Danny now has killer instincts when it comes to ancient weapon making.

“I enjoy using different materials to make them — stones, glass, fiber — some of the ones I have found are over a million years old.”Danny Bell

The tiny arrowheads take hours to make with heat treatments and a technique that utilizes a pressure plate and a deer antler. He’s given away almost all of his prized creations. Friends and family find them so valuable, one even has a fish tank filled with them!

The Master Fabricator Creates with His Hands & Harbinger’s Routers

His appreciation for the creation and molding of objects doesn’t end with his hobby.

“I enjoy making things with my hands. I get a lot of enjoyment out of seeing things created from something I have done.”

At Harbinger, Danny is the metal fabricator and operates the CNC routers that make the 3-D molds used to fabricate thermoformed signs. He has been with Harbinger Sign Company for 29 years and a signmaker for decades.

Danny Bell fabricating a sign in the Harbinger shop

Among the Last of the Signmakers of His Kind

Harbinger clients are fortunate to have a highly skilled signmaker involved in their project. It is one thing to know how to operate a machine, it is another to understand the fundamental process of fabricating a sign. Metal fabrication is a complex process that combines several steps including bending, cutting and molding sheets of metal. Danny is a rare talent in a modern sign shop. Because he remembers and understands the logistics of fabricating signs, even before there were CNC Routers or computers in sign shops. He is one of the last true signmakers.

Danny Bell’s expertise in signage, as well as his flintknapping craftsmanship, comes from years of experience in practices that originate ancient traditions. Harbinger clients benefit from Danny’s craftsmanship and expertise when it comes to your sign fabrication. He is a truly talented and distinguished artist that makes a unique and authentic product every time.

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