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ssgtjoenunez 02-04-2013 01:51 PM

Building an enclosure for a TV
Hello all -
I've been a long time stalker (reader) of the DIY Chatroom but never posted. I am hoping you guys can help me.

I own a laundromat and want to hang two flat screen TV's on the wall. I have a three step security plan to keep them from walking off. One involves tethering the unit to the wall with a keyed lock, another has to do with an audible proximity alarm that will go off if the unit is ever removed and the third and final (which I need help with) is enclosing the units in a box to protect it from damage.

I've got the basic design down for what I want. It wont be that special just a simple 2"x4" support frame with a enclosure built around it.

What I need help with is the front panel. I would like to know if anyone knows of any acrylics or plexi-glass options that are shatter resistant that I can use for the front of the box. This will slide into the front face of the enclosure so people can still see the TV (and hear it, we'll drill some small holes where the speakers are) but not allow them to just crack it to get to the TV.

We have many other components to our physical security including an attendant for nearly the entire work day, closed circuit television cameras and alarms for the times we are closed (along with metal gates so they can't just break the glass and run in). All this to say that 1) yes I know the TV's may invite a thief to try and steal them and 2) I've thought of it and prepared it every manner I know I can.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

ddawg16 02-04-2013 02:34 PM

Your biggest issue is going to be heat. The TV needs to have a good ventilation path so that it does not too hot. As long as you allow for that, the rest is easy.

If possible, I would do the recess in the wall where the back could be open to the adjacent room.

Another option....hang it from the ceiling....use security bolts to attach it to the bracket...those bolts are the kind that take a special socket to remove them.

And...keep the size under 50"....most dirt bags want 'big'....they won't mess with a 42" or smaller TV

ssgtjoenunez 02-04-2013 02:37 PM

Thanks for the reply. Here's a few notes:

- The ceiling is a false ceiling so we can't hang from the ceiling.
- The TV is going to be 32" for the same reasons you stated
- We are going to be mounting the box so that the top of the box opens up into the false ceiling so that venting will be accomplished.
- We can't recess it into the wall because we are mounting it on a wall that is the exterior building wall.

My main concern at this point is selecting the right material and vendor for the plexi-glass. Its got to be able to withstand taking a hit or two so that if someone gets antsy and tries to steal the TV, they are going to have to work to get into the box itself. As mentioned before there are other components to our physical security should they breach the box itself.


ddawg16 02-04-2013 02:43 PM

Personally....I'd make the frame out of angle steel and use tempered glass...say 1/4"....believe it or not, tempered glass is not that much more than thick plexiglass....

Go price it at a glass shop...I think you would be surprised....

ssgtjoenunez 02-04-2013 02:50 PM

With tempered glass you get additional strength (its supposedly 4 times stronger than standard glass but to me that doesnt quite seem strong enough) but you also still have the same challenges with having to replace the pane if/when it gets broken. I was thinking plexi-glass for something that was shatter resistant as well as inexpensive to replace should damage ever occur.

joecaption 02-04-2013 05:24 PM

Use Lexan not plexiglass.
Tempered glass will just shatter with a blow from a pointed object.
Lexan is what's used to make bullet proof glass.

It's not cheap.
Can be cut with a jig saw or table saw.

ddawg16 02-04-2013 05:26 PM

They all have negatives....tempered glass can be broken using a punch.......and I can just see the Lexan about 2 years from won't be able to see the TV for all the graffiti on it....

ssgtjoenunez 02-04-2013 07:17 PM

I had considered Lexan and will likely choose that. I need to determine the right width for the application though.

Luckily one 4'x8' sheet will be enough to do both boxes and depending on the thickness it wouldn't be *that* expensive.

nolimits76 02-05-2013 10:05 AM

If the place is always monitored, I wouldn't be overly concerned about the security boxes myself. Especially if I were doing 32" and smaller TV's. Plus you have the CCTV and alarms. I like the idea of having an audible alarm cable physically connecting the TV to the bracket.

Nonetheless, here is a site I found that has some boxes pre-made you can buy. Mind you, they are pricey. You could make one out of wood and plexiglass for much cheaper and not require the swinging arm they use.

ssgtjoenunez 02-05-2013 11:13 AM

The laundromat isn't always manned, particularly on the weekends when there are several hour gaps where no one (staff) is around. The CCTV cameras help us fill in gaps and, as of yet, there is nothing that isnt bolted down that could potentially be stolen if no one is there.

The link you posted is interesting but its not what I had in mind. Those are locking boxes for when the TV isnt in use - I'm interested in the TV being permanently secured and people being able to watch it inside the box. Thus the possible use of Lexan for the front cover.

I'm thinking of using some angle steel to build the frame of the box and then making the sides and bottom out of stell as well. Then using the Lexan in the front and having the entire box vent into the false ceiling with an open top. Then if the Lexan gets vandalised I can just open the ceiling tiles, pull out the sheet and replace it with another.

nolimits76 02-05-2013 03:44 PM

Ahh I see. Well hope the link provides some visual reference. It would be very easy to DIY one of them and use pled an instead of a locking door. Good luck and be sure to post pics of your finished product.

paintdrying 02-05-2013 04:10 PM

Have you thought of just using the old school tv with the backs on them. The garbage man out here will not take them anymore and are real hard to get rid of. People would be doing you a favor if they stole them. I would use 1/4 inch laminate glass. If you built that into a frame it would be very hard to get through. Use puddy tape to set it. Temper glass takes a very special way to break. You can touch a corner and it will explode, then if the edges are properly supported you can hit it with a hammer. They have materials better than lexon, but your pockets are not that deep.

ssgtjoenunez 02-07-2013 01:08 PM

I had thought of the old style TV's but frankly I am hoping that between the security enclosure, the tether to the wall and the audible alarm, I'm not going to have to replace them until they go out.

Those old style TV's are also damn heavy and awkward as hell. I'd rather just put something flat (profile is also a problem because of the layout), secure it right and hope for the best.

Lexan is looking like my top choice thus far. I do have a composite plastic company quoting me for some hurricane force rated stuff. If I buy it a sheet at a time and cut it myself its expensive but not prohibitively so since I don't have a lot of square footage to cover.

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