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Old 07-26-2013, 02:52 PM   #1
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Mounting acrylic panel so it's several inches from wall - HELP!


I'm making a large, multimedia art installation. I am looking to mount a 4'x8' acrylic panel on a wall so that it is about 8"-10" away from the wall so that I can put some light bulbs behind it (they'll be controlled by an Arduino microcontroller).

What's the best way to do this? Anyone have any general tips on handling acrylic? Thanks!
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:05 PM   #2
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Mounting acrylic panel so it's several inches from wall - HELP!


Well you will need to cut and drill some spacers the distance you want the panel from the wall. You can make them out of plastic or wood dowel material. I am guessing transluscent or transparent plastic will look best with what you have in mind.

Then take a look at the smallest diameter socket screws/bolts or lag bolts you can find. You will probably have to order online or go to a fastener store in your area for them. 1/4" in the length you need is probably going to be the smallest diameter you can find and 8" is probably going to be the longest length you can get so I hope you can live with that spacing of your acrylic sheet.

http://www.boltdepot.com/fastener-in...ype-Chart.aspx

You will need to make sure your spacers have nice square ends. You will need a blade and a drill for plastics, if using plastic. A drill press will come in handy. Your plastic store may cut the material and drill the holes for you for a minimal or no charge. The may have spacer material pre-drilled.

You are going to need matching female anchors in the wall. You will want to place enough fasteners around the perimiter to hold the sheet without flexing but since it will not be that heavy you do not have to go overboard.

If you use socket screws you can countersink the heads flush with the surface if the sheet material is thick enough. If you do not want fasteners to show at all, flush the fasteners with your spacers and use industrial strength velcro on the back of the sheet material and top of the fasteners. You will need a few more fasteners and spacers for this approach.

Obviously you need to measure carefully for all this! Good luck!

Your other option is to hang the plastic with glued on spacers but your hanging system might look wacked and detract from your backlighting more than spacers around the perimiter?

And how about programmable LEDS so you do not need so much space back there? You should otherwise box your electrical connections and bulb fixtures. You do not want hot bulbs against your wall or melting/discoloring your plastic.
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:46 PM   #3
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Mounting acrylic panel so it's several inches from wall - HELP!


Super magnets would be another way to hold the panel to fastener heads. Obviously the fasteners could not then be stainless though.

Just countersink the heads of the fasteners. Then glue super magnets in the exact positions to the back of the plastic panel.
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:20 PM   #4
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Mounting acrylic panel so it's several inches from wall - HELP!


Thank you, sdester! Your suggestions give me a great start. LEDs would be easier, but it's just not the look I'm going for. The installation will only be running for an hour or two at a time, and even then the bulbs will not be illuminated for more than a minute or two at a time.

Thanks again for your help.
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