The acrylic signboard – backlit box will be 5inches deep. So I begin by cutting some acrylic on the table saw. Feed the acrylic when the blades are rotating in full speed to avoid chip out. Now I cut smaller strips which act as rails through which the different ads can be changed.
Acrylic Signboard – BUILD (Watch Video)
To make the rail I first stick the strip to the side. I used my table saw fence as backing to keep the joint square. Using Vertera acrylic glue I apply a bead along the joint.
Then using some clamps I hold the rail in place till the glue dries. After 15minutes I remove the clamps and slide a bit to repeat the process. Using scrap plywood helped hold everything in place while I applied the glue. This forms one side of the acrylic signboard.
I took the second piece and removed the protective cover. To attach the second piece of the rail I used some 6mm plywood as spacers. I held everything together using binders clip. Then applied the glue along the joint. Just a drop every two inches is more than enough.
Now I can attach the side to the acrylic base. 3D printed clamp has been very helpful. Using it was able to hold one corner. While on the other end I can set the side square and apply glue. Any acrylic glue sets in within minutes. So for longer pieces I just held the joint for 2 minutes for the glue to set. After that I can go ahead and work on the other sections.
Later in the acrylic signboard build I want to use some threaded rod to give cross bracings. For that I need holes on the sides. So keeping both the sides close to each other I drill three holes. After drilling on the first side I extend the hole on the second side too.
To cover the top I cut the acrylic to size. Then while holding it temporarily I put some glue drops for it to set. Using too much acrylic glue will only making the bond worse. So use very few drops. Then I held it for two minutes until the glue set. The acrylic signboard is almost taking shape.
On the top I wanted to create a LED sign board. So I cut some acrylic to size. Using 5mm circles I had mocked this design on Photoshop. Then I printed this design in 1:1 size and stuck it to the acrylic.
I clamped some scrap to the back to avoid chip out. Using the cordless drill and lots of patience I drilled the holes by following the design. You have to be patient while working with acrylic as it is a brittle material.
Go to ledcalc.com. I enter my supply voltage as 12 volts. Each LED uses upto 1.85v and about 20 millamps. And roughly I will have 6 leds in each series. When I click calculate it says that a 47 ohm resistor needs to be added at the end. But if I increase the number of leds to 9 its still shows that 47ohm to be the best value. And that is how I decided to keep 6 leds per series.
I start by dropping 6 leds into the holes. The twisted the leads so the positive and negative were overlapping. Now I can solder at the points where they overlap and cut out the excess.
A drop of glue will hold the LEDs permanently.
At one end I attached the 63 ohm resistor. And before continuing with the next series I made sure to check if all was right.
Once the series connections are done I make the parallel connections. I used some wires to connect all the positives together separately and negatives together separately.
It’s a beauty to see the work come out this good. All the leds were lit up to its full brightness
Another way to cut acrylic is to score along the mark. The deeper the score line the better the cut. With some pressure I can break along the score line.
I hold it to the base of the acrylic signboard temporarily and attach it with glue.
I cut some LED strips at mark provided. Cutting anywhere else will make the strips unusable. These LEDs come with adhesive on one side. So I remove the protective backing and stick it to the base of the acrylic signboard.
Then I attach the LED signboard to the top of the acrylic signboard. I made sure that it glued on all the edges.
To attach the battery I flip the box and mark first. Then I drill the holes. Using some zip ties I can secure the battery to the box.
Because of the extra length of the acrylic signboard it can twist sideways. To prevent it, I used threaded rod. I mark and cut the rods to length.
Then secured them with some nuts both on the inside and the outside. With that the flexing stopped.
I connected the LED strips in parallel and secured the wires with hot glue.
To attach the switch to the side of the acrylic signboard I first drilled some hole. Then attached the switch with the nut it came with. I first connect the negative terminal to the battery and solder it directly to the led strip. The positive lead is first connected to the switch and then attached to the battery.
I cover the connection with heat shrink tube. From the other terminal of the switch I connect it to the LED strip.
With that the electrical connection is done. Before I slide in the Ad I tested out the acrylic signboard to see if all works.
And here I tested the acrylic signboard with the ad slid into the rails. The led strips were made of 50-50 leds so it was very bright. The battery could easily power this setup for more than seven hours.