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Thread: 2 color edge lit acrylic sign -- college version

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Fayetteville, GA
    Posts
    345

    Default 2 color edge lit acrylic sign -- college version

    On a recent post of the first one of these I made Perry asked for directions & or photos. I promised to make another soon and document it a bit since I'd not taken a single construction photo last time. Here is the result.

    The parts:

    2 LED strips of different colors and one 12 volt power supply.

    Two panes of cast acrylic for the sign. Mine were 6x12" and 3/16" thick. 1/4" would likely work better because it would be easier to get each pane over its own LED strip, but 3/16 works.

    One pane of cast acrylic for the base plate accent. 4.5"x 13 in my case.

    1 board 4.5x30x3/4. Since I was painting these I would use poplar--but I had a piece of Cypress, so I used that.

    I carved pockets in the base pieces for the LED strips and the wiring.
    - One of the LED's sits in the bottom half of the base below the acrylic accent plate (this one lights up it's pane AND the accent strip). This bottom strip connects to the power supply, so there's a pocket for that. The slot for the LED is off center so it'll sit under one of the panes. Since the foreground graphic is white and I also wanted the base accent to be white this slot is offset towards the front of the base.
    - The top half of the base gets a pocket for it's LED--off set to the rear, room for wiring, and a slot cutout to hold the panes in place.

    The design gets separated into two parts by color. I designed it all on one MPC and then selected the elements that I wanted green and cut and pasted it on a new board. The designs get flipped horizontally as you're carving the back of the acrylic and then viewing from the front (uncarved) side. Carving depths aren't critical for this flat of a piece, and shallower is better. That's because the uncarved acrylic carries the light through to the top--take away too much acrylic and the top of your sign will be dark. The green circle, for example is carved at a depth of .08, but I applied a surface so that it's only .028 at the bottom. (No, I can't tell if that made a difference!)

    Sparty is carved at a constant depth of .125. Deeper than it needed to be, but I wasn't thinking! After carving I sand the edges up to 1,000 grit to smooth them out.

    Sand, stain, paint, rout, or otherwise finish your base pieces. (I screw the two base pieces and the base accent piece together and sand it as one piece so it's all flush. Remove the acrylic before painting or staining!)

    Wire the two LED strips together (yep, there is a bit of soldering involved--you can buy connectors, but I thought they'd be too bulky). Drill a hole in one end of the base accent plate. The white LED (in my case) is connected to power and sits in the groove in the bottom half of the base plate. The green LED strip and wire are run through the hole in the accent plate and adhered to the top side of the acrylic plate.

    Four screws up from the bottom hold it all together. The panes are pressed into the slot (which has been sanded to provide a friction fit) and rest above their corresponding LED strip. Plug it in and enjoy!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_3825.JPG   IMG_3819.JPG   IMG_3826.JPG   IMG_3830.JPG  

    IMG_3832.JPG  
    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    George
    Life is short....drink the good wine first!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Brunswick, GA
    Posts
    8,099

    Default

    Excellent. Thank you!
    Michael T
    Happy Carving!


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Southern Delaware
    Posts
    668

    Default

    Have read it several times and am still trying to wrap my head around it. Think I've got it but will read again several more times before I try something like what you've done. Very innovative, along with some nice design. They say we're only limited by our imagination and I think you've proven that.
    Thx, Rick H

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Crooked River Ranch, OR
    Posts
    1,457

    Default

    What a beautiful project. I printed out the description of what you did and will add it to my "projects I want to accomplish someday" list. Your project puts the old brain in gear as to what can be accomplished with just a little thought.... and the help of a wonderful machine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Kaukauna, Wisconsin
    Posts
    485

    Default

    I like the idea, did not see two pieces of acrylic, nice job matching them up. You may also want to try flame finishing the edges of acrylic. Mapp gas is the one to use as propane is not hot enough. Saves sanding time and can get a clear finish. I play around with led strip lighting often, and yes the connectors are bulky, soldering is the way to go and it is very easy. Cut the strip, tin the contacts, apply wire, reheat tinned contact, done. I use a small tipped iron I picked up at H D for about 20 bucks with led lights to brighten work area. I am going to have to give this a try, image the football helmets that could be done this way.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    New Iberia, la.
    Posts
    1,866

    Default

    George, that is a great idea, there some great possibles for college sports logos, thanks for the in-depth info.
    My Shop 1044

    CarveWright START U Team Member

    V - 1.187 and 3.0 too
    With the DC Insert," dust all gone"
    CarveWright Customer Documentation http://www.carvewright.com/2010CWweb/maintenance.htm
    CarveWright Tips and Tricks http://www.carvewright.com/2010CWweb/tips.htm
    www.customcarvingsbyperry.com
    I have often wondered why it is that
    Conservatives are called the "right" and Liberals are called the "left".
    "The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of
    the fool to the left."

  7. Default

    Great job! Very detailed description and photos. I will definitely have to try this one...of course it will be an SEC team.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    New Iberia, la.
    Posts
    1,866

    Default

    and which SEC team?
    Last edited by myshop1044; 10-26-2017 at 08:42 PM.
    My Shop 1044

    CarveWright START U Team Member

    V - 1.187 and 3.0 too
    With the DC Insert," dust all gone"
    CarveWright Customer Documentation http://www.carvewright.com/2010CWweb/maintenance.htm
    CarveWright Tips and Tricks http://www.carvewright.com/2010CWweb/tips.htm
    www.customcarvingsbyperry.com
    I have often wondered why it is that
    Conservatives are called the "right" and Liberals are called the "left".
    "The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of
    the fool to the left."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Cornwall Ontario
    Posts
    898

    Default

    Very nice .Thanks for sharing all the info on here.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Fayetteville, GA
    Posts
    345

    Default

    Thanks gang. I'm working on an SEC one now-I'll post it tomorrow after the new-hopefully brighter-red LEDs come in. Red LEDs, BTW, are dimmer than other colors. I ordered some double density reds to pair with white LEDs.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    George
    Life is short....drink the good wine first!

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