Movie Poster Light Box: Part 1

Building a Light Box for Amazon Coins Launch Poster

...and so begins the light box quest

…and so begins the light box quest

Initial set of materials

Initial set of materials

Here are the initial set of materials used to build the light box. [table file=”http://jeremyveleber.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Light-box-materials.csv” width=”220″ colwidth=”20|180″ colalign=”left|left”][/table]

top, bottom, left, & right sides as well as the top and bottom braces

top, bottom, left, & right sides as well as the top and bottom braces

The first task is to build a frame. I cut out the top, bottom, left and right sides as well as the top and bottom braces. I needed to account for the 3/8″ cutout needed for the 2′ x 3′ acrylic sheets and poster. The sides ended up being 36-3/4″ and the top and bottom cuts were 23-1/4″. The short lengths of the top and bottom boards is because I am using butt-joints and the side boards are 3/4″ each.

Maths
(board thickness * 2) + bottom|top cut – (single side poster cutout * 2) = 24″ ÷ 12″ = 2′
or
(0.75″ * 2 ) + 23.25″ – (0.375″ * 2) = 24″ ÷ 12″ = 2′

side cut – (single side poster cutout * 2) =36″ ÷ 12″ = 3′
or
36.75″ – (0.375″ * 2) =
36″ ÷ 12″ = 3′

Marking dado for cross brace

Marking dado for a brace

After the wall of the box were cut I moved on to cutting dadoes for the braces. I marked each dado to start 1″ from the end. This left a small gap between the corresponding top and bottom wall boards. In hindsight I think I would make these flush with the wall boards. It would have make fitting the wall boards much easier.

Cutting said dado

Cutting said dado

I used a band saw to cut the dadoes. I could have used a jigsaw, but I felt like I had more control with the band saw and could make smoother cuts than with the jigsaw.

Dadoes cut, braces in place

Dadoes cut, braces in place

I then took the braces, along with the walls, and put them all together to see if I had something viable or if I would need to head back to the hardware store for more supplies. Everything seemed to line up, so I continued on.

You’ll notice that my brace lengths were a little short, but I figured that it wouldn’t matter much as this mistake will later be covered by quarter round or some other decorative ornament.

Speed square instructions from the supervisor

Speed square instructions from the supervisor

Not long after verifying my initial cuts one of my supervisors paid a visit. He gave me a quick lesson in proper speed square technique. He seems to remain positive in his assessments, but you can never be too sure.

Sanding duty

Sanding duty

I had frequent visits from management.

I was often asked to halt work on the light box project in favor of other more urgent projects such as fixing training wheels, providing lumber, hammer and nails or providing impact driver instructions.

Proof I actually worked on this project

Proof I actually worked on this project

While this slowed my light box project progress I was not discouraged.

While doing some of the more sexy work of sanding all of the work done thus far my wife thought it would be a good idea to take some photos of me working for posterity.

It is a frame now!

It is a frame now!

Screws are in and we have a frame with top and bottom braces. It is starting to feel a little more real, now.

Standing up

Standing up

I had forgot to purchase some Gorilla Glue my first time at the hardware store so I had to go back and get some.

I also discovered that I needed a 3/8″ rabbeting bit for my router. I had a 5/16″ rabbeting bit, but that wouldn’t work for creating the inset that would be used to set the acrylic sheet and poster assembly in. I got a Bosch 85218MC 3/8-Inch Rabbeting Bit as this was the only 3/8″ rabbeting bit at the hardware store and I didn’t have time to wait for it to be shipped. What I’m really trying to say is that a paid a little more for it than if I would have looked at my set of router bits before hand.

Added center brace

Added center brace & inset route for acrylic

I decided to put in a center brace. This would give me another place to glue and screw the Masonite. The 1/8″ Masonite that I bought is very flexible and would likely warp in the middle. This would be undesirable.

Poster fits! Finally...

Poster fits! Finally…

The 3/8″ rabbeting bit sure creates a lot of sawdust. This 85218MC bit was very easy to use. It didn’t even mind going counter clockwise. Other bits I have used tend to snag and catch when moving counter clockwise.

After attempting to insert the acrylic/poster assembly in to the inset I notice that things were a bit off. There was a about a 1/16″ difference between the acrylic/poster assembly and one of the corner of the inset. I check all of the corners with a T-square. Low and behold one of the corners was not quite square. What to do now? I pulled out a small straight bit and hacked a bit more off of the inset. It isn’t pretty but is functional and can’t be seen when it is completely assembled. The second attempt at placing the acrylic/poster assembly was a success. Let this be a lesson to you. Measure n times, where n > 1, cut once and it still might be wrong.

Aluminum frame to help hold in the poster

Aluminum frame to help hold in the poster

I used 1″ x 1″ aluminum angle to frame in the acrylic/poster assembly. This was done simply by cutting lengths of aluminum angle that did not overlap, drilling and countersinking.P1010289

P1010290P1010291Aluminum angle works well here as it is strong enough to hold the poster in place and flexible enough to deal with dimensional changes due to heat and moisture.

 

…to be continued…

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