Articles

Backlit LED Poster Frame Light Box

September 17, 2019


[Marc] The Wood Whisperer is sponsored by Powermatic and Titebond. Well things look a little weird right now because em and probably sound weird. Because I’m down in my basement at ahh the entrance to my home theatre. I’m kinda a home theatre nerd and we have this little out cove here that was really specifically built to house a back lite poster. This was something the previous owner had built and it’s actually switched controlled (clicking) so when the previous one that was there just kinda went bad. It was ahh, old florescent tubes inside there. I decided to build a replacement with L.E.D’s and something that I can fit standard size posters in and that’s what we have here. so it’s a very quick build Ahh, I’m gonna build it they way I think it should be built. But don’t forget there’s always multiple techniques for how you can get these things done. Um, you can do this fairly inexpensively and using pocket screws to make a simple frame like this. Uh, but it’s all about the L.E.D back lights and how you get all that stuff to work so lets head up to the shop and start building it. [Marc] Lets start with the four frame parts. [Marc] I’ll be using cherry for this project all the parts are milled to size based on the cut list. [Marc] Which you can download for free on our website. The measurements are based on a standard 27×40 movie poster size. [Marc] You can obviously resize the parts as needed if you want to accommodate something smaller like 24×36. (working sounds) [Marc] the frame pieces are connected with reinforced rabbits [Marc] So i’ll cut them on the ends of the long side pieces using a dato stack and a miter gauge. (working sounds) [Marc] with the regular blade back in I’ll cut the groove for the plexiglass. [Marc] I know exactly where I want that groove to start so I set my fence to that distance. [Marc]And make the cut on all the frame pieces including a test piece of plywood. (working sounds) [Marc] Now the groove needs to be wider than the blades eighth inch curf. [Marc] So I bump the fence over little by little and use a test piece to confirm the fit on the plexiglass. [Marc] The poster will live in between two layers of plexiglass. [Marc] So with the creepy baby head in there I’m looking for a fit thats a little bit loose. [Marc] Since the plexiglass needs to be able to slide. [Marc] With that setting dialed in I can make the second cut on all of my frame pieces. (working sounds) [Marc] I’ll use the same process to make the back panel groove. [Marc] My back panel is set in from the back of the frame far enough to allow me to plug in the L.E.D light strip that I’m using. [Marc] You can move the back panel to suit your needs. (working sounds) [Marc] Just like plexiglass you want the back panel to be able to slide into the groove easily. (Light sounds) [Marc] On one side of the frame the side piece will be removable. [Marc] So I’m gonna install some threaded inserts in the top and bottom pieces. [Marc] The hole is drilled slightly undersized for the insert. [Marc] And when drilling you wanna be straight and true as possible. [Marc] Probably should of used my drill press for this but uhh, (funny mumble sounds) [Marc] To make sure the insert doesn’t move I’ll line the hole with some epoxy in then slowly drive the insert into place. [Marc] Make sure it sits just below the surface. (silence) [Marc] Using the same drill locations i’ll mark the top and bottom of the removable side piece. [Marc] And drill holes that are just larger than the bolts I plan to use and now we can test it out. [Marc] If those aren’t perfectly straight this (laughter) is when your gonna find out. [Marc] Now mine aren’t perfect but I keep the camera far enough away and I pick just the right angle so you’ll never know. (silence) [Marc] The other side of the frame gets a permanent connection. [Marc] I’ll glue and clamp the joint closed. [Marc] Rigid clamping squares are super helpful for a glue up like this. (tapping) [Marc] Once the glue is set up I’ll reinforce the joints using screws. [Marc] You could also use dowels here if your in a rush you can for go the clamps and just use the screws from the get go. [Marc] Just make sure the pieces stay nice and square. [Marc] To tap off the screws I’ll cut some walnut dowel stock into little nubs. (working sounds) [Marc] After the glue dries I can use a fresh trim saw to cut them off. The back panel and the plexiglass are the size so i’ll cut the plywood first. (working sounds) [Marc] Both sheets of plexiglass are cut at the same time using a plastic cutting blade on my track saw. (working sounds) [Marc] By the way plexiglass is ridiculously expensive (WTF) (working sounds) [Marc] Remember we want a some what loose fit here. So make sure both the plywood and the plexiglass sandwich slide into the grooves easily. (silence) [Marc]Now because the lights are so close to the poster there’s a good chance we’re gonna have some hot spots of light. [Marc] To minimize that I’m sanding back piece of plexiglass on both faces with 80 grit. [Marc] This should help to scatter the light and act like a diffuser it actually makes a pretty big difference. (country band in background) [Marc] On the inside of the frame I’m gonna put a pretty heavy chamfer on the inside edge of both grooves this should help the plywood and plexiglass panels to find their home home when doing that final installation. [Marc] Probably should have done this before the glue up but yello. [Marc] I’ll give the frame a nice sanding and add a decorative chamfer to the visible edges. [Marc] I have noticed that I’m kinda on a chamfer kick down with round overs am I right? (working sounds) [Marc] Now lets cut the stock for the french cleat. [Marc] Will need two pieces cut with a 45 degree bevel. (working sounds) [Marc] To glue one of the pieces to the top back of the frame will clamp them flat with two calls. [Marc] We can then apply glue and clamps to secure it to the top of the frame. [Marc] Once the glue dries the bottom part will be removed and later attached to the wall for the final installation. [Marc] Now we can apply some finish hard wax oil is my weapon of choice. [Marc] while the finish dries I’ll work on the back panel. [Marc] I need one hole near the top of the L.E.D for for the wire to pass through. [Marc] To help increase the intensity of light i’ll apply aluminum tape to the entire back panel. [Marc] And use a wooden roller to smooth it all out. [Marc] The tape not only reflects light but it gives the adhesive back light strips something nice and smooth to grip onto. [Marc] The light strip doesn’t need to look pretty but the more even you can lay it out the more even the light will be. [Marc] These light strips are pretty cool every few inches theres a little copper spot where you can actually slice it and cut it to length. [Marc] Thankfully I didn’t have much waste just a couple of inches to spare. [Marc] Now lets assemble, heres where that chamfer in the groove really helps with out it the plexiglass sandwich might just hit the surface and refuse to pop down into the groove. [Marc] But the chamfer prevents that from happening. (drill sounds) [Marc] Time for a test run yeahh baby! [Marc] By the way I bought this double sided poster years ago and I’m just now getting around to this project so my poster choice is a little bit dated. [Marc] With the cleat on the wall we can plug in the lights and hang the frame. [Marc] The moment of truth Ahh, I was gonna say dude that took to long (laughter) [Marc] Alright so everything is working thankfully. [Marc] Ahh, the one thing I do want to mention is ahh safety tip here if you are going to keep something like this on all the time. L.E.D’s can actually build up heat so you wanna be careful with that. [Marc] you may include some sort of ventilation in there. Um maybe holes or grooves on the top and the bottom [Marc] Something to allow the air to get through keep in mind though that also lets light through. [Marc] Which might ruin the effect you know use that carefully but here I’m not really keeping this thing on very long. You know how I use this I bring someone down to the basement and I go hey check this out. [Marc] And then I turn it off so (laughter) it’s not something that I’m gonna keep on for more then just a few minutes at at time i’m not too worried about heat build up. [Marc] Alright thanks for watching everybody hopefully (music playing) you have a reason to build a back lite poster like this I think It’s really cool. (music) Ahh, but thanks for watching will catch you next time.

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