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DIY Illuminated Movie Poster Light Box


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#1 of 43 Raul A

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Posted March 17 2003 - 10:56 AM

Has anyone built one of these nifty Poster Light Boxes (example) that snap open so you can replace the poster regularly? If so do you have a DIY guide or any pictures of the construction process/end result?

Most of those things go for almost $400 bucks, but using rope light, some paint, some hinges, and some wood has to be far less expensive...

While I'm at it, has anyone made any standard poster frames that are more cost effective than shelling out 35 bucks for a 27x40 frame? Pictures and guides welcome. Posted Image

#2 of 43 Christopher M

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Posted March 18 2003 - 12:40 AM

I did one last week.

I'll have pics up by the end of the week. It turned out very, very well.

For my next one, I'm thinking about just building the same back box section, then attaching the Bed Bath & Beyond "collage" frame with a hinge. Saves having to cut the plexi, which is a big pain.

Murdock

#3 of 43 RodC

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Posted March 18 2003 - 01:05 AM

Raul,

I've been looking into doing this myself as well. Here are a few of links I've picked up along the way:

Poster box #1
Poster box #2
Poster box #3

Chris, looking forward to your pics.

Rod

#4 of 43 Christopher M

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Posted March 18 2003 - 04:39 AM

I'll try to get them up soon. Denver is kinda shutdown right now, so I'm sure it'll be the end of the week.

FYI Mine was about $60-$70 in parts.

Murdock

#5 of 43 Glenise

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Posted March 18 2003 - 09:05 AM

Chris M.,

I can't wait to see your pictures.
I have been complating on how to get my Dad to build a poster case for me that keeps the poster away from touching the plexiglass.

#6 of 43 RodC

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Posted March 18 2003 - 09:15 AM

Glenise,

Out of curiosity, would the poster touching the plexiglass be a bad thing? If so, I want to make sure to avoid that if ever get around to making my own. I must have considered at least a dozen different ways to "hang" the poster in the box, while making for easy changing of both lights and posters. Anything ranging from clips to sandwiching in between plexiglass. Haven't quite figured out the best way for me. Posted Image

Thanks,
Rod

#7 of 43 Glenise

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Posted March 18 2003 - 09:45 AM

Well, to make a long story short.
I don't plan on replacing any of my posters.
Look at this long thread for more info.

http://www.hometheat....threadid=68609

Partial quote from thread:

WIth all due respect all of the framing methods you guys seem to be using are going to destroy your posters over time.

If you care about the posters you have...and given the value of some classic posters these days I would think you should...have them professionally framed or learn proper framing techniques yourself.

If the poster face is touching the glass or plexi you are damaging the poster. Artwork should be matted all around so that it will never come into contact with the glass. Second, using cheap board or cardboard as a backing or mounting material is about the biggest no-no there is. These materials contain chemicals that will cause your posters to yellow, fade and generally deteriorate much faster than they should. Always use UV protective glass...and no, there is no chemical in glass that will by itself damage posters...the glass is the most inert thing about the frame...unless of course it is touching the print.

You may be thinking "I've never had any problems" and that is probably because you have not had the posters framed long enough to see the effects or worse, they have already started to fade and yellow but because it is gradual you are not noticing it.

Considering what some of you are spending on frames (and I would imagine the posters are not free either) I would recommend you frame them with some thought for preserving them.

Tom

Tom,

So are you saying buying poster frames from www.frameusa.com and www.showoffdisplays.com is a no no?
I guess this also means that poster frames from http://www.electrosh...sterframes.htm, http://www.bassind.c...ter_frames.html and http://www.hometheat...y=POSTER_FRAMES
is a no no too!


Some of these places state that the frames come with a styrene poster protector.
What place do you recommend getting frames from?
Can you provide a weblink?
What brand did you purchase?

Glenise

To elaborate, what I'm saying is that the frames themselves are not so much of an issue as the framing techniques.

Most frames are fine if they are used with UV protective glass, acid free archival mounting board and mats around the edges of the poster so it's face does not come into contact with the glass. As a bonus, the posters look much nicer also.

The professionals also seal up the back of the print with paper to keep out environmental contaminants.

This stuff might be a bit extreme for some but it is pretty easy and inexpensive to do and who knows which posters are going to be collectors items 20-30 years from now.

I frame all of my own stuff using the above mentioned supplies from a local framing shop. It does not require any special tools if you buy the frames as modular pieces as others here have suggested. Many of the bigger full service hardware stores stock or can order UV glass and will cut it to size.

Just about any art supply store or professional framing shop sells these materials. To shop on the net try http://www.dickblick.com/

Tom

have a question.
If matting is used doesn't that crop the poster so that the entire poster isn't shown.
Ex. Wouldn't some of the sides, top and bottom not be seen?


How does this sound for a poster frame?

Available in two sizes: 27x40 and 27x41 (custom sizes, also)

Satin black only

Custom quality material (no plastic frames here)

Genuine UV filtered plexiglass

Foamcore backing

Wired, and ready to hang.



Thanks!

Glenise

Glenise,

Yes you are correct the matting will cover the poster so you need to purchase the mat and the frame large enough to accommodate the poster you want to frame.

With a 27 X 40 piece of artwork a 3" mat would look good so you would need a frame that was 6 inches larger than the poster (33 X 46). The inner edge of the mat should cover only the outer 1/8" to 1/4" of the poster.

While not archival Foamcore is sturdy and is widely used in commercial applications. For longer life use an archival mounting board instead and either way make sure the poster is mounted to the backing material using a archival adhesive material.

Nothing looks tackier to me than a poster that was crammed into a frame without being mounted and has buckled and bowed so parts of it reflect light and the whole thing just looks sloppy.

But then again I've spent many hours hanging shows in galleries so I guess it is pet peeve for me to see artwork treated in a throw away manner considering the whole point is for people to enjoy looking at it.

Tom

#8 of 43 Glenise

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Posted March 18 2003 - 09:49 AM

Either I will get my posters frames made large enough so I can get them matted, do some sort of shadow boxing where the poster is at the back of the case instead of the front or I wish I could do plaq mounting myself.

Shadow Box
Posted Image

Plaq Mounting
http://store1.yimg.c...ry_1728_2424900

MOD EDIT: Yikes! Glenise, that Braveheart picture was over 200K in size. Please keep imbedded images to 40K or less. I've changed the tag above. Thanks. {Jay}

#9 of 43 Matt Weldy

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Posted March 18 2003 - 12:17 PM

I have been wanting to do this also for a long time. Any plans would be very helpful.

Thanks

#10 of 43 Raul A

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Posted March 18 2003 - 02:07 PM

Rod C : Thanks for the links, both of the tutorials were informative and I think I have a good idea of how I can build a good lightbox. I really liked the second one, it had a nice classy look with all the added trim.

Chris : I can't wait to see the pictures... I love pictures. Posted Image

Glenise : Thanks for the info from that thread, I was curious about how to preserve whatever poster I put into the lightbox for archival purposes (Especially my Empire Strikes Back pre-onesheet teasr poster!). I will have to look into the matting to see how best to be able to swap posters from time to time.

BTW Glenise, that plaq mount is awesome, how the hell is that done? Any links or DIY guides appreciated.

#11 of 43 Glenise

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Posted March 18 2003 - 08:23 PM

Plaq mounting is done by some kind of heat press.
Posted Image
It seems like companies in the GA don't do this yet.
I was only able to locate companies in Canada, Fl and NY.

Plak-Mounting: The map, chart or poster is dry-mounted to 3/8" high density pressed wood and then permanently sealed with a clear vinyl matte laminate. Edges are bevelled and coloured (we recommend black as the best colour choice in most cases). An angled slot in the back allows for easy hanging flush to the wall. We use the services of Plak-It®.

More info on plaq mounting.

http://www.plakit.com/how.asp

http://www.printnsea...it_yourself.htm

http://www.allposter....607037DAA443D3

http://www.plakit.com/

Posted Image

http://www.printnseal.com/closeup.jpg

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Again, if think the plaq mounting look is awesome.
I've never seen anything like it.
If I can figure out how to plaq mount on my own, I'll do that!
I will ask an art teacher at work how this can be done.

Any suggestions guys!

#12 of 43 Christopher M

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Posted March 19 2003 - 01:43 AM

FYI Plaque mounting destroy's posters as well. After all, they are permenatly bonded to that new board.

Murdock

#13 of 43 MikeWh

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Posted March 19 2003 - 02:46 AM

I made 3 poster marquees. They are designed specifically for video posters (one-sheets; usually 27" x 41"), which I can get for free at my local video stores.... So preservation of the posters was not considered in the design. The primary design concerns were: classic look, lighted, hidden hardware (mostly), and easy to change out the posters. Additionally, I designed them so that one of the boxes could completely hide a window (more on that below). The mounting system uses magnets and is very low-impact, so people with classic posters might find the design useful.

Also, I'm guessing I spent about $130 on all 3 boxes, total. If I was just making one, it probably would have cost about $60-70.

http://home.earthlin...inut/stairs.jpg

Materials:
1/2-inch MDF (hard to find in my area, but I love the stuff and use it on aLOT of projects. A single Lowe's is the only place near me that stocks it. The other Lowe's near me doesn't. HDepots here don't carry it, either. Contractor yards here carry it, but it's more expensive). If you're willing to spend the money on hardwoods, it will be aLOT easier for mounting hardware, but it's soooo expensive (for 3 boxes!)
12-foot rope lights (K-Mart, perfect size, cheap. Sunbeam brand).
1/8-inch (maybe 1/16") plexiglass (this is very thin, but works well in this application. Plexiglass cutting tip: If you're willing to buy a full sheet, get it from a plastics dealer (yellowpages). They'll cut it for like 10 or 20 cents a cut (or something like that... whatever it was, it was WELL worth it--- perfect cuts and NO hassle).
luan (thin, wooden laminated sheet product) It's the stuff that commonly covers interior hollow-core doors. I used it as the backer board behind the poster.
recessed magnetic catch (http://www.rockler.c....catid=20&DID=6)
piano hinges
magnetic tape (adhesive on one side; can find it at Office Depot, as well as the regular building supply places)

I devised a mounting system using the magnetic tape and 4 very thin strips of wood that act as detachable matte pieces for covering the edges of each poster. It makes for a clean mount, plus I can easily switch posters in and out.

The bottoms of each box have a triangular shape, that are a little difficult to make, but are actually functional. In the space behind there, you can plug in the ropelights to an outlet box, which is mounted on the wall there (pre-planned during rough-in/electrical planning, so that everything would be hidden). All three outlets are daisy-chained and controlled at a single dimmer-controlled wall switch.

I should also note that ONE of the boxes opens in TWO directions-- one to access the poster, and the other way to access a window that is behind it. I specifically designed the boxes a little bigger than was absolutely necessary, so that I could cover my window (which is almost the same size as a one-sheet poster). I actually had to INSTALL a window in my otherwise windowless HT (for code reasons-- emergency egress). So now, it's covered up, but still accessible. Posted Image

 *****  EDIT - 1/8/2012-- since the HTF's been upgraded I can attach the plan files directly here!  Yippee!  *****


 


#14 of 43 Glenise

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Posted March 19 2003 - 09:38 AM

Yes, I realize plaq mounting destroys poster but I dont have any plans of reselling any of my posters.
To me they are priceless.

#15 of 43 Glenise

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Posted March 19 2003 - 09:45 AM

Mike!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love you man!
I have never seen DIY poster cases look so yummy!!!
I am printing your stuff as we speak.
Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'll have to get my Dad to make these.
Beautiful!!!

How did you make the "Now Showing" signs?
Do you have any more pictures?
Do you have any bigger pictures?
Did you spray paint the mdf black?

#16 of 43 MikeWh

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Posted March 19 2003 - 02:20 PM

Glenise,

Thanks for the kind words! Posted Image

The Visio drawings I sent are ideal, because you can retrieve the scaled measurements from each drawing.

I'll send you a Visio template of the "Now Showing" insert, with further instructions.

I can take more pictures, if you need details described. I need to take a series showing the magnetic mattes that I described previously. I'll send them as soon as I can. Shoot me another note about what you need to see more clearly.

I finished them with a fantastic high-gloss paint that I absolutely love. It's a very hard, very shiny black; almost like a japanese lacquer.... unfortunately, I'm not exactly sure if it's the can I'm right now looking at! Posted Image Krylon High Gloss Black Polyurethane Oil Enamel (KDQ6203). I'm pretty sure it's the right stuff, but not 100% (regardless, it's not spraypaint).

#17 of 43 Raul A

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Posted March 19 2003 - 02:59 PM

Glenise : If thats the process it can't be too difficult to do yourself... I remember in summer camp as a kid we had little arts and crafts and one of them was to take a picture and a block of wood and through a simple enough process, essentially, laminate the picture onto the wood. I still have mine somewhere. I don't remember how to do it, but I may be able to track down the process, I'll keep you informed.

MikeWh : How large are the Visio files? My free e-mail account may not be large enough to have them sent to me, if theyre too big, but otherwise I'd really like a copy. BTW, thanks much for the info, those frames look spectacular!

#18 of 43 MikeWh

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Posted March 19 2003 - 03:19 PM

[snip]

#19 of 43 Glenise

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Posted March 19 2003 - 03:51 PM

Yes, if I can do this myself.
Please send any info about the laminate stuff that you did as a kid.

Thanks once again Mike!

#20 of 43 MikeWh

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Posted March 20 2003 - 12:37 AM

A note to people I sent plans to--

I forgot one of the materials I used. I've edited my original post. Behind the poster is a piece of luan. Any thin, relatively solid material will work. It is fit into a dado groove that runs around the inside of the poster box's frame and is inserted during glue-up.

Also, a note about joinery: I used wood glue and biscuits and clamps (oh, my!) on this project. FWIW, I use biscuits and glue and clamps on all MDF projects.