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french cleat & second surface acrylic signs?

Discussion in 'Installation Equipment & Techniques' started by vinylvillain, Dec 14, 2016.

  1. vinylvillain

    vinylvillain New Member

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    I have a customer who wants floating (unseen hardware) second surface acrylic signs and the only hardware I can think of is Z CLIPS or French Cleats. However, our standard "recipe" for second surface acrylic signs is we print the graphic on clear (reverse image), then apply opaque white vinyl on the back, then apply to acrylic. There's no way for us to apply the z clips safely without damaging the graphic.

    I really want to sell this job but can't think another way to have these floating.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. SignMeUpGraphics

    SignMeUpGraphics Moderator

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  3. shoresigns

    shoresigns Very Active Member

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    Foam tape?
     
  4. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    Yep, like RJPW,we use VHB to fasten the cleat to the back of the panel, adding a blockout layer of vinyl firts
     
  5. eahicks

    eahicks Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks

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    We just back the white vinyl backed print with a layer of black vinyl. Then VHB the cleats.
     
  6. bigben

    bigben Moderator

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  7. vinylvillain

    vinylvillain New Member

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  8. eahicks

    eahicks Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks

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    What you could do is affix a 3mm black PVC to the back side of the acrylic, about 2-3" shorter all around, then affix your cleats or mounts to that. You should have no problem of the cleats pulling off the vinyl then.
     
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  9. iegrafixs

    iegrafixs Member

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    What if you mounted a thin sheet of aluminum to back side with a roll of double sided adhesive, this should distribute the weight evenly. Then attach the french cleats to the aluminum with VHB tape.
     
  10. bigben

    bigben Moderator

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    And what type of adhesive would you take to mount the PVC to the acrylic?
     
  11. MGB_LE

    MGB_LE Member

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  12. Jester1167

    Jester1167 Very Active Member

    Not a fan of attaching anything to a second surface vinyl graphic because it will pull off over time. Attaching it with a full coverage double sided adhesive will just delay the process. In the winter when they turn the heat on the face will slowly slide off the vinyl.

    If he absolutely has to have it done that way, second surface direct UV print with block-out printed layers may work, but at that size some form of mechanical mounting system is the only thing I would stand behind long term.

    Try and sell the virtues of a first surface; It's a cheaper more durable solution. Over time the plex will get swirl marks and scratches from cleaning. A first surface graphics won't show the scratches as easily. If it does get scratched or you want to change the look, I can easily be changed out for a fraction of the cost of a new sign...
     
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  13. 2B

    2B Moderator

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  14. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

    We have a winery client whose preferred look is 1/2" clear acrylic with flame polished edges and reverse mounted prints and no visible fasteners. These people's wine is about $50 per bottle on average. They don't care about cheaper, they care about impressing people enough to sell that caliber of wine. We did an entire winery production building and the tasting room with some of the signs being 30"x72". For that size, we take a couple 10"x68" pieces of 1/2" MDO with the enamel finish and rip them in half at a 45 degree angle. Then we mount the enamel side halves to the sign with about four full length rows of VHB and beads of LEXEL between the rows of tape. The shear and stress is spread over such a wide area that we've never had one fail in almost 5 years.

    I'd trust our method more than a layered ink process.
     

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