Introduction: TechShop Retail Signage
This Instructable will explain how to assemble a TechShop retail display stand. Below is a link to the materials you will need to buy. The bill of materials includes a link to each of the items on the McMaster Carr website. The acrylic material can be ordered from Inventables.com or your usual acrylic resource. There are also links below to the six Corel Draw files needed to laser cut acrylic pieces.
***Please note that some of the pictures included in this Instructable were taken before a few small revisions to the stand were made. If anything seems slightly different then the attached files, they were just from an earlier prototype.
Step 1: Cut Acrylic Components
After downloading all of the Corel Draw files, the acrylic sign parts can be cut out. The only file that will need to be adjusted is the red acrylic design file. The red "GIFT CARD" letters that will be inset into the white acrylic background will need to be adjusted to compensate for the laser's cutting kerf. The offset will depend on how the laser used is cutting, the focus, ect. but an offset of somewhere between .006 to .010 should be enough to allow the letters to fit tight enough to snap into place and be held securely until they can be glued in from the backside with acrylic glue. A few tests at different offset values might be necessary to find the right amount of offset. The Corel Draw Contour tool works well for this offsetting, just be sure to offset the outer edges of the letters to the "outside" and any inner parts (like the inside of the "A" , "R" and "D" to the "inside" of the letter.
After finding what offset works, the letters they can be snapped into the white background piece and then glued from the backside. If 3/16" red acrylic was used, the letters will be slightly proud of the white back piece, which gives the sign a bit more dimension but 1/8" red acrylic would work fine as well.
Step 2: Inserting the Plastic Inserts
After all the acrylic parts have been cut, the threaded plastics inserts can be installed. From the backside of the panels with the hexagonal shaped end of the insert facing up, the insert can be lightly hammered into the plastic. Hammering onto a metal surface seems to work the best. The ten holes the inserts need to be installed into are shown in purple in the attached picture.
After installing the inserts, the .125" red acrylic back panel and the red gear can be attached to the white "Gift Cards" panel. The back red acrylic panel will need to be glued to the white panel around all of the edges with acrylic glue to keep the two panels snug to each other. Going slowly around the border with the glue, a small paintbrush and using fingers to clamp the parts together while the glue bonds the acrylic seemed to work the best.
Then the rest of the acrylic parts can be attached to the main black panel. The white panel attaches to the front of the black panel and the clear panels are stacked together and attached to the front of the black panel to create a pocket for promotional signage. The main black panel shown in this Instructable is glossy, but a matte black panel is recommended to reduce the appearance of dust, fingerprints and to reduce glare.
Step 3: Cutting the 80/20 to Length
After your sign panel is assembled you can start working on the 80/20 frame. You will need to cut the following:
(2) 48" lengths (two main vertical frame uprights...these are easily ordered from McMaster Carr cut to length)
(2) 18" lengths (feet of frame)
(2) 15.5" lengths (cross members of frame)
Step 4: Assembling the Vertical Uprights
Once the 80/20 has been cut and the cut edges deburred, you can start assembling the frame. The 18" lengths will need to have a T plate installed onto each of them on center. Then the 48" vertical uprights can be connected to the 18" lengths using the T plates. After this you should have two giant "T's" that you will need to connect to each other using the 90 degree plates and one of the 15.5" cross members.
Step 5: Adding the Angle Brackets and Cross Members
The angle brackets will attach the 15.5" cross member to the vertical upright "T's" and needs to be secured using the 80/20 Compact Head End Feed Fasteners because of the tight interior corner.
Step 6: Adding the Top Cross Member, 90 Degree Plates and Acrylic Panel
Once the two sides of the sign are connected, the frame can be put across a table for easier assembly. On the table, the other 15.5" top most cross member can be attached to the upper part of the frame using the 90 Degree Plates. Then, the whole frame can be flipped over and the signage panel can be attached on the other side using the 80/20 end feed fasteners.
Step 7: Add the 80/20 End Caps and Hooks
After the panel is attached to the frame the 80/20 end caps can be inserted into the exposed ends of the 80/20 channel, the peg board hooks can be inserted into the sign and the 11"x 5" clear acrylic pocket can be filled with printed details of the gift card promotion.