February 10 2009

Do It Yourself Backlit Skeeball Marquee. Part 2

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In part one of my “Do It Yourself Backlit Skeeball Marquee” I explained the steps I took to create the light box from scratch. I’ve since finished up the light box and will explain the steps in which I did so.


After filling any small holes with filler I gave the frame a good quick sanding with 220 grit sand paper two coats of Satin Black Sherwin Williams “All Purpose Enamel” with a foam roller. I let it set up for 24 hours between coats and gave it a light sanding in between coats wiping it down with denatured alcohol giving it very smooth finish. From there, I was ready for assembly.

Next thing I did was applied the vinyl numbers to the white Plexiglas defuser. I found a font in which I felt resembled the 1980ish digital skeeball look and feel the best. From there, I setup the file in Adobe Illustrator converted the font to paths and sent the file off to Rich at ThisOldGame.com who did a great job and turnaround was very quick. Before applying the vinyl numbers I taped them down and placed the marquee flat against the white plexiglas (defuser). I had to reposition the numbers several times before I got the placement just right. After everything looked good I applied the numbers.

Then I slid the marquee and defuser into the slot in the frame and finish nailed the top piece of the frame on.

Now it’s time to install the lights. At first, I over engineered the lighting solution and installed two sets of low voltage 12″ Dual Cold Cathode Lights with a 12VDC power supply (wall wart). Looked great when I was done but after about an hour I heard a POP and the lights shut down. Not sure what went wrong because everything was within spec. However, I was back to the drawing board looking for a better solution. Ended up finding 13″ Linkable Under Cabinet lights (very compact) at my local Meijer at about each. I did see these same lights or similar at K-Mart, Home Depot and Walmart as well. Very easy to install and should of physically went to the store before ever committing to the Cold Cathode Lights which was a very bad solution. Oh well, guess you live and learn.

At this point the hard part was done. Cut out a small slot at the bottom of the back panel for the cord. Then I just secured the back on with four (4) small drywall screws. I then used some eye hooks and some hanger wire in which I already had to hang the light box. The eyes seem big enough but I’ll be keeping a close eye on them for the next few days to make sure they don’t pull out.

Now that wasn’t so hard was it?

Here is the price breakdown.

NOS Marquee: :00
White Plexiglas: .00
1×3 Wood: $ 0.00 (Already Had)
Paint: $ 0.00 (Already Had)
Vinyl Numbers: .00
13″ Lights .00

TOTAL COST .00 (+ for the Cold Cathode Lights in which I’m hoping to return.)

AS POSTED AT COINOPSPACE

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