Acrylic "sandwich"

Bill Henry-

Brussel Sprout Connoisseur
Aug 17, 2002
Boondock Bowerbank, ME
Retired from the grind
Despite my trying to talk him out of it, a rather peculiar customer wishes to “sandwich” some paper art between two pieces of Acrylic. He does not wish to frame it, though. It shall be displayed in his garden and exposed to the weather. Luckily it will not be matted.

Are there any suggestions how to seal the exposed edges?
Even silicone caulk will begin to leak, in time,
since the better the seal works, the more differential there will be between the inside of
the package and the exterior conditions. After its
surroundings have been damp for some days, the
acrylic will swell on its outer surfaces, pushing
the joints open. There is no way of doing this
without thick glass and that can't be safely
hung in the garden. Here, again, our non-magician
status comes up.

Hugh isn't giving us enough credit. I know someone who could do it.

If I HAD to do this (and I don't) I would have a plastics fabricator build a plexi box about 1/4" thick.

Of course, it would have to be open on one end so you could get the art inside, but you could even weld that side on after the installation is done.

I've done this for documents that were to be viewed from both sides, but we usually put them in a slotted wooden base instead of hanging them in the garden.

UV-filtering and abrasion-resistant acrylic would probably be a good idea. Depending on the size, a fabricator could do this for maybe $175 retail.
A piece of paper between two sheets of acrylic would last no more than a few weeks if it's exposed to weather. And if it has sunlight exposure, it would fade very quickly.

The best suggestion I'd have is to laminate both sides of the paper with PVC laminating film, applied in the heated vacuum press, with the film stuck to itself around the edges of the art, to make a seal.

Then you could use 3M Pro-Spray to attach the laminated paper to the sheet of acrylic on its back side ONLY. If the customer wants to see both sides of the image, laminate another print and stick it to the other side of the acrylic sheet.

It will still fade quickly, but condensation & expansion cycles shouldn't be as much of a problem.
I know I am a rookie when it comes to some of the customer service issues in framing, but I have run a computer repair business for several years -
there are just some times I have to say "That can not be done."
Also, where do you live? Moisture / rain in your area etc?..
Are there any suggestions how to seal the exposed edges?
Customer does not have issue with how long it will last is what I hear You say.
As long as it will last a reasonable amont of time. I see you are in Litchfield NH.
If you want to use acrylic use the same procedure as follows only use the sdhesive for the acrylic. However, I would use lexan the material they make outdoor signs with. It stays scratch free and none yellowing for over 27+ years.

Sandwich the item between the two pieces. If it is thicker you may have to use a spacer, so you do not cup the lexan or acrylic. If the item is paper thin just clamp it all the way around using a 1" x 2" pieces of wood, but not touching the outside edges. Simular to a strainer frame, front and back.

Place wood clamps so as not to block the edges.

Then take the Lexan or Acrylic adhesive and just apply it so the adhesive just binds the edges and does not migrate in toward the piece. The same way you do when you glue plexi.

This should hold up for about 5+ years, probably longer than the printing on the paper.

PS I would suggest you tell him to bring it in during the winter to help add to to its longevity.
Dennis- I know what you mean. Another of my faves was Carolyn Jones, Morticia on the Addams Family.
:cool: Rick
Don't know what all that has to do with acrylic sandwiches, though. "I'll have the acrylic sandwich, but could I get the silicone on the side?"
I see a few flags here

a rather peculiar customer
He does not wish to frame it

We all love a chalenge but sometime must remember we are framers and we frame things

ps did he say JUST?
thats my favorite FLAG
"I just want.......the imposible