LCD Stainless Steel SignTurning Your Avant-Garde Sign Concepts Into Realities...

This job was the very first job I did for a brand new client, so it had to be good.

He asked me if I could build a plinth sign to accommodate both an LCD screen, and a single sided illuminated menu board.
I said “Yes”.

He then asked if it could have cut outs in the top for 3D illuminated acrylic letters.
I said “YES”.

He then asks, if it can now be in stainless steel.
I said “Yes”.

But wait, there’s more...

“Ian, it’s going on the footpath in Hindley Street, and has to be vandal proof”.
I said “Hmmm... okay... I think...”.

An existing hotel on Hindley Street had just been remodelled and rebranded. At the front of the hotel, a new wall had been erected, and the new sign was to fit within a gap left in the new wall.
My client dropped in a brief for me, showing what the owner wanted, and noting more. The rest was up to me to figure out.
After a quick site visit one afternoon, it seemed reasonably straight forward, let’s get this show on the road.

I chose a 316 Grade of stainless steel, measuring 1.2 mm. thick for the skin, as my machinery cannot cope with the heavier gauge. This alone would not stop the hammering it would get by passing vandals, so I decided to also incorporate 1.6 mm. Zincanneal panels behind as well. This proved to be a good idea. As I write this, the sign has been up for about three years, and still looks as good as the day it was installed. The one thing I was asked to do though, was to coat the stainless steel in a clear two pack finish, to further circumvent tagging. I tried to convince my client that it was unnecessary, and applying WD40 on the face would suffice. I argued that the two pack will scratch, and accentuate the scratch marks, but he wouldn’t move. I was proved right in the end...

I decided to fabricate the sign in three tiered blocks, so installation could be performed with only two guys, without the need for a crane. It would also be easier for me as well.
The framework was predominately 150 x 50 x 2.0 mm. RHS. All servicing access had to be from the rear, and I had to incorporate a plenum venting system so the LCD wouldn’t overheat.

Here, I am well into the fabrication, and this is a front view, prior to applying the stainless steel skins. Note the RHS ribs running vertically along the bottom, these were to help withstand errant kicking.


This rear view shows the thickness, and the myriad of steelwork employed to allow servicing.


I opted for a simple lift-up rear access door for servicing. Locks were a pair of recessed cam locks.


Once the rear door was open, both the LCD display, and light box were able to be hinged outwards for servicing.


Here is a shot from the rear, after install. The white paper simply peels off the stainless steel when finished.


Now you can see the walls that it had to fit between...


Another view. Came up quite tidy, and looks the part.


It has been around three years since this was commissioned, and it has stood the test of time admirably.
Cannot say the same for the LCD screen though. This was organised and supplied by my client, and I had doubts about it from the onset.
It simply didn’t like being locked inside a metal cabinet. It didn’t overheat as such, but there was simply too much ambient heat for it to work effectively.
Apparently, the business that had sold my client the unit, had grossly overstated its capabilities, and to this day, it still fails to work properly.

I have made quite a few enclosures for both LCD and LED screens, and the heat gets them all in the end. Doesn’t matter how many fans I place inside the enclosures, nothing likes to work on 40º days, just too hot.

LCD Stainless Steel Enclosure For Rockford Hotel On Hindley Street, Adelaide, South Australia