Plexiglass woes!
August 17, 2008 9:53 PM   Subscribe

What's the best to mount a 3'x6' sheet of plexiglass to my wall?

I plan on going to Lowes and buying a 3'x6' (I think it's eighth inch thick) sheet of plexiglass and I want mount it on my wall, to use it as a whiteboard to do my math homework on. What's the best way to go about doing this?
posted by Geppp to Human Relations (9 answers total)
I would buy the small clear clips that are used to hang mirrors. Most standard hardware stores or Home Depot type places would sell them.

posted by wile e at 10:01 PM on August 17, 2008

Or Lowes, if I actually read the whole question...
posted by wile e at 10:01 PM on August 17, 2008

Great idea, but won't contrast be better on a whiteboard?

Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools suggests using a sheet of shower board to perform this function. For $13 at a big box hardware store, you can get a 4x8 sheet of showerboard, according to KK and with a little mounting effort, have a huge white board. Plexiglas is pretty pricey, by comparison.

(I'm taking this approach to putting in two very large white boards in a new office I am setting up.)

Anyway, good luck. I think a whiteboard would be a great thing to have when studying math.
posted by FauxScot at 10:19 PM on August 17, 2008

The problem with plexi is that is actually quite flexible and surprisingly heavy. A sheet that large will sag and buckle noticeably if not secured firmly.

Also, plexi is quite soft, so it will scratch and dull from normal "whiteboard" use - also be aware that many household cleaners will cause it to cloud. It wouldn't surprise me dry-erase markers messed it up too. (You should test some markers on a smaller piece before you go to all this trouble!)

I assume you're wanting to use it as a white board because it might look cool, but unless you're putting it on a white or light colored wall it may be hard to see. Also, plexi is highly reflective so you may find yourself squinting at it or shifting around to see past glare.

Not saying you shouldn't try it - plexi is cheap, mounting it shouldn't take too much work, but be prepared to live with some of the shortcomings.

As for mounting it - you can actually screw through the plexi and into the walls with wood or metal screws, but you'll need to pre-drill and be very careful. Plexi, despite being "soft" is quite fragile to lateral stress and will split and crack if you're not careful.

Now that I think about it - it's a pretty lousy material for anything other than medium sized or smaller picture frames...
posted by wfrgms at 11:06 PM on August 17, 2008

Mirror channel clips are slick. Drill pilot holes through to studs, if possible, and use flat head screws. The bottom clips are screwed at the top of the hole to prevent downward movement. The top clips are inverted, and screwed at the bottom of the hole. The mirror/board/plexiglass is inserted, and the top clips are then slid down the length of the elongated hole to hold the top secure.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:20 AM on August 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

Not to derail or anything, but is it plexiglass that Harvey Levin writes on during the pitch sessions on TMZ?
It looks like a sheet of clear plexiglass, in a rolling flippable chalkboard frame, and he writes on it in some sort of dayglo green marker.
I think it would be cool to have one of those to scribble on.
posted by willmize at 5:32 AM on August 18, 2008

A 3x6 sheet of 1/8" plexi is going to be floppy as hell. Seriously. The wall clips for mirrors will certainly hold it onto the wall, but the plexi itself is going to bow across the center, due to its own weight.

If this is to be a permanent installation (and assuming you are going to be using opaque white plexi, not clear) I would use a ton of the wall clips (held in with wall anchors) and run several beads of construction adhesive (i.e. Liquid Nails, etc) over the backside of the plexi. Brace it against the wall for awhile for it to bond. This will secure the center of the plexi against the wall without having to drill screws into the center of the working area.

That said, whiteboard is made specifically for use with dry-erase markers without staining (much). I'm not sure how impervious to staining plain plexi will be. You might want to test a small sample first.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:27 AM on August 18, 2008

My 2 cents.

The mirror clips should work fine.

Try to get thicker plexiglas. The 1/8 inch will indeed be floppy.

The plexiglas should work fine for a whiteboard if it's on a neutral wall. A friend of mine uses a sliding glass door in his office for this. It looks out into a pretty dark hallway, but it works fine. I think it sounds like a cool idea, one that I would consider doing myself.

Good luck.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:02 AM on August 18, 2008

I've hung similar sized and larger sheets of plexiglass with mirror clips and it worked fine and didn't bow much at all. You'll need about three, maybe four clips on each side.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:34 AM on August 18, 2008

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