View Full Version : Plexi amp window
09-21-2003, 04:35 PM
I am THINKING about making a false floor and having my Hifonics 5 channel under it with a plexiglass window so you can see it. I was wondering how I cut the plexi without melting it. I have a Rotozip, Table saw, a hand saw, and a circular saw. I can get whatever bit I would need for the rotozip, I just dont want to snap the plexi or melt part of it. Also, I will be using 1/2" plywood for the floor and 1/2" plexi Probably so it is strong enough in case something was sitting on it. How do I mount the plexi in the cutout for the window in the wood? Just make the hole for the window, cut the plexi, and use glue to get it in there? Everything will be carpeted. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks!
09-21-2003, 05:24 PM
You can cut plexiglass with all of those tools as long as you have the right blade for it and a steady hand. You'll need a fine tooth blade to cut the plexi without cracking or breaking it. For anything under 1/4" plexi I just use my dremel and a spiral cutting bit. I cut just outside of the line and use a file to get it down perfectly. A bastard-rasp file works great as it eats away the plexi fast. Then just use a fine mill file to get a nice edge. After that, follow up with some 400-grit sand paper followed up with some 600-grit wet-sand sand paper. You should end out with a nice edge after all of that. For mounting the plexi, most people route out an edge of the wood where it is to be mounted so it comes out flush. For those pesky square corners a good sharp chisel is the key. As for mounting the plexi, I have seen it done several ways. Most widely used is using small screws. I perfer the clean look with vinyl-rubber double-sided foam tape. It makes for a nice clean install without the industrial look of screws every 2-4 inches. If your going to use screws to mount the plexi, remember to pre-drill and countersink. Start with a small drill bit and move up gradually to the size you need. Starting off with a big drill bit is a recipe for disaster unless you have a full set of drill bits made for drilling into plastics.
For the false floor I would use 3/4" weather resistant plywood and route out 1/2" of it to make the window flush. 1/2" plexi is quite thick...you may want to think about going down to 1/4" plexi since this window will be only for an amp rack and not for a box. Another thing to take in consideration is that 1/2" plexi is quite expensive. Hell, for a 1/2" plexi panel measures 40" x 16" I paid $50. Thats for the face of a dual-chambered box with dual ED 12K14's.
As long as you think things through you should be ok. Plexi isn't easy to work with....so be careful. Oh...and good luck. :thumbs_up
09-21-2003, 06:20 PM
That was very informative :) Thanks!!! The window for the amp is only gonna be like....25" x 8" or so...so the plexi shouldnt cost too much money. And I should be able to make the floor out of one sheet of 4' x 4' Birch Plywood, and the box in the back of the trunk out of 3/4" MDF. so I dont think it will cost too terribly much considering all that I am doing. I just want a clean, nice looking install that is just "somewhat" flashy. Not too 'out there' but nice enough to impress people with my fabrication skills :) I hope that makes sense...lol. I have a rotozip that I can make go only 1/4" into the 3/4" plywood floor to make sure the plexi is flush. Then I should be able to carpet over the screws and stuff that I might mount it with. Prolly gonna go with the doublesided tape way though. My amp is a Hifonics Zeus 5 channel and I am only using 3 channels (channel 1, 2, and 5) but it still gets fairly hot (as do most Hifonics as I have heard) so I will be putting in 4 fans to cool it :) I already have 1 fan and it keeps it a little cooler than normal so I think 4 should keep it nice and cold. Only thing I dont have planned out so far is the plexi window (in planning process :) ) and the floor/box. Any more suggestions?
09-21-2003, 07:08 PM
Well I customize computers, so I know a thing or two about cutting plexi to make windows. If you want things to be a little flashy, how about hiding a couple of cheap strobe lights in the amp rack? Or a pair of Cold Cathode tubes? Cold Cathode tubes are cheaper and brighter than neon tubes AND they consume about 1/50th the power. You can get a pair of red, blue or green 12" Sunbeam CCFL kits for $7.00 at svc.com. I'm installing 2-pair of white ones in my dual 12k box. Talk about BRIGHT! :D As for fans, is they are close to the amp install some LED fans. They are meant for computers, but are 12v so they would work in automotive situations just as well. Just remember with LED fans, Red wire is 12v and the black wire next to it is ground. If there is a yellow wire comming from the fan, just snip it off. Its used as an RPM sensor in computers. The following URL is where I get all my fans. The fans work awesome and they have good customer service and shipping...
If your interested in frosting a design into the plexi window, just design your logo, make a negative mask of it and stick it to the plexi via tape. Then wet-sand it with the 600-grit sand paper. It looks just as good as if it was sand blasted and is cheap to do over and over. To keep your plexi scratch free, goto a local plastics store and pick up a few bottles of the Novus plastic polishing compounds. They come in 3 stages and work great at cleaning up scratches and scuffs. Stage-3 is a heavy scratch compound, Stage-2 is a fine scratch compound and Stage-1 is a cleaner/polish that reduces static build-up in the plastic and actually repels dust. If you need any more info or tips let me know. I'm always happy to help. :patriotic
10-11-2003, 10:40 PM
**** good info
10-19-2003, 11:35 PM
whats the best way to mount plexi in either a false floor, or in a box?
glue, screws, i dunno what to do
10-20-2003, 12:57 AM
Q45guy is absolutly correct about the the cold cathodes i just completed mine with a set of dual cold cathodes and they are unbelievebly bright. it will really make it stand out
10-20-2003, 03:08 AM
So..forgive me for being stupid, but those cold cahtode tubes are able just to run off a 12v negative ground system?
10-21-2003, 10:06 PM
yes i have them running in my system you need to modify the wiring but it is super simple
check out what 4 tubes looks like at night at my photo gallery