Hey guys. One of my hallways is going to have an actor over the patrons on plexiglass. I need to know what thickness is safe to have an actor standing/banging on and where I can get the cheapest price. So far I've found 3/4" thick 4'x8' sheet for $938. Is that about right or can I get it cheaper?
I would personally stay away from plexiglass...I've found it tends to crack to often, even the thick stuff...just wouldn't take the chance! It'll be more expensive but I'd use Lexan...it's unbreakable. You should be able to use a lot thinner sheet vs. plexi vs. more than double the strength. Check with your local glass/plastics supplier...they should be able to tell you what thickness you would need to carry X amount of weight. Also we had an effect similar back @ the old Brigantine Castle in the 80's (man that makes me sound old!) but these plastics tend to scuff/scratch easily....so if your going to have an actor on it either put him in socks or some kind of soft slipper/boot, otherwise your not going to end up seeing the actor by the seasons end thru the scuffs & swirls! Lexan does make a "scratch resistant" type but it is EXTREMELY expensive! Just my two cents!;)
I would look on Craig's List. I found 4 pieces of 1" lexan a few years ago. Each piece would have been about $900.00 new. The guy needed to get rid of them so I got them if I remember right for $100.00 each. Worth a try!
Howie "Slobber" Erlich
Deadly Intentions Haunted Attraction
Try researching polycarbonate.. There are many different brands out there like Lexan, Plexiglass, etc... They also make laminated sheets that hold up really nice.
Acrylic is cheaper but breaks easier. I'd recommend 1.1/4" Acrylic for the strength. The draw back with using the cheaper Acrylic is that the thicker pieces are heavier than the Poly or Plexy.
Scratching can be flamed out with a small propane tourch, but I'd recomend practicing on a sample piece before you try doing a large area. Sand the scratches out with a series of fine sand paper. Start with 220 then 400 then 600. You should be able to flame out 600 to a glassy finish.
They easiest way to fix scratches is to not let them appear in the first place. When you buy your big sheet also buy a 1/8" sheet of the same stuff. It goes on top of the thick piece so the actor never touches the thick stuff. all the scratches and smudges go on the thin piece and you can replace that every year for about $60 or so.
I have used plexiglass before. I used 2 seperate sheets that were 1/2" thick each. I built a gradual ramp that once on top my "victims" (patrons) had forgotten that they were elevated and were focused on what is going to come out at them. In the middle of the dark hallway i stacked bloth plexiglass pieces on top of each other that was fluch with the floor. Underneath was an actor with a strobe light and we hooked up a sander for an extra effect. The actor would bang on the plexiglass from underneath.
All-in-all I will not do this again. It was not as good of an effect as I would have liked. The exposed area of the actor was about 1'x1' due to added support to ensure it wouldn't break or crack. I never had a problem with it cracking but it was a constant worry. :(
Just my experience with it...
I have a 1/2 piece of Lexan in one of my halls that a slammer hits against then drops as a drop down window and we have no problems with it.
Ken, when you say "slammer", are you referring to an actor hitting the "glass" with something? If so, I've had a similar thought, but wondered what would be the best "weapon". My original thought was a real axe but then liability dawned on me. Im now leaning more toward a rubber mallet. What do you use?
If my assumption is off, id be very curious to know what you're referring to!