Rolling "Welcome Center" Cart with Backlit Sign

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Project by jeff_wenz posted 01-07-2010 11:08 PM 3401 views 1 time favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

My adult church “Connect Group” (Sunday School class, small group, etc…) recently moved to a different room. We no longer had a tiki bar prop to use as a surface to fill out name tags and register visitors. I decided to build a cart that could be rolled out into the hallway on Sunday mornings, and rolled back into the room for storage during the week.

I figured I would include a built in sign, as well. So I enlisted my wife to design the artwork, and I went to work on building the cart.

The cart is made of ¾” MDF. I doubled up the MDF thickness on the bottom and writing surface. I wanted to add some detail, so I chamfered the edges so there is a v-groove detail on the edges. The writing surface and “shelf” are covered in Formica.

The building we are in is very modern, so I wanted to uses metal in the design. I chose ½” galvanized pipe. All pipes are secured with a galvanized flange. I installed six 2” casters for mobility purposes.

The overall size is 6’ by 2’. The writing surface is countertop height (approx 36” off of the ground). I created an arc using a thin board for the front and back to add some interest to the design.

The really cool part is the back lit sign. I bought a standard drop ceiling fixture from Lowes (approx $40) and built a MDF box around it. After mounting, I cut some 2.5” trim and painted that black, too. In order to be able to service the bulbs or switch out the sign, I hinged the trim (basically a frame) on the bottom with a piano hinge. A rare earth magnet on the top 2 corners provides a “hardware free” look, yet still functional.

The backlit sign graphics was printed on backlit sign material by a local sign shop. That cost me $77 for the approx 2’ x 4’ size. I mounted it on a piece of Plexiglas I got from a local picture frame shop. Since my ceiling fixture is standing on its side, I used metal picture frame “spring clips” to hold the diffuser panel (the scratchy ceiling fixture stuff) and the plexi up tight against the ceiling fixture metal track.

I am very happy with the results. Note, the pictures doesn’t even have the sign turned on. I had one lady ask me if the sign was a 42” LCD TV! I fooled her for a fraction of the price.

Now the church is “interested” in some more. What did I get myself in to?

-- Jeff, North Carolina

1 comment so far

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95 posts in 2234 days

#1 posted 01-09-2010 12:48 AM

nice job. Now you can build them for all the small groups that meet at the church. stay busy

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