For this panel I decided to go with wood as my back-plate. Not only is wood cheap, it is surprisingly water-resistant if treated properly. The plan was to spray-paint the wood, apply a layer of epoxy, put the cells on top, then somehow attach wires and cover the surface with epoxy. While it was a nice idea maybe, I found a much better way that will be covered in my next post.
Cutting the back-plate:
I cut a nice 4mm thick piece of pine (I think) to 61 cm by 40 cm. Then with my dad’s careful assistance and help; I cut a 2.5 mm strip to match the outside dimensions of the back-plate. Then I cut matching 45 degree slants into that strip. One of the strips was marginally shorter than the others so I shaved a bit off one side of the back-plate to compensate.
Gluing the “margins”:
Now that everything is cut out, I needed to glue the margins on. Doing to ended up a slightly messy, yet solid result. I used wood glue for this, just so you know, and I applied it to the margins in a very very shallow layer. Pressing down with some books now, I let the glue dry for several hours.
In the pictures above you can see that I have put the cells on the unfinished base just for looks really. I also learned that the best way to transfer these cells is by flipping and flipping requires the strings to be taped together.
Painting is simple, just spray an overlapping coat from ~8 inches away, flip and repeat. After the paint dries I put the cells back on and drilled two holes, 1 mm apart between the two top tabs. I made a slight mistake of not pushing extra delicately and ended up with a few splinters near the holes.