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Acrylic dash...how “back” mounted so no screws show?

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Acrylic dash...how “back” mounted so no screws show?

Old 09-19-2020, 02:50 PM
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Default Acrylic dash...how “back” mounted so no screws show?

So I am redoing dash on a boat, and its all black acrylic piece, was wondering how they are mounted so that no screw heads show, seems like mounted from the back. Anybody know what kind of hardware is used on that application? Thanks
Old 09-19-2020, 03:44 PM
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On YouTube pull up the Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat episode that came out a day or two ago. They did a new dash on a Seacraft and back mounted everything. May help you figure it out.
Old 09-19-2020, 05:41 PM
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I didn't attach mine from the back. I essentially "glued" the acrylic on with 3M 4000. Then used my electronics to sandwich the acrylic to the helm, and act as the mechanical faster.

Of course this won't work if you're flush mounting your electronics...
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Old 09-19-2020, 07:27 PM
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Satin black screw heads evenly spaced could look nice. I wouldn’t eliminate that option. It is always easier to work on it later if you can unscrew it from topside.
Old 09-19-2020, 07:42 PM
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Weld mount or click bond fasteners are epoxied to the back of the acrylic and then bolted to your dash.
Old 09-19-2020, 07:45 PM
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Theres about seven degrees of difficulty levels between just mounting a flat black panel to an existing console face vs. a true glass bridge look where everything is smooth, flat and when turned off, looks like a glass plate.

Glueing down a piece of black glass is nothing, a little black goo, some clamps and you're done. Now, routering in precise ship laps for faceplates (forget drawings, they're all different!), drilling and tapping without going all the way through, nailing the exact depth and surrounds less than a sixteenth on the first try? Good luck! Then you can find a paint that matches the displays, not always easy either.
Old 09-19-2020, 07:54 PM
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Thanks guys, I am not going glass bridge style, as its really just decorative to cover the fiberglass that had a bumch of holes cut into
it for 3 guages (going to 1 Smart Craft), old DIN radio mount, etc. i guess it will be easiest for me to just glue it down, not like its going to come out for working on stuff, my case its just keeping me from a bunch of glass & paint work to fill old holes, I just wanted to eliminate the screw heads to give as clean a look
as possible, so glue down wil work here.

Is the 3M 4000 special use for acrylic? Familiar with 4200 & 5200, not this model
Old 09-19-2020, 08:16 PM
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I believe the 3M 4000UV is what most people use for plastics. There's a few THT threads on it, so that's what I went with.

Also important...it comes in black so I sealed all the edges of the acrylic dash with it too.
Old 09-19-2020, 11:09 PM
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Google Allen drive studs. Those are what mount my acrylic dash. They drilled and tapped the acrylic from the back side in the corners.
Old 09-20-2020, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Smoke n Mirrors View Post
Thanks guys, I am not going glass bridge style, as its really just decorative to cover the fiberglass that had a bumch of holes cut into
it for 3 guages (going to 1 Smart Craft), old DIN radio mount, etc. i guess it will be easiest for me to just glue it down, not like its going to come out for working on stuff, my case its just keeping me from a bunch of glass & paint work to fill old holes, I just wanted to eliminate the screw heads to give as clean a look
as possible, so glue down wil work here.

Is the 3M 4000 special use for acrylic? Familiar with 4200 & 5200, not this model
The only one I've found to reliably stick to acrylic on hatches is Lifeseal. A sandwiched panel like you're doing would probably good with any of them though.
Old 09-20-2020, 05:44 AM
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Call west palm beach plastics and have them make you one. They use a thicker piece of acrylic and counter sink the studs. They use some type of two part adhesive to bond the studs to the acrylic. They just made me one and it’s solid. They use this setup on the bigger boats with multiple instruments and have never had a problem with the studs. Mine looks great and solid. Call and ask for Frenchi or Fabree. Not sure about the spelling of either name. The # is 561-697-0040
Old 09-20-2020, 06:19 AM
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How thick is your acrylic? If there's enough meat you can drill, tap, and install helicoils then studs. If not then adhesive is your best bet. God forbid I'm the guy who has to remove that someday though ugh.
Old 09-20-2020, 09:33 AM
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Depending on your set up May also be able to glue mounting blocks on the panel and screw from behind.

All methods really depend on access from backside and future ease of serviceability
Old 09-20-2020, 10:08 AM
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My Seacraft acrylic dash Is attached with threaded posts which have a flat head that is epoxied into a circular cutout on the back side of the acrylic (Appx. half the thickness of the acrylic is bored to make a cavity to attach post head) essentially creating a threaded post which passes thru the fiberglass console and is attached with a fender washer and wing nut. Works great, is hidden and easily removable for servicing behind the dash.

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