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Thread: Isn't there anywhere to buy acrylic with UV protection for less?

  1. #1

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    Isn't there anywhere to buy acrylic with UV protection for less?

    Well I got good news last week, I will be the featured artist for a local gallery this month. I'm finishing up some framing and getting all my stuff ready.

    I've been searching for low-price frames and glass/acrylic. I am looking at americanframe and similar websites. At the 11x14 size, acrylic plexiglass is like $12 a sheet! What's with this, that seems kind of ridiculous to me. Isn't there somewhere where I can get a bulk rate for like 20 sheets at $5 each or so? I know it's treated and whatnot but it's still just acrylic, I can get UV glass at a local glass shop for less than that.
    Bryan
    My blog about shooting film in south GA:
    valdostafilm.blogspot.com

  2. #2
    8x10, 4x5, ..., Tessina Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Isn't there anywhere to buy acrylic with UV protection for less?

    Since you don't give a thickness it's impossible to answer the question.

    Try McMaster-Carr at www.mcmaster.com

    Enter acrylic in the search box at upper left then click on UV-resistant. They probably don't have the sizes you want.

    Also try Precision Plastics in Beltsville Maryland. They have quite a large stock of stuff.
    I've done business with them for years. They'll cut any size you want from large stock sheets.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  3. #3

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    Re: Isn't there anywhere to buy acrylic with UV protection for less?

    glass breaks, that's why it's cheap.
    "it's impossible"
    I don't have an answer (I use americanframe for most stuff) but I'm pretty sure someone anyone who sells acrylic can get it in any thickness you'd need for a picture frame.

  4. #4

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    Re: Isn't there anywhere to buy acrylic with UV protection for less?

    Thickness doesn't matter to me...anything around 3/16 is fine. I'll check out your suggestions Leigh.

    Regarding sizes, what kind of tool would easily cut this stuff? If I need to get large sheets and cut them down that's fine, if it's doable in a small apartment.

    I was under the impression acrylic was cheaper than glass??
    Bryan
    My blog about shooting film in south GA:
    valdostafilm.blogspot.com

  5. #5

    Re: Isn't there anywhere to buy acrylic with UV protection for less?

    TruVue has a museum quality plexi that is very good. But, you want 'cheap' and 'good' - you won't find it. UV protection is a coated piece and you get what you pay for.

  6. #6

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    Re: Isn't there anywhere to buy acrylic with UV protection for less?

    Well to be fair looking at McMaster-Carr I see some UV "non-glare" plexi that, cut down to 11x14 sheets, would cost less than $6 a piece. That's less than half the price from americanframe AND if I can cut it to specific sizes will save me money as well by not having to order larger sizes when I need them. If I can get them cut for me before shipping likely I'll pay a bit more but still much less than $12 a sheet. And if I skimped and got the regular UV stuff it's only $3 a sheet.

    Is "TruVue" a retail moniker or a real superior piece of plexi? I'm guessing it's just a moniker for "UV resistant, non-glare plexi."
    Bryan
    My blog about shooting film in south GA:
    valdostafilm.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Re: Isn't there anywhere to buy acrylic with UV protection for less?

    Don't ever use non-glare glass or plexi. The outer side is sort of frosted and makes the pictures look dull.

    Jon
    my black and white photos of the Mendocino Coast: www.jonshiu.com

  8. #8

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    Re: Isn't there anywhere to buy acrylic with UV protection for less?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Shiu View Post
    Don't ever use non-glare glass or plexi. The outer side is sort of frosted and makes the pictures look dull.

    Jon
    I agree whole heartedly.

    Also this is a little cheaper on the acrylic and a great company to deal with. http://www.framedestination.com/acry...la1p300000000/

    Roger
    formerly rtbadman

  9. #9

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    Re: Isn't there anywhere to buy acrylic with UV protection for less?

    Interesting. I have never really seen a discussion about non-glare; I just assumed the best route was UV + non-glare. I'm happy to NOT spend the money if it's not a good idea. I do have some non-glare glass on one piece I've framed and it does not look "dull" at all. It just looks like there is no glass whatsoever...

    Thanks Roger for the link. I did actually see that site earlier while searching, and while cheaper than americanframe it is still 3x what it would cost to "cut my own" from UV plexi from McMaster-Carr. I emailed the other guys Leigh suggested to see what their price is. If pre-cut 11x14 sheets from them aren't too much more than the raw sheet price I'll get them pre-cut, otherwise I'll look into how to cut the stuff myself, unless that's unfeasible*.

    *It looks like a plexi "scoring" tool would be cheap and easy to score and then snap the plexiglass. Only trouble would be finding a suitably large area to do it. If I can solve that I might be ready to roll.
    Bryan
    My blog about shooting film in south GA:
    valdostafilm.blogspot.com

  10. #10

    Re: Isn't there anywhere to buy acrylic with UV protection for less?

    The TruVue Optium Acrylic is an anti-reflection, anti-static and clear coated/abrasion resistant product that works well. Gives you 93% UV protection. Their Optium museum acrylic gives 99% UV protection while allowing 98% light transmission. Really does look nice but a bit higher priced than you are looking for. You are probably going to end up with their Premium Clear acrylic. Much less UV protection but the lower priced option.

    Non-glare and Anti Reflection are not the same thing. Non-glare interferes with seeing the fine detail in an image, AR cuts the reflections.

    Some of the other brands are good but the Museum Acrylic is worth the extra cost if you want your work to show at its best.
    Last edited by Dakotah Jackson; 2-Mar-2012 at 01:56. Reason: clarification

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