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Sorry. Great job- I may have to make myself a diploma someday.
But that display is awesome. My son graduates from grade school this year and now I am thinking about doing something like this for him.
You definitely will need to get it framed. Unless you glued all the pieces down, it will need glass to keep it together over time. You may need to replace all those stud-jumpers with regular tiles to keep the surface flat.
I wasn't sure whether or not it was a good idea, but I decided to add a border of 1x2 plates with the single knob to provide a standoff of the mosaic from the uv-coated glass/poly-carbonate. The reason was to minimize the chance of paint coming off the tiles and onto the glass (which probably won't happen anyway). But to your point, I was also worried whether the space would give room for pieces to eventually fall off inside the frame. If that's the case, then I will definitely replace the kobbed tiles with regular ones. Fortunately, I have regular dark purple 1x2 tiles coming out of my ears.
Another interesting issue I had was making the school abbreviation "TTU" using even numbered dark purple tiles (e.g., 1x2, 1x4, etc.) because Lego only produced even numbered dark purple tiles until almost the end of 2016. To my surprise and delight, Lego released the #70906 Joker Notorious Lowrider, which introduced two new odd numbered dark purple tiles...the 1x1 tile and the 1x3 tile. I was able to take a deformed "TTU" and provide much better scaling by including seven of the new 1x3 dark purple tiles. The Joker literally saved my butt...
Very nice mosaic. I actually prefer tiles to plates when doing a mosaic as I think it doesn't look quite so busy when working on a single baseplate build.
Concerning the framing, when I had my mosaic finished, I had it fixed in place on a standard picture mounting board (so the baseplate couldn't flex) without the glass so it still had the texture of a built picture and I've had no issues with tiles falling off in the year or so it's been hanging up.
I'll likely go ahead and use glass with my frame just for the piece of mind of reducing the UV-exposure and to avoid losing any of the custom periodic table tiles I could never hope to replace. Here's the final result (less the frame and glass). Thanks again for your valuable input!
I would be gladly interested in hearing other ideas though...these things are not my strongest suit. :-)
An important part of this project is the frame. For some dumb reason, I assumed the large gray base-plate #628 was exactly 15"x15". In reality it's a one off size...15 1/16" x 15 1/16" (or roughly 38.5mm x 38.5mm). The standard 15"x15" frames are just too tight and I'm not interested in using matting with a LEGO mosaic, so I decided to make a custom frame.
I found four 2'x1.5"x0.75" lengths of oak at Lowes and cut a rabbet along their length to hold the LEGO mosaic, the glass, and the backing board. I then used a compound miter saw to cut the 45 degree corner angles. I found and purchased a cool frame tool that holds the corners tightly together while the glued corners dry. Brass corner brackets (shown in the bottom picture) from Lowes will be used to strengthen the corners. I put everything together and now have to sand and stain the frame. Hopefully I can find some non-reflective, anti-UV glass/poly-carbonate at Michaels and it should be close to done. Here is a shot of the frame in its current unfinished condition.
The glass arrived from Dallas yesterday, so I was able to knock it out...and here's the completed project all framed up and ready to go. The project took much longer than I had originally anticipated due to the frame; however, I am very happy with the results and I think she will be too.