View Full Version : Buckling Plaque Plate

Debbie Gillett
03-14-2019, 3:08 PM
My question is the following and then I will give you the back story.

I have a 12x24 plaque plate custom cut from JDS and attached to a maple wood plaque that was not purchased from JDS but was made by a wood worker.
The plaque plate is buckling from plaque and looks hideous. I need a solution to what steps I can do to remedy this.

Backstory. The plaque and plate was for a fire hall that had built a new hall and wanted the plaque to dedicate the new hall in the name of a fallen firefighter. They wanted the biggest that I could produce. My bed is 12x24 so that was the size of the plate I purchased. I had to have it custom cut and was purchased from JDS. Since they do not sell plaques to accommodate the size plate I made my own custom plaque out of maple. My first attempt was to use gold line tape to adhere the plate to the plaque. After a given amount of time the plate started to curl away from the plaque. I brought the plaque back to the shop to add corner screws as well as added tape every where on the back for extra support. A couple months later the plate is again buckling and coming off the tape. I have been in contact with JDS and they only have one solution which is to do everything I have already done. They gave me the reason is that the wood is contracting with the difference in seasons and climate. It is in a climate controlled part of the building so no extreme heat or cold. I understand that this can be the issue but I need a good way of trying to figure out how to handle this issue. Obviously tape over the whole back of plate did not work and the screws are still holding on. Should I try removing all the tape and only have it hang on to the plaque by the 4 courner screws? Should I try something different? I am hoping someone with some experience with this can help since JDS is not helpful currently.
I can not be the first person ever to engrave a larger size plate and place it on a maple board? (This was my first attempt at something this big, as I usually buy plaques and plates from JDS and usually do not have a problem with them. Could be they are all on a smaller scale than this project).
Thank you for your help

Kev Williams
03-14-2019, 3:35 PM
First, I hope you didn't pay extra for that 'custom cut' plaque, since 12x24 is standard sheet size in metals and standard 1/4 sheet size in plastics...

That said- is the plaque plastic or metal? I'm going to take a wild guess that it's black over gold laser steel-? That crap is never flat, regardless of temperature extremes. I've never been able to matrix a 12x24 piece at once for the same reason, IF I were to put enough tape on the table to hold it down, I'd never get it off!

IF that's what you used, THEN in my opinion, there's only one way to cure the problem: get a piece of actual black laserable brass and start over. The stuff costs more but it's nearly twice as thick and doesn't have the warping issues...

Now, if you're having that trouble with plastic, the best fix I know of is to drill oversized holes in the 4 corners and 1 in the middle of each long edge- Then get yourself some of those oversize brass decorative washers, then screw the plate down till it's just barely down. The oversized holes should allow room if/when the material shrinks or expands to prevent buckling...

Mike Null
03-14-2019, 3:51 PM
JDS sells screws with decorative caps. They call them standoffs but number STF0411GD is a gold decorative cap and screw assembly. and two packs of 4 should take care of your problem.

Ross Moshinsky
03-14-2019, 6:55 PM
I'd guess you have four things going on at once.

1. The plaque is stored/mounted somewhere with temp swings or high humidity.

2. The maple plaque is finished with oil rather than lacquer or a more traditional clear coat.

3. Your mounting methods are not extreme enough.

4. The material itself is just warped/bowed and wants to return back to it's natural state. This can happen when shipped or when engraving.

I'd recommend the following:

1. Drill the holes out slightly larger on the plate. This will allow for a bit more thermal expansion.

2. Measure and tape off any wood that won't be covered with the plate. Scuff the rest with 220 grit paper and wipe down with DNA.

3. Tape the ever loving crap out of the plate. Then screw it back down.

If that doesn't work, I'd be absolutely shocked. If you don't trust the tape, you can go really extreme and mix up some 2 part epoxy. That should never fail. You could also try VHB tape which is VERY strong.

Ian Stewart-Koster
03-15-2019, 8:52 AM
A photo of the problem would be helpful... and sadly this scenario adds up to that necessary thing, higly valued, called 'experience'.
Warping is something we are forever trying to alleviate, through quality seasoned timber, or laminates...and every other trick under the sun.
Solving or circumlocuting problems like this sets the professionals from the newbies or amateurs!
Best of luck with it.