Dibond panels. Do they dent easily?

For those who use dibond I'm interested to know how easily damaged the panels are. I've not ever handled one so I may be completely underestimating how robust they are. I'm thinking of things such as:
  • Bends: Through handling or mishap.
  • Edges or corners: Knocking the edges moving your panel around. A painting on hardboard panel once fell from my easel and landed on the corner, for instance. I managed to repair it with a woodworker trick. A stretched canvas probably would have been ok with that fall.
  • Dents: Something hitting your painting and causing a dent. Unlikely, I know, unless you have people living in your house.
@Richard_P asked whether I've thought about using it. My response was something like the Monty Python sketch about good 'woody words' vs. horrible 'tinny words'. "Sort of PVC-y sort of word." But I'm curious now. Good to question your own assumptions about things.

Comments

  • Abstraction
    In my experience none of these structural or surface faults are evident on ACM given normal handling.
    ACM is used on buildings and shop fronts.

    Denis
    AbstractionA_Time_To_Paintadridri
  • I think the corners and edges can dent but only with quite a bit of force.

    This might be useful:
    https://justpaint.org/painting-on-dibond/
    AbstractionA_Time_To_Paint
  • PaulBPaulB mod
    edited December 2022
    I have used ACM for over 5 years, and have this to offer:

    - Most damage occurs during delivery. The panels, even at 24"x48" are heavy, and their own weight, combined with sloppy handling can ding the bottom edge and corners. On some deliveries, every panel is damaged slightly.
    - I have had two framed paintings leaning against each other, then kicked over by a feline art critic, which dinged one of the panels when it fell on top of the other and they wire D bracket made a dent. I unframed it, sawed off 2", and reframed it.
    - I have dropped panels, and had panels fall from the easel for those who remember, and this tends to ding the corners and the flooring.
    - I have had deep scratches made in a panel from when one fell from the easel. These are not easy to hide.
    - I have damaged corners by carelessly walking a panel from room to room and catching the corner on the wall. Usually only with large panels.
    - By cutting my own panels (circular saw, and a saw guide), and accepting a little waste, I can eliminate all the shipping/delivery damage.
    - Luckily, the 1/4" frame rabbet covers a multitude of sins.

    This is a good way to store and ship ACM:

    dencalAbstractionDesertsky
  • Thanks, @PaulB that's precisely what I wanted to understand. Hardboard is not immune either. I think canvas might be the most forgiving for these kinds of accidents but has its own vulnerabilities also. Just good to understand what you're dealing with.
    Stability is important - particularly with cats or children. I don't have space for a large easel so my current large painting (hardboard) was at risk of toppling my small easel, so i made french cleats for the back and french cleats attached to the wall. (for non-woodworkers this is a piece of timber with edges cut at 45 degrees that slots into an identical 45 degree slot on a second piece of timber attached to the wall.) I learnt that from Andrew Tischler's studio tour. If I had a studio I would fill the walls like he has. I have a dining room that needs packing up every time.
  • Usually if something impacts the surface enough to dent it on an ACM panel, that same impact will likely create a much more difficult to repair bit of damage on a canvas. 
    Abstraction
  • Dropping a canvas on a corner is less likely to damage it and more easily repairable I think than a bent corner in aluminium or hardboard, which in larger sizes weigh more. That's the most likely damage from my own handling on paintings.
  • Dropping a canvas on a corner is less likely to damage it and more easily repairable I think than a bent corner in aluminium or hardboard, which in larger sizes weigh more. That's the most likely damage from my own handling on paintings.
    Because of careful handling I have never dropped an unframed ACM panel so I am not speaking from experience, but yes, I would think that corner damage would be the most likely place for major ACM damage and it likely would be more difficult to fix ( maybe even impossible?) than on a canvas. If I ever need to move a big painting I get someone to help me which is why i have never damaged one. For some, that might not be an available option if they are alone in the studio. If I had to move large ACMs by myself, I would put some corner protection on them before moving them. (I probably should do that every time....and quit tempting fate!)


    Abstraction
  • @Abstraction - I missed this thread until now. Edges are always going to be at risk of bending if it runs into something. Preventative corner protectors are a good idea. 

    One may buy aluminum composite sheets in different thicknesses. I tried a small sheet of solid aluminum, 18x24 inches in size, which was 1.5 mm. Way too thin and flexed even with careful handling, so I discarded it. Once aluminum flexes past a certain point, it is bent or dented. 

    I will buy only 4 mm thicknesses in the future.

    I just looked up the aluminum and ACM thicknesses available here in the US from signage companies. 

    Thicknesses:
    1.5 mm solid aluminum
    2 mm solid aluminum
    3 mm ACM
    4 mm ACM
    5 mm ACM
    6 mm ACM

    The prices at the sign companies are 1/4 - 1/2 of that from art stores - for the same 3 mm ACM.
    Sometimes they even have sales of overstock. 

    I have found that the 18x24 inch 3 and 4 mm ACMs are firm enough to not flex with ordinary handling. This is the largest size I have had. I think it is a good idea, no matter how thick the ACM, to put a hardboard behind it on the easel and in hanging. 

    Every substrate has different advantages and disadvantages. I paint on rag paper, covered on both sides with acrylic size. If I like the painting, after it is cured, I can glue it to ACM or hardboard. For me, this is the best solution because painting on paper is inexpensive and easy. If the painting doesn't work out, I throw it away with no regrets about the cost. I would have regrets about throwing out an $80US 3 mm 18x24 panel primed with lead by the manufacturer. 

    ps - Andrew Wyeth painted on HDF. 
    dencalAbstraction
  • edited December 2022
    Lots of good info in  your post Desertsky !

    Another tip - If you have a business license, you can get the ACM panels at wholesale and tax exempt, which is usually quite a bit less than the sign companies sell them for. In the western US Montroy Supply is the one I use. If you are in their delivery area, Montroy does free delivery which adds to the savings, and they have never damaged a single panel of mine. There is another one with locations in the east but I would need to look it up. The Montroy house brand ACM panels are the lowest cost and have thicker aluminum facing than the name brand economy panels.  
    DesertskyAbstraction
  • GTOGTO -
    edited December 2022
    @Desertsky I buy 4 foot by 8 foot ACM panels for $100 USD from a local sign company and they cut it into any combination of sizes that I need.  
    Check out local sign companies. You will get a better price than on-line.
    DesertskyAbstractionPaulB
  • skutumpah - Yes, I use Montroy sign company here in Phoenix AZ. Where are you located? I don't have a business license (yet.) 

    skutumpah and @GTO: what thickness of ACM do you prefer and why? For Montroy, the prices they post online are the same as in the store, at least for me without a business license. 

  • Desertsky said:
    skutumpah - Yes, I use Montroy sign company here in Phoenix AZ. Where are you located? I don't have a business license (yet.) 

    Utah - I wish I was in Phoenix today - massive blizzard with rain, sleet, hail and snow. 

    skutumpah and @GTO: what thickness of ACM do you prefer and why? For Montroy, the prices they post online are the same as in the store, at least for me without a business license. 

    I prefer the 4mm because it is easier to handle in full sized sheets but did buy one sheet of 3mm. I was pretty nervous cutting it up for fear that I would bend it.  If I were to buy some more 3mm in the future I would have them cut it in half or maybe even 4ths for easier handling when cutting to size. 

    Desertsky
  • Here in the UK I've only seen 3mm, but as I don't paint on very large surfaces it still works out ok for me.. :)
    Desertsky
  • @Desertsky the ACM I use is 1/8th inch thick total.  I don’t know the thickness of just the aluminum layer.  Here’s a pic.

    Desertsky
  • @GTO - Yes, mine looks the same. I think 3 mm is a little more than 1/8 inch total. I don't know either how thick the aluminum layer is.  I don't cut my own, even though everyone on youtube shows how easy it is.  I am clumsy and prefer to not prove the point. 


  • skutumpah - ps - it has rained here in Phoenix for about 14 hours now. Same storm as you, but lower elevation. 
  • Folks

    Previous post on cut and snap.

    Just about every artist makes heavy weather of cutting ACM.
    Here is the smart way to score and snap ACM. Sorry. No groovy music.

    https://youtu.be/XcjjoOXHISs

    Denis
    Abstractionskutumpah
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