2016_08_31 How do you make a better Venetian...eh? blind?

2016_08_31  Making LED light reflectors.

A few years ago I bought 5m lengths of LED strip. And decided on using old recycled venetian blinds as reflectors.  I found some 14 foot blinds in good condition and installed them above Wodonga Coal Sidings.  They were not very successful, unfortunately.
The first thing was that they were too flexible and failed to attach flat to the bearers. As well the self adhesive LED strips did not attach firmly to the slats and after a very short time the buckled slats and detached LED strip had to be removed.
So back to the drawing board.
I tried to reinforce the slats, and as I recovered a hundred or so from the old blinds, decided to laminate two together using overlaps to extend the length.

I tried to join the slats by overlapping, which produced two thickness slats, but it was still too flexible.

So in the finish I had a third layer glued over the top, three thickness dried appeared to be ok.

My son who is a Carpenter swears by anything in a  SIKA bottle, particularly Sikaflex silicon sealer.
So when I saw this one at Bunnings, I thought  Why not? :)  SikaBond TechGrip. Although later on, I found, in the instructions, that it works best when one layer is porous.

 Anyway it was checked this morning, and had a strong bond.

 So  I will try to get a 12.5 m length glued together, today, and will reinforce the LED strip with Sikabond after pealing off the self adhesive cover strip.

Now I need a way to suspend it underneath the top level baseboard. It probably need to hang as I still will need to access point machines and wiring uner that board. The fixed one over the coal sidings is a real pain sometimes. I was thinking about long threaded butterfly clips which would allow me to push the slats aside when necessary? Or perhaps just use picture frame wire or chain?

Cheers Rod

Trying not to reinvent the wheel :)  I came up with this whilst pondering the problem :)

 Not sure if I have enough strip I can recover, as I tossed a lot away already. But this is what controlled the slats and held up the blind when it covered a window. So why not use it again?

Glued or stapled in place might fix the slat permanently in position, and allow the reflector to be focused?

If it covers the led's, I believe I might be able to find a similar string design at Spotlight.
Of course, looking at this picture, I am thinking if I measure the slats correctly and mark exactly where the cross pieces are, I could glue the tapes between the slats and they would not then interfere with the LED's :D


  1. Hi Rod,
    As another suggestion for securing the LED lighting strips, I recently installed some on my exhibition layout using cable ties. This post covers it:

    Happy Modelling!


  2. Thanks Ben, for reinforcing my decision :) I picked up a pack of 370mm cable ties yesterday. I will drill out the edges of the slats and heat up the stiff ties to bend them around the back of the slat and hang them over a 3 inch nail hammered into the cross pieces. Cheers Rod


All comments and suggestions from like minded individuals always welcomed. Help make this railway better :D