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gregt
03/30/2005, 11:48 AM
This thread was split due to performance issues. You can find the previous portion of the thread here:
http://archive.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=4641089#post4641089

adrinal
03/30/2005, 01:45 PM
I keep getting split up!
:)

jonboy
04/04/2005, 01:05 PM
Acrylics.
Ive been reading thru the previous pages up to 54 .
I have a question...I built a skimmer box about 2 years ago.
i think it was extruded transparent plastic, may be cast, not sure.
The seams are turning white. i used the capillary method
with meth chyloride./craftics brand.
Is there anything to worry about?

ok question 2, when gluing i tend to spill/drip sometimes. again the plastic turns white before i wipe up the spill. is there a way to clean these type areas ? would the denatured alcohol be a good choice?

in the future i will use cast and leave the paper on while gluing.
i think that i will try out the pin method also.
will the pin method produce a stronger joint than capillary method? i currently use the plastics brand MC, not sure if that is equal to weldon # ?
thanks for the insight,
back to the privious pages to read more,
jonboy

Reeftreasures
04/04/2005, 08:55 PM
how do i drill acrylic for bulkheads can i just use a hole saw or do i need a special bit i bought 2 tanks from glass cages 24X12 1/2X6 H and want to drill 3 holes 1 drain and 2 returns in each they are to be my frag tanks for zoo's and SPS.

Please help me out
Thanks
Kevin

SUMMERS
04/04/2005, 09:16 PM
jonboy, if the seems are turning white (and it looks as if two pieces were dry fitted together) then they are failing and eventually the box will fall apart. When there is overrun I tend to just let it evaporate off. Rubbing or cleaning will cause more of a blimish then it would just letting it sit. You should always use cast acrylic when dealing with water applications. The cappillary method makes joins the acrylic and will hold as your current box has, while the pins method allows for a longer reaction time and therefore a stronger joint.


Reeftreasures I just use a regular holesaw for 1" bulkheads and use my circle cutter and the router for the bigger bulkheads. You do not need a special bit for bulkhead holes.

Rickster88888
04/04/2005, 11:19 PM
May i know if it is possible to glue up a sump tank using the capilary method?
Dimemsion of the tank is 24"x18"x24" (LxBxH)

Cheers

jonboy
04/07/2005, 06:20 AM
Summers,
I'm not sure what you mean by pieces looking like they are dry fitting. I will try and post a picture later.
Were there any recommendations on how much time to allow between gluing and routing and flaming the edges?
I usually glue something up and route/flame the next day
Jonboy

SUMMERS
04/07/2005, 07:39 AM
Does the joint look as though you just have the two pieces against each other? As if you are rady to apply solvent but have not yet?

I like to let products sit/cure 48 hours or so before routing, and at least 72 hours before polshing. Flame polishing adds a lot of stress to joints, as such there are many other ways to polish acrylic.

Bowman
04/07/2005, 08:21 AM
As previously stated by Summers There are other ways to polish acrylic that are better suited for the hobbiest. Flame polishing is better left to the profesionals as it requires special equiptment, not something the average hobbiest has or would spend the $$$$ for occassional use. Also as Summers stated flame polishing puts additional stress on the acrylic that should be relieved through the annealing process in which the completed project is gradualy heated to a uniform temp of about 150 degrees the gradually cooled to room temp. Incorrectly done flame polishing can lead to seam failures and inevitable leaks or worse. HTH JJ

trapassi
04/08/2005, 04:01 PM
I'm in the process of building a skimmer. I have found a source for 12" cast acrylic tubing. They sell tubing with either 1/8" or 1/4" walls. The difference in price for a 5' tube is $300 ($290 for 1/8" vs. $590 for 1/4"). Do you think 1/8" walls is strong enough? The main riser will be approx. 48".

Thanks for your help .....

kznsky14
04/09/2005, 12:36 PM
Can you securely attach an acrylic overflow to a glass tank? What would you use to do it?

Rip Current
04/09/2005, 07:50 PM
what are the ways to polish acrylic? which one produces the smoothest surface?

kgross
04/09/2005, 09:23 PM
Normally an acrylic overflow will just be siliconed onto a glass tank. You can use the GE silicone I door and window to silicone it into place. The silicone does not hold the acrylic to the glass very well, but in this case the water will actually push the silicone to the glass harder so the silicone is just a gasket.

Kim

Acrylics
04/09/2005, 10:30 PM
Originally posted by Rickster88888
May i know if it is possible to glue up a sump tank using the capilary method?
Dimemsion of the tank is 24"x18"x24" (LxBxH) Sure, just about every sump you'll ever see was made this way :)

Originally posted by Rip Current
what are the ways to polish acrylic? which one produces the smoothest surface? There are 4 basic ways, those 3 are solvent polishing (not recommended), flame polishing, buffing, and Micro-Mesh. Micro-mesh take more time than any other but yields the best results. It is sanding all the way to 12000 grit sand "paper" and then abrasive creams for the final polish.
For reference there are a few machines which will yield polished parts but not after they've been glued.

Originally posted by trapassi
I'm in the process of building a skimmer. I have found a source for 12" cast acrylic tubing. They sell tubing with either 1/8" or 1/4" walls. The difference in price for a 5' tube is $300 ($290 for 1/8" vs. $590 for 1/4"). Do you think 1/8" walls is strong enough? The main riser will be approx. 48". The tube itself is plenty strong, the determining factor is the strength, therefore quality of the bottom glue joint. 1/4" simply has twice the surface area on the ends as 1/8" allowing for ease in getting a stronger bond.

HTH,
James

Rickster88888
04/10/2005, 12:42 AM
Thankz acrylics!!!

Cheers :)

carl0209
04/10/2005, 10:45 AM
ok I ended up getting 1/2 cast for my frag tank and I need to know what the strongest glue to use is. weld #3 #4 #16 what?
the frag tank is 120x 30 x 18 and the top is a single sheet with
a 3 1/2 lip all the way around with two braces in the center.
What I did was take the top and cut out three holes.
(I'm not sure how to post the picture of it) Any help would be
very useful. Thanks

adrinal
04/10/2005, 01:07 PM
The strongest solvent is #4
The strongest glue (cement) is #20. #20 is a 2 parter you need to mix. #16 is weaker than #20 but it is easier to use for noobs like me. Use #4 and the pin method for everything you can. Use the "glue" (20 or 16) for stuff you just have to glue to gether and adding extra support to spots that didn't weld well in the first run.

My turn:
So, I get to the bottom and everything goes fine, but the overflow is at a slight angle up. Not ready to dare the #20, I pull out the 16 and cant figure out how to apply it. I put it in the same aplicator bottles I have for my #4 and cut the tip off, shove a turky baster into the neck to give a bigger hole. It's not pretty, but it did the job.
Is there something I can use as an aplicator from the HW store?
If not which applicating tools should I be getting for #16 and #20?

cmcgehee01
04/10/2005, 01:09 PM
I am planning a sump 30" x 10" x 12" High divided with cross partitions 8" high a 1/3 points. Is 3/16" Lucite satisfactory for this sump? Thanks.

cmcgehee01
04/12/2005, 02:45 PM
bump

adrinal
04/13/2005, 11:30 AM
The common thicknesses of Cast Acrylic for tanks are 1/4" 3/8" 1/2"

Lucite is a brand name. I am not sure if they make extruded or not, but be sure it is cast. You could make your sump out of any of the sizes, because it is small. If you find the price nominally different, go with the 3/8". Thicker is easier to work with and more room for bubbles and other errors.

cmcgehee01
04/13/2005, 11:54 AM
Thanks for the info, Adrinal. Thought for a couple days I scared everone off. LOL

adrinal
04/13/2005, 11:56 AM
I think the 3/16 threw us off lol :)

Acrylics
04/13/2005, 12:03 PM
Lucite does not make a cell cast acrylic at all. They make Lucite L which is a continuous cast sheet (their best) and then Lucite CP & CPX which are both extruded. Lucite L is okay for small sumps n such though I don't think I'd recommend 3/16" for any pressure vessel.

James

cmcgehee01
04/13/2005, 12:07 PM
Thanks...The 3/16 Lucite was what was availabvle at local Lowe's. I agree after more research that I should go to 1/4" minimum.

adrinal
04/13/2005, 01:19 PM
Acrylics is pointing out you should go 1/4" minimum and be sure that it is Cast Acrylic (which you will most likely need to get from a plastic distributer rather than the local hardware store.

There is lots of info here on RC, but basically the cast is ... well... cast into a mold. vs the common stuff which is rolled off machines. The procces of making cast acrylic makes it stronger.

Gl in your search.

Vert
04/13/2005, 03:45 PM
Heres a question.

What is the minimum diameter you can bend 3/8" acrylic using a metal pipe as the form? How about 1/2"?

Thanks

springerhd
04/14/2005, 07:25 AM
I've probably made it through half of this thread and am starting to think I may finally know enough to attempt my own sump. Dimensions will be 54x20x20 with a water level of 15". I am planning to use a mixture of 75% #4 and 25% #5 which I believe was recommended earlier in this thread.

Can I build this out of 3/8" sides/front/back and 1/4" bottom and partitions inside the sump? How much bracing is recommended? Does the brace need to be made of one large piece with access holes routed out or can scrap pieces be used as cross braces? I'm trying to get the whole thing done out of 2 4x8 sheets, 1 sheet of 3/8" and 1 sheet of 1/4", and as always trying to do it on a budget.

Thanks.
Alex

Vert
04/14/2005, 02:03 PM
What I want to do is put 2 90 degree bends on the front glass to eliminate 2 seams and give the front of the tank a cleaner look. I plan to weld a metal jig that will create 2 90 degree bends at the desired location while holding the plastic square. I am also planning to bend some sheet metal to bow the front of the glass. I think this will create a tank that will look custom, not just 5 or 6 panes of plexiglass.

adrinal
04/14/2005, 03:28 PM
Originally posted by Vert
I think this will create a tank that will look custom....

It wont just LOOK custom, it will BE custom. :strooper:

Simms142
04/14/2005, 08:30 PM
Do you guys think i will be alright with a sump 23x13x18 out of 1/4. It will have top bracing and baffles all the way up to 15" the longest span from a side to a baffle will be 12"

masterswimmer
04/15/2005, 08:28 AM
Acrylic,
I've got a problem. My tanks been up over a year now. Last night for the first time, I did a bonehead move. Was too close to the substrate, picked up a grain of SD and proceeded to inscribe a 25" long scratch in my acrylic, right at eye level.

I'm so PO'd right now. Can I remove this scratch without any blemish? Does the tank have to be drained to below the scratch? What procedure would you recommend? Thanks for your help,

Russ

Vert
04/16/2005, 03:06 PM
There are numerous items on the market to repair your scratch. Im sure someone here can list some brand names. You do have to drain the tank to make the repair and the results will depend on how deep the scratch.

Acrylics
04/16/2005, 09:10 PM
Masterswimmer, check out a MicroMesh kit at www.micro-surface.com and look for kit # NC78-1. This kit can be used safely in a fully stocked tank. There will be a "dimple" depending on the depth of the scratch.

HTH,

James

masterswimmer
04/16/2005, 10:46 PM
Thank you James

Russ

Fishguru
04/17/2005, 12:20 PM
I personally would like to thank james for all his help here at RC, he is an invaluable member.........Thanks from Everyone...

tonkadawg
04/27/2005, 10:25 AM
Originally posted by Acrylics


There are 4 basic ways, those 3 are solvent polishing (not recommended), flame polishing, buffing, and Micro-Mesh. Micro-mesh take more time than any other but yields the best results. It is sanding all the way to 12000 grit sand "paper" and then abrasive creams for the final polish.




Can you expand on this a little please? I am looking to polish the edges of my acrylic after I have cut it. Obviously the best methods for me (I am not a professional) is sanding and then using the creams. What steps for sanding? Is that wet or dry or a combo of both? And what creams should I look for and suggestions on where to find them?

Thanks!

Ehydo
04/27/2005, 10:29 AM
What can I use to clean acrylic for a repair and for adding a baffle?

I use weldon 4 for my joints and 16 to fill gaps.

Acrylics
04/27/2005, 12:05 PM
Originally posted by tonkadawg
Can you expand on this a little please? I am looking to polish the edges of my acrylic after I have cut it. Obviously the best methods for me (I am not a professional) is sanding and then using the creams. What steps for sanding? Is that wet or dry or a combo of both? And what creams should I look for and suggestions on where to find them?
Easiest for most is buffing; wet sand to 600-1000 grit then use a bugging wheel attachment for a hand drill to polish and remember to use the buffing compound.
The *best* way is to use the Micro-Mesh as it induces no heat, therefore no unwanted stresses to the material. For this, use the same wet sanding process through 600-1000 grit, then wet sand using Micro-Mesh which goes to 12,000 grit, then an abrasive cream such as Novus 2.

Originally posted by Ehydo
What can I use to clean acrylic for a repair and for adding a baffle? If it's still in sheet form and has not been glued, polished or anything else - you can use denatured alcohol. If it is a "retrofit" job, just use water and allow to dry for a day or so. Acrylic is porous and will absorb moisture so has to be allowed to dry thoroughly else the joints can turn white with many solvents.

HTH,

James

Ehydo
04/27/2005, 03:47 PM
Thanks James

Ruminari
05/04/2005, 12:02 PM
Ok, a couple questions for you acrylic gurus.

I'm making a calcium reactor for my tank. The acrylic shop cut all of the pieces down to 1/8" larger than what I intend on using. So I can route off the edges for glueing. I have been using some scrap pieces with my 3 flute flush trim bit that the acrylic shop gave me as scrap. The only problem is that when I'm running it over my router it ends up being almost kinda bumpy and not smooth. Infact the table saw cut is much smoother than the routed finishing. I'm guessing that it is due to the fact the acrylic is ever so slightly bumping out as I run the acrylic across the table. How do I fix this problem so that I can get smooth cuts? Would using a featherboard work and if so how would I apply it to the router table?

Second - Would it be possible to simply sand down all the edges of the acrylic? My wife and I are contemplating just doing that as the cut sizes of the acrylic would still work for our project. What grit of sand paper could we use for sanding down the edges?

Thanks for your help and suggestions everyone.

Biodragen
05/04/2005, 12:39 PM
Actually the router does a better job and gives you a nicer edge.
Those lines are the gaps of the blades from the bit.
That routered edged is mainly all lines right. That is good and what you expect.
I have used a 100 grit to sand my edges and I have used a razor blade to do the same. I also use a block when sanding the edges.
Thing you need to keep in mind is keeping both of them flat and straight. If you start to go on an angle a bit it will not be a good joint then.

The routering of it gets you closer to a better finish and you can just glue it like that but I take the time to prep a bit more on what I do for projects. I will gett less bubbles and a better joint.

HTH

Ehydo
05/04/2005, 03:13 PM
Are you cutting tubing? I use a miter saw to cut tuning.

Ruminari
05/04/2005, 06:20 PM
Flat sheets, We're making a square reactor.

Ehydo
05/05/2005, 08:35 AM
Just checking.

Biodragen
05/05/2005, 08:38 AM
Try to feed the acrylic a little slower.
The faster you run that bit across it the rougher it will be.

Get a feel for it

trapassi
05/05/2005, 02:09 PM
Hi Acrylic,

A couple of weeks ago, in reply to my question about whether a wall thickness of 1/8" is strong enough with 12" dia cast acrylic tube, you replied:

The tube itself is plenty strong, the determining factor is the strength, therefore quality of the bottom glue joint. 1/4" simply has twice the surface area on the ends as 1/8" allowing for ease in getting a stronger bond.

My question: would a groove routed in the base sized to fit the end of the tube be a viable means of strengthening the joint? If so, should I use normal solvent (#4 - fill the groove 1/3 with solvent then insert the tube) or would #40 be better?

Thanks

Acrylics
05/05/2005, 02:43 PM
If you can get a good, "full" joint (entire end surface bonded) , then the grooves won't help. But if nervous about this, then use the #40 in the groove.

HTH,
James

jcaulley
05/05/2005, 03:32 PM
I want to build my own sump. It is going to be 13"L, 8"W, 16"H. This will hold just under 7.5 gallons. How thick should the acrylic be that I get to build this? I was looking at 1/8" cast acrylic sheets. Is $1.91/sqft a decent price for this thickness?

dark8nge1
05/05/2005, 03:59 PM
I found some crazing long the bottom seam of my 150. It's a 2-3 inch section that's already turned white. I know this is real bad so I was wondering if I could brace it in any way. I have some 3/8" sheets and was thinking of using that. The tank is empty so bracing the joint from the inside shouldnt be a problem.

Ehydo
05/05/2005, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by jcaulley
I want to build my own sump. It is going to be 13"L, 8"W, 16"H. This will hold just under 7.5 gallons. How thick should the acrylic be that I get to build this? I was looking at 1/8" cast acrylic sheets. Is $1.91/sqft a decent price for this thickness?

I think that 1/8 inch will bow and I would not trust it. I use .220 inch as a minimum thickness to hold water at 14-18 inches. If I was making an overflow box or a really small box no higher than 2-3 inches I would use 1\8th. It us the 16 high that will put most of the pressure on the box.

I would probably spend about 60 dollars on acrylic for that size box. I also make euro lips on all of my sumps for more support.

Italian Stallion
05/17/2005, 08:33 PM
if i wanted to make a 4" flange or circle out of acrylic how would i do it

bond007069
05/17/2005, 10:10 PM
How about gluing Cast to Extruded? Is this ok.
Would weld-on #16 work best.

This would be for the base plate on a Calcium Reactor.

TIA

Acrylics
05/18/2005, 01:15 AM
Stallion,
Use another 4" circle as a template, just use a flush cutter (flush terim bit). The bearing will ride along the template, the cutter will cut your new piece.

Bond,
Gluing cast to extruded is fine using any solvent, if you are comfortable using #16 - then there ya go :)

James

SUMMERS
05/18/2005, 08:19 AM
Originally posted by Italian Stallion
if i wanted to make a 4" flange or circle out of acrylic how would i do it

You can use the method James mentioned above or you can also pickup one of the Jasper Audio Circle jigs. Wastes less acrylic and allows for mutiple diameter holes/circles without having to keep multiple templates on hand.

The 200 is what I use http://jasperaudio.com/

Ehydo
05/18/2005, 09:58 AM
Originally posted by SUMMERS
You can use the method James mentioned above or you can also pickup one of the Jasper Audio Circle jigs. Wastes less acrylic and allows for mutiple diameter holes/circles without having to keep multiple templates on hand.

The 200 is what I use http://jasperaudio.com/

Does that require you have a hole on the center of the piece as a guide?

SUMMERS
05/18/2005, 11:14 AM
Yes it puts a 1/8" hole in the center but I cut it out anyway when making flanges. There is an adapter (model 350) that allows for cutting without the hole.

The sweet thing about the Jasper jig is like when I cut out a flange set for 8" tubing (10.5" flange) I can use the inner circle thats cut out (7.5") for something else like 4.5" tubing or a reactor or something. Where as other methods pretty much require the entire piece in the middle to be wasted.

Stile2
05/18/2005, 12:36 PM
Hey James,

A basic question. I am planning on building a new sump. About 21"x19"x18". Can I get away with 1/4" thick acrylic or should I go 3/8"? It will have an eruo brace on the top.

Thanks

Keith

SUMMERS
05/18/2005, 12:46 PM
You can use 1/4" but would need a very wide brace on the top to cut down on bowing. You really should use 3/8" material to build the sump. Should not cost much more and will be much more rigid and allow for a smaller perimeter brace.

Ehydo
05/18/2005, 02:57 PM
Originally posted by Stile2
Hey James,

A basic question. I am planning on building a new sump. About 21"x19"x18". Can I get away with 1/4" thick acrylic or should I go 3/8"? It will have an eruo brace on the top.

Thanks

Keith

I built my sump/refugium out of .22 acrylic and it was 36Lx12.5wx18.5h

It has 2 inch euro lip around the top for support. It has three access holes cutout so I left 2-2inch braces in the center. I would not trust it any other way. There are also 2 baffles which help in the support and the side walls are doubled where the bulkhead is drilled and where weight is high.

Acrylics
05/19/2005, 07:41 AM
Keith,
I think the previous two posts answered it well. Pesonally, I won't use anything less than 1/2" for aquaria of any sort. Just a safety factor to me and allows for no crossbracing on sumps of that size. If it's a small sump, then the difference in cost is minimal. Then again, maybe I just like thick material :)

James

Ehydo
05/19/2005, 09:37 AM
Originally posted by Acrylics
Personally, I won't use anything less than 1/2" for aquaria of any sort.
James

Wow you must get a good discount. I do not even know where to find 1/2 inch near my house.

H20ENG
05/19/2005, 10:56 AM
James,
I built an adjustable upright router jig like yours, and I have to tell you its awesome! I built a reactor body, then just shaved the top off perfectly to glue on the flange.
Thanks again!!
Chris

thecoralreef
05/19/2005, 04:11 PM
I'm adding a baffle to my sump to create a section for a refugium. The water level will be about 4-5 inches difference in the compartments. I'm using weldon #4 to glue the baffle in place. I was wondering how long this should dry with clamps on before I should use the sump again?

Ehydo
05/19/2005, 04:15 PM
You can take the clamps off after 4 hours and you can put water in it after 48 hours.

Scottm
05/19/2005, 04:51 PM
I built an adjustable upright router jig like yours, and I have to tell you its awesome! I built a reactor body, then just shaved the top off perfectly to glue on the flange.

I've been looking into this lately - care to share any pics ?

trapassi
05/19/2005, 05:30 PM
I would also be interested in any info on an "upright router jig".

Thanks

bear27
05/19/2005, 06:15 PM
I have two questions regarding acrylic tube
First is how do you square off a end that has been rough cut,and second is what is the best way to pass pvc tubeing or bulkheads thru for makeing reactors and such

Acrylics
05/19/2005, 08:38 PM
Chris,

Glad it worked for ya :)

Scott & Tom,
I don't know if I still have any pics of it, I had to redo my 'puter's HD so lost quite a bit. Maybe we can convince Chris to show some pics of his. I'm out of the shop for a spell so can't get any new ones myself...sorry :(

Bear,
The best way I have found is using the upright jig the above 3 posters are referring to. For cutting holes in the tube, a hle saw can work but if you are good with a router - you can make a jig for it.

James

Italian Stallion
05/19/2005, 10:59 PM
well guys i am new to the acrylic thing and need some help i purchase a router table and am trying to learn to use it

hear is my problem when i pass the acrylic through i have a hard time controlling it so i purchased 2 feather boards and mounted them vertically on top of the acrylic wich seemed to help a good bit

i would like to mount a featherboard flat to the table but my table is a little small when i am working with large pieces of acrylic

my main problem is how do i better controll the acrylic and when i get to the hole in the middle of my guide rail where the blade spins i cant controll the acrylic so i either shave off too much or not enough what should i do

would a planning jointer be better than a router for me

GreshamH
05/20/2005, 04:16 AM
You could modify your fence with another board that has basicly very little clearance for the bit your using. I've done that in the past and it sure helped. Cheap solution :D

BtheReef
05/20/2005, 04:25 AM
Stallion, what type of router do you have? I am looking into buying one for woodworking and acrylic work. Any suggestions from the tradesmen as well?

I also have a few beginner questions about acrylic working. I need to bend the acrylic and read elsewhere that you could heat it in the oven to do this. I this viable, or should I invest in a heat strip? Where can I purchase one if I needed it?

Also, do I need any special tap for acrylic? Which brand or type is best for this type of project. I would like to tap the acrylic for nylon screws.

Thanks for any information.

Italian Stallion
05/20/2005, 12:00 PM
well guys i am new to the acrylic thing and need some help i purchase a router table and am trying to learn to use it

hear is my problem when i pass the acrylic through i have a hard time controlling it so i purchased 2 feather boards and mounted them vertically on top of the acrylic wich seemed to help a good bit

i would like to mount a featherboard flat to the table but my table is a little small when i am working with large pieces of acrylic

my main problem is how do i better controll the acrylic and when i get to the hole in the middle of my guide rail where the blade spins i cant controll the acrylic so i either shave off too much or not enough what should i do

would a planning jointer be better than a router for me

anyone else have any other tips

GreshamH

i will try the board adjustment

Reef Base i use a craftsman router

H20ENG
05/21/2005, 10:45 AM
My router jig is basically a tall thin box that I can clamp to the table. A piece of melamine with side guides allows it to slide up or down the side of the box. I am working on some handwheel type screw clamps to hold it. For now, its just clamped.
Just remember to make it really stiff, thats why mine is almost a whole box, not just a plank with a router stuck to it.
I'll try to get a pic, but really its just some scrap wood glued and air nailed together.:)

Vincerama2
05/22/2005, 02:45 PM
Originally posted by Reef Base
Stallion, what type of router do you have? I am looking into buying one for woodworking and acrylic work. Any suggestions from the tradesmen as well?

I also have a few beginner questions about acrylic working. I need to bend the acrylic and read elsewhere that you could heat it in the oven to do this. I this viable, or should I invest in a heat strip? Where can I purchase one if I needed it?

Also, do I need any special tap for acrylic? Which brand or type is best for this type of project. I would like to tap the acrylic for nylon screws.

Thanks for any information.

The Porter Cable 690 is very well regarded and almost all router accessories fit it. The newer PC model is the 890.

For Plunge routers, I've heard good review for the Hitachi 12V (I think that's the model number)

Heat strips are pretty pricey, if you look at the Tap Plastic website.
Heating it in the oven is a bit contraversial, because acrylic might give off gases that might cause a fire or it's toxic or something.

Any tap will work.

V

GreshamH
05/22/2005, 02:54 PM
Check out the place in Salt Lake City for acrylic heating strips. Delvies Plastics IIRC.

GreshamH
05/22/2005, 02:56 PM
page #11

http://www.delviesplastics.com/pdf%20files/acrylic.pdf

BtheReef
05/23/2005, 05:41 PM
Thanks for the info.

I ordered some weldon and a strip heater from Craftics. I got the heater for $34, a good price from others I've seen.

My first acrylic project will be making hangers for my maxi-jets. Can't wait to get started when the parts come in!

Italian Stallion
05/23/2005, 08:50 PM
ok i got the cutting thing for the most part down except my edges are just a little ruff and uneven i am using 2 verticle mounted feather boards and no flat side feather boards (my table is to small to mount them) what can i do to get them perfectly smooth

is it better to pass the material through the router quickly or slowly

is it better to go super fast or slow

any ideas on what i can do to get smooth edges i am keeping the acrylic pressed up to the guide board and at least i dont think it is jumping it at least looks like it is staying pressed the whole time



any tips or ideas

Italian Stallion
05/23/2005, 08:55 PM
also is cast the best type to use and if so is any type of cast ok

for the average 2 foot long by 1 and a half feet tall by a foot wide
sump/fuge is like 1/4" the best thickness

masterswimmer
05/24/2005, 08:34 AM
Originally posted by Italian Stallion
also is cast the best type to use and if so is any type of cast ok

for the average 2 foot long by 1 and a half feet tall by a foot wide
sump/fuge is like 1/4" the best thickness

From previous posts, most would say 3/8". However, Acrylicman said he doesn't use anything less than 1/2".

Biodragen
05/24/2005, 09:57 AM
You can make it out of 1/4" but you would have to put in bracing to prevent it from bowing out.

If this is not an option then yes 3/8 would be much better and stronger to use.

lfjewett
05/25/2005, 04:35 PM
I want to put together a 20 G sump/fuge out of a standard el cheapo Glass tank. But I just happen to have some acrylic laying around to make baffles/etc with. At the local HD I found 2 possible prospects.

1. Aquarium Silicone.
2. 2 part waterproof marine epoxy from DAP I think.

Will ether of these work to bond acrylic to glass? Wil ether of them cause a problem in the tank?


Thanks!

adrinal
05/25/2005, 05:57 PM
I did the same thing for my first sump, with Aquarium Silicone. I still have it today 4 years latter.

Biodragen
05/25/2005, 09:24 PM
Silicone will work if you make sure it is very clean and not too thin.
Lots of folks do what you mention and do have to redo it after some time--some get lucky and it lasts longer.

Don't skimp on the silicone--buy the good stuff.

Italian Stallion
05/25/2005, 10:43 PM
ok i got the cutting thing for the most part down except my edges are just a little ruff and uneven i am using 2 verticle mounted feather boards and no flat side feather boards (my table is to small to mount them) what can i do to get them perfectly smooth

is it better to pass the material through the router quickly or slowly

is it better to go super fast or slow

any ideas on what i can do to get smooth edges i am keeping the acrylic pressed up to the guide board and at least i dont think it is jumping it at least looks like it is staying pressed the whole time

Italian Stallion
05/25/2005, 10:43 PM
ok i got the cutting thing for the most part down except my edges are just a little ruff and uneven i am using 2 verticle mounted feather boards and no flat side feather boards (my table is to small to mount them) what can i do to get them perfectly smooth

is it better to pass the material through the router quickly or slowly

is it better to go super fast or slow

any ideas on what i can do to get smooth edges i am keeping the acrylic pressed up to the guide board and at least i dont think it is jumping it at least looks like it is staying pressed the whole time

Biodragen
05/26/2005, 07:31 AM
Pass it through in between quick and slow.

Try it on some scraps to get a feel for it. Try it fast on some and slow--play around with it.
Some bits a router will vary---so it is getting the feel for it really.
If you feed it too fast the vertical lines will be rougher and it may also take out tiny little chunks that will cause bubbles.
If you feed it too slow it will start to melt and leave melted plastic stuck to the edges.

HTH

Ehydo
05/26/2005, 09:34 AM
Too fast leaves router marks. Too slow and you can gouge it.

Italian Stallion
05/26/2005, 12:50 PM
are 1/2" and 1" easrier to work with than like 3/8" or more difficult

Acrylics
05/27/2005, 09:45 AM
1/2" & 3/8" are about the same. For most, 1" gets difficult as feed rates, cutter flex, stability of router table, router condition, & chip clearance are far more critical. Weight becomes an issue also as the pounds add up rather quickly.
...and any mistakes are far more costly.

James

Scottm
05/27/2005, 11:28 AM
To add to what James mentioned above, if you can handle the edge prep effectively and the physical weight of the panels I personally find that thicker material is much more stable and easier to bond than thinner stuff like 1/4 or 3/8.

H20ENG
05/27/2005, 12:50 PM
Thin stock- easy to cut and route, hard to glue
Thick stock- hard to cut and route, easy to glue
-IME:)

xtrstangx
05/27/2005, 05:00 PM
I'm going to make a DIY skimmer like an AquaC Remora. What is the best adhesive that I can use for the acrylic? I want something I can get at Home Depot, unless it is absolutely imperative that I get Weld-On online.

Would I sound like a complete moron calling the town's plastics shops to see if they had Weld-On I could buy?

H20ENG
05/28/2005, 08:29 AM
Nope, and weldon really is the only GOOD stuff to use.

Acrylics
05/28/2005, 01:13 PM
Weld-on or MCBond will both work well though the MCBond is not nearly as common. IME there is nothing at HD or Lowes that works nealy as well as actual acrylic solvent. I've heard tell of some HDs actually selling Weld-on but never seen it myself. You'll have to find a place that sells both the solvent and applicator bottles, well, you don't *have* to use the bottles but makes the whole process much cleaner and easier.
Call around to the local plastic shops, all they can do is say no :) but you'll need to know which solvent you want, Weld-on 3, 4, or 5. You won't sound like a moron at all, that is, after all - what they do for a living.

James

Scottm
05/28/2005, 03:58 PM
James,

xtrstangx is local to me so he is going to stop by next week and I am going to help him cut his parts and prep them. I'm also going to hook him up with some #4 and a bottle and needle so he should end up with everything he needs.

H20ENG
05/28/2005, 10:21 PM
Thats why this is such a great hobby!! Right on Scottm.

Acrylics
05/29/2005, 03:34 PM
Very cool Scott :) Good luck and have fun with it xtrstangx

James

bond007069
05/29/2005, 03:49 PM
would weld on #16 work for attaching base plate and top flange on a Ca++ reactor?

mfinn
05/29/2005, 03:52 PM
Can extruded and cast acyrlic be permanently glued together?
What about the product acrylite? Can it be used with the other two?

Acrylics
05/29/2005, 06:45 PM
Bond,

What are the materials? If the tube is acrylic as well as the base plate, then yes - you can use #16

mfinn,

Yep, extruded & cast can be glued together. Acrylite GP & FF are brand names of acrylic made by Cyro industries. Acrylic GP is a cell cast acrylic and FF is the extruded variety. Good quality materials.

HTH,

James

bond007069
05/29/2005, 07:38 PM
yes they are both acrylic, thanks man

Big Blue
05/31/2005, 01:10 PM
I have a question that I hope you can help me with.

I what is the best method when working with 1" cast acrylic as to getting a good glue joint that dose not shrink and suck in air. I have read the post about letting the glue sit and soften up the material before putting the pieces together but is that the only technique?

As you might be wondering I will be making a 450 gal tank soon and with my passed experiences with working with cast it can sometimes be a challenge, because it is such a dense material, to soften it up so you get fillet.

Will adding glacial ascetic acid 3% by volume to Weldon 4 help with this problem?

I have never herd of this before Acrylicman here at R.C. mentioned it but if you think that it would give me a better/stronger glue joint I wound be willing to give it a try. Does the acid slow the gluing time down? What are the pros/cons?
Also, if you know any theory behind why it is a good idea to add the acid it would be appreciated.

I might just have to work on my technique and leave the glue in the joint longer using the pin method before joining the pieces.

I appreciate any help that you can give in this matter being that I only have one shot at a $1500 tank.

BlueBadger
05/31/2005, 02:40 PM
After Someone answers Big Blues question I also have a question.

I am in the planning stages for a 4'x4'x2' tall half cube. It was suggested I use 1/2" acyrlic and bracing by another online site. Bracing the top is not an issue, but how would you do it......Just eurobracing around the edge (i would think you would have to use thicker material) or a solid top with four holes in it (and use 1/2"). Any construction design suggestions would be appreciated, last think I want is a large tank bowing out alot...
Dan

Acrylics
05/31/2005, 06:01 PM
Originally posted by Big Blue
I have a question that I hope you can help me with.

I what is the best method when working with 1" cast acrylic as to getting a good glue joint that dose not shrink and suck in air. I have read the post about letting the glue sit and soften up the material before putting the pieces together but is that the only technique? No, you can cast the joint as well but this does take some practice and another invesment of the required tools (either Weld-on 42 applicator gun, centrifuge, and/or vacuum pump for removing air).

As you might be wondering I will be making a 450 gal tank soon and with my passed experiences with working with cast it can sometimes be a challenge, because it is such a dense material, to soften it up so you get fillet. With a good solvent - this should take 15-20 seconds of actual "soak" time.

Will adding glacial ascetic acid 3% by volume to Weldon 4 help with this problem? Some, yes.

I have never herd of this before Acrylicman here at R.C. mentioned it but if you think that it would give me a better/stronger glue joint I wound be willing to give it a try. Does the acid slow the gluing time down?
Acid, by it's very nature does not evaporate readily, so by adding a little, you will in effect slow down the reaction time of the solvent.
MCBond and Weld-on #5 are both made from methylene chloride and acetic acid so it's nothing new :)

What are the pros/cons? Pros are that it slows down the reaction time and it helps solvent flow better into the joint. The downside is that the joint can change (kinda) for a coupla hours after gluing. The only other downside is if you use too much acid, the joint can become grainy looking.

Also, if you know any theory behind why it is a good idea to add the acid it would be appreciated.

I might just have to work on my technique and leave the glue in the joint longer using the pin method before joining the pieces.

I appreciate any help that you can give in this matter being that I only have one shot at a $1500 tank.
Understood, you'd be well advised to practice quite a bit, be absolutely certain you are using a good material such as Polycast, and maybe try a coupla different solvents. MCBond is a great, pre-mixed solvent.


Originally posted by BlueBadger
I am in the planning stages for a 4'x4'x2' tall half cube. It was suggested I use 1/2" acyrlic and bracing by another online site. Bracing the top is not an issue, but how would you do it......Just eurobracing around the edge (i would think you would have to use thicker material) or a solid top with four holes in it (and use 1/2").
If you want to use the 1/2", the top should be a 4 x 4' piece and machine the access holes out of it by either a table mounted router or have it done for you professionally. Many shops will do it this way, some will use lasers, and some will use a CNC router.
Whichever method you choose, be sure to use large radii in the corners of the cutouts to distribute stress better, 2" radius or so would be great.
If you want to eurobrace it, thicker material is required for the sides and top, if you want to go this route lemme know :)

I posted a thread call "DIY tank, step by step" or something to this effect some time ago and it shows how to make the top cutouts if doing it at home. Just search for DIY in the title and me as the author.

HTH,

James

Biodragen
05/31/2005, 08:48 PM
FWIW
If you can get a hold of small scraps of that thickness--it may be worth practicing with it first before going with the live materials.

This way you get a better feel for the thicker stuff.
Small investment this way.

Big Blue
05/31/2005, 09:05 PM
Thanks for such a great reply Acrylics! That helps me out a lot. Weldon 42 you say, ah, sounds like something new to try. :rollface:

Rich_Lucas
05/31/2005, 09:33 PM
I am looking to make a sump that will be about 13 inches tall, 14 inches wide, and 36 inches long. What thickness of acrylic should I be looking at. Also what is a good price for acrylic? I went to a local plastics place who quoted me $14.48 per square foot for 3/8 thick. Is this around a normal price? It seems kinda expensive to me.

Thanks.

jcaulley
06/01/2005, 12:08 AM
Would 1/8" wall cast acrylic tubing be ok for a 28" tall 4.5" outside diameter protein skimmer?

Big Blue
06/01/2005, 09:47 AM
$14.48 per square foot for 3/8 thick

What a ripoff. Don't buy it. In the Bay Area if your paying more then $4.75 a square foot for 3/8 your paying to much. Shop around and look in your Yellow Pages.

Acrylics
06/01/2005, 10:41 AM
Rich,

BigBlue has it right on, just be sure to not to skimp on the material, get good material such as Acrylite, Plexi-Glas G, or Polycast (best IMO)

Jcaulley,

1/8" wall tube will be fine for that. Due to it's shape, tube inherently distributes stress better than any other shape so on tube we can use thinner wall thicknesses than with squares, etc.

James

SUMMERS
06/03/2005, 08:21 PM
Heads up to anyone looking to replace or purchase a spiral flush trim bit. MLCS has them on sale. They are regulary $80 or so and are on sale for $60

http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/bt_solid.html#spiral_up_anchor

adrinal
06/03/2005, 09:50 PM
One is an upcut and the other a down cut. Is the berring at the end on both of them and just the intended direction of the chips are different?

Perhaps a better question is... what is up down cut?

kgross
06/03/2005, 09:59 PM
You are correct adrinal, the direction the chips are moved is what is different between the up cut and down cut. the up cut drags teh chips up to the router (upright usuages not upside down on router table), and the down cut pushes the chips down.

Kim

adrinal
06/04/2005, 01:47 AM
shoot, I sure was hoping it would change the position of the bering as well :( It sure would be nice to have a berring on the other side for my router table. It would make making overflows much nicer.

Bowman
06/04/2005, 09:07 AM
Hey all They do make bits with the bearing on the oppsite end of the router bit, they are just not spiral cut bits. Browse through the many online catalog sites or check at a local woodworking store. Sears, HomeDepot, Lowes,etc may have what your looking for as well.

HTH

John

Acrylics
06/04/2005, 09:56 AM
Adrinal,

The bits you are referring to are generally called "pattern bits" where the bearing is on the shank side of the bit. They generally have a collar with set screw to remove & replace the bearings when needed. Due to this, many spiral cutters can be converted, so to speak, into pattern bits.

James

adrinal
06/04/2005, 02:46 PM
Interesting, Thanks!
I will deffinatly give it a try.

BtheReef
06/04/2005, 04:23 PM
Ok, I have been trying to make some acrylic hangers for my maxi-jets and have run into a problem right off the bat. :(

I'm attempting to get a piece of acrylic that is about 1.25" wide from a sheet that is 12x10". First, I scored the line and tried breaking it off the larger sheet, but ended up breaking it lengthwise. I believe this was because of eneven pressure using my hands to break while holding the sheet over a dow rod.

Next, I tried cutting the section off. I got the piece I needes, but with way too much chipping along the edge. I really can't get a table saw or other expensive tool.

So, any suggestions on how I can get a thin lenght of acrylic off a larger sheet? I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong.

Thanks

BtheReef
06/04/2005, 04:24 PM
Ok, I have been trying to make some acrylic hangers for my maxi-jets and have run into a problem right off the bat. :(

I'm attempting to get a piece of acrylic that is about 1.25" wide from a sheet that is 12x10". First, I scored the line and tried breaking it off the larger sheet, but ended up breaking it lengthwise. I believe this was because of eneven pressure using my hands to break while holding the sheet over a dow rod.

Next, I tried cutting the section off. I got the piece I needes, but with way too much chipping along the edge. I really can't get a table saw or other expensive tool.

So, any suggestions on how I can get a thin lenght of acrylic off a larger sheet? I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong.

Thanks

BtheReef
06/04/2005, 04:30 PM
stoopid internet... sorry for double post

Ehydo
06/06/2005, 10:17 AM
Try scoring it more and applying even pressure when breaking it. Look for a place where you can apply even pressure like a door jamb.

Vincerama2
06/06/2005, 03:23 PM
If you have a hand held "jigsaw" (sometimes called sabersaw) you can buy a $5 plastic cutting blade (actually you get two for that price, one for 1/8 plastic and one for thicker plastic) that works really well without chipping the acrylic. You can scrape the edge "clean" after with an edge scraper OR a carbide router bit (you can scrape with the bit itself, you don't need the router).

V

juststartingout
06/08/2005, 07:29 PM
Hi Acrylics, awhile ago I had asked you about the thickeness necessary for a sump I am going to build. It will be 72x36x20, I just bought some acrylic sheet today, finally:-). Make a long story short, they were out of Acrylite GP, so I bought Plexiglas G. I read that Plexiglas G is made in Mexico and it is actually .472, instead of .500. Will this be alright to use? I thought in an earlier post that someone said to stay away from import materials. Thanks for your time!:cool:

m23
06/09/2005, 03:20 AM
You'll be fine, Plexiglas G is decent. Don't let the variance in thickness bother you, some import is made to metric mesurements. I've seen sheets of 1" come in at 3/4"! I like Rohm and Haas it smells like blueberrys when you machine it.

Italian Stallion
06/09/2005, 02:26 PM
i am having trouble using my router table because it is 2 small and i cant get any feather board on it

any suggestions on how the get a straight cut




also how hard is it to run acrylic throught a planning jointer? do youy have to use featherboard or anything to keep it stable or does regular hand preassure work ok

Flavorflave
06/10/2005, 08:49 AM
Acrylics, I found this in a thread from july last year. you made specific comments about the cell cast acrylic that is sold by Laird Plastics below. Bottom line, do you think that this acrylic is worth using and do you think that 1/2 inch or .47 inch thickness is enough for a 84x30x24 tank?
Lastly, what is a fair price for a tank like this made right?


Plesiglas GM is pretty good material, the rest of it is incorrect. Plex GM is made in Mexico so not exactly domestic (it's nickname is "MexPlex", and is made in a horizontal waterbath cell while Polycast is made in a vertical cell - does this stuff matter? not really but does show your instincts correct Unless he simply referring to "cell cast".
It's slightly cheaper than Polycast and not *quite* as good IMO but still good material. TruVu uses Plexiglas quite a bit for their tank as do many mfrs so is very suitable for aquaria.
The reasons I don't use it much, in case you're wondering, are four-fold, but none of them major.
A) does not come with the overage that Polycast does. A 4 x 8 of 1/2" Polycast measures 51 x 100, MexPlex is usually 49 x 97. The extra coupla inches makes yields come out better for me.
B) Generally, only comes in a handfull of colors, clear, black, white, bronze, and that's basically it. There are other but large minimums must usually be met.
C) For the most part, distributors only stock 4 x 8 sheets, while 5 x 8' and 6 x 8' sheets of Polycast are not at all uncommon.
D) MexPlex thickness is metric so 1/2" is actually 12mm (.472") while Polycast is imperial thickness so 1/2" actually measures .500".

Thanks for all the help.

Acrylics
06/10/2005, 10:30 AM
Originally posted by juststartingout
Make a long story short, they were out of Acrylite GP, so I bought Plexiglas G. I read that Plexiglas G is made in Mexico and it is actually .472, instead of .500. Will this be alright to use? I thought in an earlier post that someone said to stay away from import materials. Thanks for your time!:cool:
As M23 points out, it's fine material. Polycast is about the only readily available material that actually specs out at .500 for 1/2". Virtually every other mfr has gone metric including Cyro (mfrs of Acrylite). They did this about 15yrs ago and said it was to get in line with the rest of the world but IMO it was a price increase without actually calling it a price increase :)
Generally speaking though, Plex G will yield thicker material than Acrylic GP in 1/2" as *in general* Plex G will actually measure between .450 - .500 while Acrylite GP will usually measure out at .440 or so. The Mexican made material is usually pretty good stuff as both of the big plants in Mexico (Atohaas & Plastiglas de Mexico - AKA Chemcast) are both German engineered facilities, in fact by the same folks.

Originally posted by Flavorflave
Bottom line, do you think that this acrylic is worth using and do you think that 1/2 inch or .47 inch thickness is enough for a 84x30x24 tank?
Lastly, what is a fair price for a tank like this made right? Most mfrs would use 1/2" (or 12mm) for this size tank so yes - it is the standard thickness. And the material itself is good material. You should expect 1/8" - 3/16" of deflection at 12 weeks which isn't terribly bad. As far as pricing for this size tank, it's an odd deal really as the 84" length is a bad yield because many times you have to eat the drop off - remember sheets are usually 96+" so many mfrs will price it as the 300gal (96 x 30 x 24"). Generally speaking though, $1300-1600 is probably the range you are looking at to get it made. Check around with ******* and some of the other mfrs to see what you can get.

HTH
James

Flavorflave
06/10/2005, 10:40 AM
Thanks James!

mnreefgeek
06/10/2005, 02:52 PM
James - Greg/ ReefMania, our local expert is in hiding (I think) so I figured that I would throw this your way.

I have an MR3 that is leaking where the PVC leaves the acrylic body. What do you think is the best fix to cure this leak so I can run the skimmer externally? Someone in a seperate thread said to use Weld On 16, what do you think?

Thanks,
Chad
mnreefgeek

Vincerama2
06/10/2005, 03:43 PM
If all else fails, you can glob on "Plumber's Goop" which works pretty good. I have a crappily made kalkwasser reactor where some joint was leaky. I slapped a few layers of plumber's goop on it and it has not leaked since (in 2 years or so).

V

Scottm
06/11/2005, 02:58 PM
You could try 16 on that leak but it dries will a lot of air pockets if you put it on very thick. Might take a couple thin applications but should eventually seal it up. Not much pressure in the skimmer box. Probably the best way to seal it the first time is with #40.

juststartingout
06/11/2005, 03:28 PM
Thanks for the feedback. Now as soon as I get some spare time I will build it (the sump.

adrinal
06/11/2005, 03:55 PM
I am looking for links / tips on best practices/methods for mixing and applying weldon 40

indguy
06/13/2005, 07:58 PM
Acrylics, First off thanks for all the info, it is much appriciated!
Using ACRYLITE GP what would be the minimum (no bowing) thickness for a 120 Gal. tank 48"LX24"Wx24"Tall?
Thanks in advance for your insight.

indguy
06/13/2005, 08:06 PM
Acrylics, First off thanks for all the info, it is much appriciated!
Using ACRYLITE GP what would be the minimum (no bowing) thickness for a 120 Gal. tank 48"LX24"Wx24"Tall?
Thanks in advance for your insight.

m23
06/13/2005, 09:00 PM
I know this is acrylics thread but I thought I would share my knowledge with you indguy. Belive it or not Sea Clear used to build a 120 out of 1/4" and yes it bowed like no other. You could use 3/8", I would use 1/2" if the small price diff. didn't matter. All acrylic will bow to some degree.

masterswimmer
06/13/2005, 11:07 PM
I wouldn't use anything less than 1/2" indguy. Personally, I like to overbuild and I'd even consider 5/8". But like m23 said, it will all bow to some extent.

Russ

Acrylics
06/14/2005, 02:12 AM
Indguy,

Ditto the two previous answers. 1/2" would be the minimum but it would bow roughly 1/8", if you can live with that - you're golden :). IMHO you have to set tolerances rather than saying "no bowing" - hope you know what I mean.

1/4" *may* hold water depending on the top and how it is braced
3/8" holds water but will bow ~1/4"
1/2" holds water well, bow's 1/8" or so, needs crossbrace
3/4" will bow 1/16" or so if yu use a crossbrace, can be eurobraced with wide flange
1" will bow <1/16", a touch more if eurobraced

I think most fabricators would use 3/8", your better ones will use 1/2". Above that, you have to figure there's not much reason unless you want eurobracing as you're spending a bunch more money for little difference.

HTH,

James

avgjoe
06/14/2005, 08:36 AM
I was planning a large in wall tank and was curious. Is it feasible to build a tank with 4 sides acrylic and 1 side glass? Or would the difference in thermal expansion of glass and acrylic cause the tank to eventually fail?

moflow
06/14/2005, 09:30 AM
The real problem is bonding the acrylic to the glass. Acrylic solvents won't work on the glass and silicone won't bond well to acrylic.
Originally posted by avgjoe
I was planning a large in wall tank and was curious. Is it feasible to build a tank with 4 sides acrylic and 1 side glass? Or would the difference in thermal expansion of glass and acrylic cause the tank to eventually fail?

avgjoe
06/14/2005, 10:39 AM
I agree, I don’t think anything bonds with glass. But isn’t it the molding around the top and bottom, that hold a glass tank together? The silicone only acts as a sealant between the joints.

adrinal
06/14/2005, 10:50 AM
I think the molding is mostly for looks, and to ease a little stress, not for water tightness.

Acrylics
06/14/2005, 10:59 AM
IMO the best way to do it would be to make the acrylic tank with a 3" or so flange on the front with the glass on the inside. Using a liberal amount of silicone (DC 795) to act as a gasket between. The force of the water would be pushing the glass into the silicone gasket, thus strengthening the sealing effect. This is exactly the way large fiberglass tanks are made but usually with acrylic windows, I believe plywood tanks are also made in the same manner. It may be necessary to actually place the glass prior to gluing the last side on the tank but is certainly possible. If you're gonnay try it, I'd definetely recommend way overbuilding it though :)

HTH,
James

avgjoe
06/14/2005, 12:25 PM
Thanks Acrylics. I learned alot in that post. Didn't even know fiberglass was an option. Did a google search and found exactly what I had in mind.
http://www.fiberglasscreations.com/images/aq2.jpg
http://www.aquaticeco.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/product.detail/iid/4165/cid/1171

indguy
06/14/2005, 02:08 PM
Thanks everyone for the help. I think I will go with the 1/2" with a cross brace. 1/8" deflection is not a problem.

Italian Stallion
06/14/2005, 09:23 PM
am having trouble using my router table because it is 2 small and i cant get any feather board on it

any suggestions on how the get a straight cut




also how hard is it to run acrylic throught a planning jointer? do youy have to use featherboard or anything to keep it stable or does regular hand preassure work ok

Ehydo
06/15/2005, 09:18 AM
use a rip guide on the opposite side

Italian Stallion
06/16/2005, 02:21 PM
where can i get a rip guide (website linck) and what is a rip guide

Ehydo
06/16/2005, 02:29 PM
Originally posted by Italian Stallion
where can i get a rip guide (website linck) and what is a rip guide

AKA Rip Fence.

Just clamp down a piece of wood.


http://benchnotes.com/Fence/fence.html

Italian Stallion
06/16/2005, 03:04 PM
ive got a rip fence on it

also how hard is it to run acrylic throught a planning jointer? do youy have to use featherboard or anything to keep it stable or does regular hand preassure work ok

Tazzmacd
06/17/2005, 07:38 AM
Depending on the thickness that you are dealing with and how tall, you might want to put a feather board on there just to help keep the bottom tight against the fence if you are using a tall piece. It is surprisingly easy for a tall piece to move out just a fraction of an inch on the bottom form the fence to throw off the whole joint.

indguy
06/21/2005, 08:00 PM
I am fabing a 120 gal. tank from 1/2 cell cast. Is WO# 4 good enough or should I go with the WO# 40, and does anyone have some good tips for using the WO# 40? I also read eairler about James mix for a solvent cement, is it worth the extra $ and effort to make this mix for just a one time fab.?

Scottm
06/21/2005, 08:09 PM
#4 is fine for what you are doing. No need to go with #40 - it's awefully messy uless you work with it a lot as well. It's probably more trouble than it's worth to try and mix your own solvents for just one job. If you feel like you need to slow down the 4 a little you can add a few % (like 3-5) of #5. It shouldn't be "necessary" to do it - #4 should be sufficient by itself for something this size.

juststartingout
06/25/2005, 11:16 AM
Can you use a circular saw with a 80 tooth blade to rough cut a 4 x 8 sheet of 1/2 acrylic, and then use a router table to finish it? I have a table saw, but thats a pretty heavy sheet to be handling.

Scottm
06/26/2005, 12:29 AM
Yup - you sure can. I often do that when I need a small piece off a full sheet, although I am using a blade ground for plastics. It will chip a little bit but since you are finish prepping the edge on a router you should still be OK with sharp ATB blade. Works pretty well if you don't have a helper to handle the full sheet across the table saw. Just be sure that you square your cuts with an edge guide of some sort. Be careful not to let it bind on you and watch the offcut when you get near the edge - it will tend to break away and leave a big chip as you clear the end of the sheet so you have to keep it supported and level with the rest of the sheet (no stress at the cut).

H20ENG
06/26/2005, 02:02 AM
To add to scottms advice;
Lay down a sacrificial piece of plywood before laying down the sheet. This way you can do it right on the ground or tabletop if needed. Set your blade depth to go into the plywood a bit so the sheet stays supported at all times.

juststartingout
06/26/2005, 09:56 AM
Thanks for the advice! Ive been very busy on other projects but, I will try to start the fabrication within a month, I will post some pix.

get-r-done
06/26/2005, 11:48 AM
Acrylics

The information you have supplied has been infinitely helpful.
I have been buiding a sump the past few days and have a question. I am putting the top on this afternoon and will be attaching the bottom after. My question is this. I have alot of bottom edge to attach ( perimeter of tank +2 edges of bubble trap + bottom edges of refue, all together about 150 linear inches ) .
Do I bond all surfaces at once using #4?? by the time I get the Weldon #4 to the last joint do I start pulling the pins where I started or give it time to soak? Will the first sites applied be ready to pull pins as soon as I finished applying all the #4?

In additon , my first joint has alot of bubbles in it , is it better to cut a 1/2" strip of Acrylic and bond it into the joint or use a thin fillet of #16?


Jim
:)

Talis
06/26/2005, 04:20 PM
I have a question for you....

Recently I purchaced a 24gal acrylic display tank for my fuge. I'm adding a 10gal glass tank next to it for the skimmer and return pump. No sweat right??? The problem is the fuge is 14" at the bottom and 19.5" at the top. The return/skimmer tank will be nestled under the edge of the angled side...

Can I cut teeth right on the curved corner at the top??? It's one piece of 1/4" acrylic, do you think it would hold up or do I need to make my overflow a little down from the top?

Phoneguy982
06/26/2005, 11:05 PM
Originally posted by get-r-done
Acrylics

The information you have supplied has been infinitely helpful.
I have been buiding a sump the past few days and have a question. I am putting the top on this afternoon and will be attaching the bottom after. My question is this. I have alot of bottom edge to attach ( perimeter of tank +2 edges of bubble trap + bottom edges of refue, all together about 150 linear inches ) .
Do I bond all surfaces at once using #4?? by the time I get the Weldon #4 to the last joint do I start pulling the pins where I started or give it time to soak? Will the first sites applied be ready to pull pins as soon as I finished applying all the #4?

In additon , my first joint has alot of bubbles in it , is it better to cut a 1/2" strip of Acrylic and bond it into the joint or use a thin fillet of #16?


Jim
:)

Pull the pins as soon as you are done. If you look at the joint after you remove the pins it should look semi clear/transparent. The only time you should wait for weld-on to start to set is if you have a large gap and then I recommend mixing some acrylic shavings with your weld on #4 to basically make weld on #16...a gel type of texture. I didn't use use pins, I just set the acrylic on top of the piece I was welding it to and used the syringe along the seam. You can see the difference from where the weld on seeps in vs the dry part. It's like the weld on suck into the joint...kinda like sweating copper joints.

Phoneguy982
06/26/2005, 11:10 PM
Originally posted by Talis
I have a question for you....

Recently I purchaced a 24gal acrylic display tank for my fuge. I'm adding a 10gal glass tank next to it for the skimmer and return pump. No sweat right??? The problem is the fuge is 14" at the bottom and 19.5" at the top. The return/skimmer tank will be nestled under the edge of the angled side...

Can I cut teeth right on the curved corner at the top??? It's one piece of 1/4" acrylic, do you think it would hold up or do I need to make my overflow a little down from the top?

Are you trying to get the water to overflow from the main tank into the sump without plumbing?
Either way...I would always give yourself some room in the tank in case a drain gets blocked temporarily or something so I would come down a little just to be safe. The acrylic should hold up fine but would recommend using a dremel with a cutting bit rather than a circular saw blade. (Not sure which you were intending to use)

oldpoon
06/27/2005, 09:21 AM
I am planning to have an acrylic tank made by someone. It is 24"L X 19"H X 24"W. The front two corners are curved. It will be divided into the front display and rear sump by a black acrylic panel. It is located at about 16" from the front.The rear part is then divided into 3 compartments by baffle areas where the water level is 11.5" high. See the top picture of the following picture for the dividers.

I have the following questions:

1. Is 3/8" thick acrylic ok?

2. Should the black acrylic divider be 3/8" thick as well?

3. Do I need bracing? Can the bracings made just for the display section 4? If yes, must it be euro bracing? Can I place two bracings as shown on the bottom picture of the following picture? What would be the thickness and width of the bracings and are they made of acrylic?

3. If I don't want bracing at all, what should be the thickness of the tank?

4. What is the approx. weight of the tank?

5. What is the approx. price to have this tank custom made by acrylic fabricator?

Thanks in advance.

staticfishmonger
06/27/2005, 09:35 AM
i just filled a used tank i got for a freshwater run through before the salt to check for leaks and what not and as it turns out i have a very small leak (more of a seep) in what appears to be the seam where the bottom and the side piece meet. my question is what are my options for repair. can i just apply some weld-on to the inside seam? any help or advice would be much appreciated.

thanks

oldpoon
06/27/2005, 09:35 AM
Oops! Here are the pictures:

http://reefcentral.com/gallery/data/507/72954tank_top_bracing.JPG

sid700
06/29/2005, 05:39 PM
Hello. I would like to built the following sump/fuge. Can I built it without a top? If not, any suggestions? If I used 3/8" cast acrylic, would I still need a top?

I am thinking the baffles and dividers will act as supports.

Material - 1/4" cast acrylic
Total dimensions of tank - 23.5"x18"x16" (LxWxH).
All dimensions on the drawing are in inches.

<img src="http://www.kidcaramba.com/aquarium/top.jpg" BORDER=0>

Tridacnagigas
06/29/2005, 08:13 PM
I am Building a large skimmer. What I would like to do is build (form) a cone for the top of the reactor chamber. What temperature does acrylic 1/4" become plyable? I am going to use wieghts and steel pipe of different diameters to force the heated acrylic to shape. Has anyone had any exsperiance with this?

Ehydo
06/30/2005, 01:42 PM
Originally posted by staticfishmonger
i just filled a used tank i got for a freshwater run through before the salt to check for leaks and what not and as it turns out i have a very small leak (more of a seep) in what appears to be the seam where the bottom and the side piece meet. my question is what are my options for repair. can i just apply some weld-on to the inside seam? any help or advice would be much appreciated.

thanks

A small bead of weldon 16 will do the trick. just add an applicator tip to the weldon tube.

Randall_James
07/07/2005, 01:43 PM
Ok hours spent reading this thread and for sure a lot of good information. But did not see anything about tools selection.

I did see that you can setup a professional shop for about 5G's but that is not exactly what I had in mind.

Could you list in order of purchase priority the tools and approximate quality (cost) one should aim for.

And you can spend say $1,000

Acrylicman, did you ever get any of your tutorials completed?

Randall_James
07/07/2005, 01:44 PM
Ok hours spent reading this thread and for sure a lot of good information. But did not see anything about tools selection.

I did see that you can setup a professional shop for about 5G's but that is not exactly what I had in mind.

Could you list in order of purchase priority the tools and approximate quality (cost) one should aim for.

And you can spend say $1,000

Acrylicman, did you ever get any of your tutorials completed?

SUMMERS
07/07/2005, 02:17 PM
1.)Router (I have a PC 894 pack, but looking into a CNC) $300
2.)Router bits appx: $200 depending on what you get and from where.
3.)Table Saw ( I have a HD Ryobi, looking to purchase a Unisaw) $150
4.) MDF for jigs $30 sheet
5.) Wilsonart for top (4x8) $40
6.) MDF for Job of Router table $30
7.) $250 Misc stuff.

Acrylics
07/07/2005, 03:48 PM
IMO, the biggest priority ought to be the router and it's associated table. You can easily build a good quality table for under $200 and the router that goes into it ought be of high quality. I like Porter Cable 3 1/4hp best for the $$ at around $300. So now we have roughly $500 for the router and table, the table can also double as an excellent gluing table as well.
Bits, as Summers points out - maybe $200. Should get you a good quality straight cutter, flush cutter, and roundover and/or and chamfer bit.

Which leaves $300 for a contractors table saw, used if ya can for a coupla hundred $$ plus a good blade - maybe $60-100.

As Summers' sig points out - "With a Router and a Table saw you can make anything for your tank." I agree :)

You will want clamps, drill, bits, gluing jigs (cheap), etc., as well but I'm <gulp> assuming you might already have some of these.

As for squaring up large sheets, either get them squared for you at the distributor you are buying from or do it with the router.

When I started my shop, my focus was primarily on the routers & router tables, a good quality table saw, and a drill press. Everything else was a few $$ here and there. Years later I added a large panel saw but I still spend most of my shop time using the two original *priority* tools, router & table saw.

HTH,

James

Randall_James
07/07/2005, 11:40 PM
Ok exactly what I needed!
Could you point me to a good place for the router bits with some part numbers? At 50 to 70 each, I want to make sure I get the stuff I need.

TheCoralReef731
07/10/2005, 01:49 PM
Hi, I am in need of help concerning a fuge that I want to use on my 20 gallon. I would like to have it right behind my tank, with a pump pulling up water, and gravity letting water out into the tank. Here is my design:

http://reefcentral.com/gallery/data/500/92581Refugium6.gif

http://reefcentral.com/gallery/data/500/92581Refugium7.gif


But I have a lot of questions. First of all, what should I do to join the acrylic together. Since this is just a refugium, I dont care about the looks of it. I currently have no experience with acrylic, but figured that while I am in the reef hobby, I should learn a little. Thanks.

juststartingout
07/10/2005, 08:16 PM
I think I finally have some spare time, so I want to start to build my new sump. Here is a link to the thread I had started, I'm just looking for a little insight. Thanks!

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=627576

Randall_James
07/10/2005, 09:16 PM
Juststartingout:

"Remember that old age and treachery will overcome youth and enthusiasm"> Clint Brauner (Indy car pioneer) I had the fortune of meeting Clint before he died.

Acrylics
07/11/2005, 12:57 AM
Originally posted by Randall_James
Ok exactly what I needed!
Could you point me to a good place for the router bits with some part numbers? At 50 to 70 each, I want to make sure I get the stuff I need. I don't know of the places to get them online so can't help ya there - sorry. But the cutters themselves shouldn't run more than ~$20-25 each for good quality cutters. If you wanted to go with a solid carbide spiral fluted flushcutter - then you're looking at $65-80. Is it worth it? not sure if you don't plan on doing alot of this but they do turn 1" acrylic to mulch very easily so gets the "coolness" factor in my book :). For brand names of cutters look at Whiteside, Amana, CMT, and Bosch. There are others as well but these are the 4 that I use most and would recommend them to anyone.
Maybe someonel else 'round here who buys this stuff online might chime in with a reputable place to get them online. I buy most of my stuff from my saw blade guy don't look around too much other than just to check prices once in a while - keeps him honest ya know:)

HTH,

James

SUMMERS
07/11/2005, 11:18 AM
Here is where I get all of my online bits. http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/routerbit.html

Spiral http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/bt_solid.html#spiral_flushtrim_anchor

Chamfer http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/bt_chamf.html

Round-over http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/bt_rndvr.html

I use a Bosch straight cutter. http://www.boschtools.com/accessories/accessories-detail.htm?H=177705&G=57233

Randall_James
07/11/2005, 01:00 PM
Thank you so much for sharing this type of information. I realize it is your livelyhood and is like giving away the keys to your car. Kudos~!

TheCoralReef731
07/11/2005, 02:27 PM
Just a simple question. How do you bend acrylic and what tools or materials are needed. Do you need heat?

Randall_James
07/11/2005, 03:07 PM
They make these nifty (albeit expensive) heat tapes. I got a 24" for I think it was $34.

Zooanthid33
07/11/2005, 03:11 PM
I am thinking about building a 3'X3'X18" aquarium with an island overflow. I have already talked to ******* about said aquarium. They want 1140 and I think I can do it for a little more than half. I have built sumps in the past and had good luck but this is a different animal. I am thinking of using 1/2" cast acrylic. My question comes in welding. In the past I have used the capillary method and it has worked. I was thinking to increase the strength and surface area for the weld on, that I would use a slot cutter bit and do a sort of tongue and groove type procedure. I don't know the technical name for this but what I was thinking was creating a "dovetail drawer" but instead of it being a dovetail it would just be a straight groove in one piece with a straight tongue in the ajoining piece. Will this work? Any thoughts on this?

Thanks,

Eric

kabboord
07/11/2005, 05:56 PM
Acrylic Man,
I have a 10" Mitre saw... and its really the only piece of equipment to work with...
Where online could I find a good 10" miter saw blade for cutting cast acrlyic tube and small squares of acrylic sheet... basically I just want to make a couple of cheep carbon, phosban, second Calcium, and kalk reactors... just real simple stuff... clear tube with two ends and two john guests at the top...

Also could i get such a blade at home depot... I know basically that I want as many teeth as possible, carbide tip, and no rake... where online can I find these blades.. preferably in he 50-90$ range.
Thanks

Randall_James
07/11/2005, 07:34 PM
Zooanthid33
I saw earlier in this thread where that is not needed. A good joint weld is as strong or stronger than the material. At least that is how I read it..
Oh BTW
[welcome]
Zooanthid33

adrinal
07/12/2005, 08:06 AM
HD is fine for blades. If you were making tons of tanks, it has been suggested to get a SUPER Blade... but just for some diy stuff you should be fine assuming you are using your router to smothe the edges for gluing. I use the blade that came with the Dewalt Miter.

From what I know you pretty much need the router for good glue joints.

Randall_James
07/12/2005, 09:08 AM
I have been using a hand edger for my joints. It puts a small radius on the end and if I pull the pins to early, no filet...

Just time consuming to do this by hand. I still need to find a router table (the $100 ones at the store look like a poor choice). Am just about ready to break down and make my own, just a matter of how much time I have to work on it.

TheCoralReef731
07/13/2005, 08:59 PM
Hello Randall (or anyone else, PLEASE HELP ME), It seems that you know a lot about acrylic, or at least 100 times more than me. I need to make an overflow box, like the CPR ones (which they gave me the measurements (http://www.marinedepot.com/aquarium_overflow_boxes_cpr.asp?CartId=) for :D). I know that they are overpricing for such a simple thing. Well anyways, for such a small thing, is there a way to not bend the acrylic, but just join different parts. Also, is a special saw required for acrylic.

Thanks
Peter

TheCoralReef731
07/13/2005, 09:00 PM
I also have heard someone say that they just held plexiglass (which I hope is similar) over a flame untill it got really hot, and then bent it. Does this work?

chipmaker
07/14/2005, 08:59 AM
I have a question.
I acquired a heap of various plastics when the local plastics distributor moved to a new location and did a big time house cleaning of odds and ends and drops. They litterally filled a huge rolloff type dumpster up with stuff, ranging from full sheets with broken corners or a scratch or so, to rods, tube and all kinds of stuff........I probably carried home 8 or 9 pickup truck loads.......(tons of the stuff all for free)


What I have that I am mainly interested in, is what is labeled as ballistic acrylic. It seems to be three or so pieces laminated together, and its approximately 1" in thickness. I have quite a few sheets of this stuff that I would like to make into an aquarium if possible......Will the weldon solvents be suifficient or do I need something special to solvent weld this stuff.

TheCoralReef731
07/14/2005, 10:35 AM
Hello chipmaker, what are these weldon solvents that you speak of, and where can I purchase them?

chipmaker
07/14/2005, 11:11 AM
The Weldon is just the typical brand of solvents/adhesives used to glue up acrylics as preciously mentioned in this forum......I use a lot of methylene chloride (label brand Dico) for lots of other purposes, so I get it whlesale from a local chemicals supply house. Seems that no matter how tight you seal the container back up, when you need it again its all evaporated out.......I now buy as small of containers as possible.....Most all plastics suppliers should have them.

Acrylics
07/14/2005, 11:28 AM
TheCoralReef731,

I would not recommend just running the acrylic over a flame - acrylic does burn fairly easily and very messy if you catch it on fire.
You can just join two pcs together if you wish, now real special tools. Look in your local yellolw pages under plastics for a local distributor such as Laird Plastics which will carry all the solvents, plastic, etc.


Chipmaker,
Ballistic Acrylic or Ballistic Polycarbonate such as Lexguard will often/usually delaminate when you attemt to glue them. They are just not designed for this type of application but rather to be fit in a frame with the edges sealed. What brand is it? and any other specifications on it, maybe an inspection sticker on it?

HTH,

James

chipmaker
07/14/2005, 12:03 PM
The ballistc stuff I have is made by Sheffield Plastics, called Makrolon. I had read it can be solvent welded, but the solvent welding process can make the polycarbonate joint somewhat weaker. I don't know if there is a special solvent for polycarbonate sheet or not as I have not pursued it any futher, but this stuff is just begging to be used for something like a tank.....I oculd make a stainless frame, but not overly fond of that concept. I have thought about mitering the edges on a 45 for more bond area as well, as I have a fully equipped machine shop which is also good for working plastics.....with mills CNC and Manual, lather, shaper, shears, etc etc

Also have my own homebrew strip heaters I made years ago for various projects........ I have done drape forming already and had planned to make a bow front tank with a built in sump in the back. The wife just bought me a SW setup, but I still want to build a tank of my own design and size just for the heck of it.

Acrylics
07/14/2005, 02:05 PM
I wouldn't do it out of the balllistic Makrolon. It doesn't glue the same way as acrylic insofar as joint strength and it is *very* likely that it will delaminate during machining and/or gluing. Polycarbonate also scratches *much* easier than acrylic as it is a much softer plastic, hence the properties that it has. It can be solvent welded with any of the acrylic solvents as well as Weld-on 2007 which is essentially THF (tetrahydrafuran), same stuff as in PVC pipe cement though it is recommended to only solvent weld to the "faces" of laminated material to avoid delamination.

HTH,
James

TheCoralReef731
07/14/2005, 04:03 PM
I have found a GE Polymershapes that is near me. Seems like they have all of that stuff, but not the glue. Thanks Acrylics and Chipmaker.

bnplu
07/14/2005, 04:52 PM
I need to cut a 6" o ring out of 1/4" acrylic to put on my skimmer. The outside diameter is 6" and the inside hole is 4". I cut the outside with my band saw but my question is how do I and what do I use to cut the hole for the inside? Thank ya'll for any advice you can give.

Acrylics
07/14/2005, 09:03 PM
bnpl,

Cheap n easy way is a hole saw - available at most big box hardware stores.

HTH,
James

bnplu
07/15/2005, 05:59 AM
Acrylics, Thanks! I didn't know they made holesaws that big. I'll check it out.

Randall_James
07/15/2005, 07:50 AM
If you can not find the hole saw, check with your local stereo shop. They use 6" saws for speaker installs and might steer you in the right direction.

TheCoralReef731
07/15/2005, 12:22 PM
Where do people get those huge tubes for skimmers?

SUMMERS
07/15/2005, 12:31 PM
http://www.mcmaster.com/


#8486K597

bnplu
07/15/2005, 02:05 PM
thecoralreef731, here is a link. there are loads of sites on the net.

http://www.rplastics.com/plastictube.html

get-r-done
07/15/2005, 08:12 PM
Acrylic Man,

can you tell me what welds with a stronger joint. Weldon #4 or #16?

Thanks

Jim
:)

Acrylics
07/15/2005, 08:43 PM
get-r
All things being equal - they should be on par as chemically they are roughly equivalent. That said, all things are not equal including the edge preparation. I am not a fan of #16 at all as it is simply sloppy, messy stuff but does have *some* advantages over #4 if the edges are not straight and smooth. #16 can slightly fill some uneven areas where #4 or similar solvents can't. A better choice would be #40 as it won't evaporate nearly as much so when you see it wet - will stay that way, not the case at all with #16 which will evaporate by 50% or more so the joint will "shrink" - hope this makes sense.

James

get-r-done
07/16/2005, 08:22 AM
James


thanks for the reply. what is your feeling on Weldon #3?

Is this hard to work with? Number 3 is the solvent that is sold at the place where I get my Acrylic from. They also sell # 16.


Jim

Acrylics
07/16/2005, 10:22 AM
Weld-On #3 is very similar to #4, it contains the same ingredients - just in different ratios. #3 reacts/evaporates faster, meaning less working time. My general recommendation is to use #3 with extruded materials and #4 with cast.

HTH?,

James

get-r-done
07/16/2005, 05:36 PM
James

Sounds good!!!

thanks for the advice

Jim :D :cool: :cool:

scuglass
07/16/2005, 07:05 PM
hi i am planning on building my own 75 gal tank

dimensions 48l x 19w x 19h

what thickness of cell cast acrylic would u recomend? 3/8 or 1/2

what method on glueing do u recomend? needles and shims?

what weld on should i use 40?

how many holes can i drill while still maintaining strength? i was planning on drilling 2 in the bottom (one in each of the back 2 corners) and 9 spread out along the bottom of the back wall

would this be alright and do u have ne other sujjestions or tips

mabblizzard
07/17/2005, 10:10 AM
i just built a 5'X2'X2' acrylic tank and i needed to know how i should go about makeing the overflow

Randall_James
07/17/2005, 11:24 AM
Acrylics, could you describe or give me a picture of how you build your jigs? I made some for holding work will doing edges etc, but I am having some problems joining pieces at 90 degree angles and still accessing the work to make sure I am not flooding the stuff with weld-on.

Also when bonding these pieces, how do you go about the protective paper?
I have been lightly scoring the bonding area and then peeling the stuff off so only that area is exposed. (the weld-on and I seem to have issues at times, I think I need to reevaluate my applicator)

GreshamH
07/17/2005, 12:32 PM
My 90 degree jigs (made out of MDF) have the bottom corner notched out so you can stick you needle under it. Melev IIRC uses normal construction squares, with the corner notched out. I grabbed a few $4 plastic squares recently and notched them out, but I haven't used them yet :D They seem better them my jigs though, small, yet lighter ;)

mfinn
07/20/2005, 07:08 PM
Acrylics
I want to add a baffle in a sump that is being used now and I don't want to pull the sump out from under the stand because of all the plumbing and pumps, etc.
Say I drain the sump, dry the area that the new baffle is going in. Using Weld-on #3, how long before I can start the sump back up?
How about if I have to use Weld-on #16?
Thanks

maldivian_chicken
07/20/2005, 09:06 PM
I want to build an external overflow box for an acrylic tank
instead of the normal in tank overflow. The reason is
that I know whatever I do, I won't be happy with the noise.
The in tank overflow with the top bracing plate makes it
difficult to change the plumbing. With an external, I can
fiddle all I want.

To get water to flow to the external overflow, I'm thinking
of just cutting a horizontal slit across the back of the tank,
say 1/4" by 10", about 2" from the top, so water is skimmed
into the external overflow, and the 1/4" gap is small enough
that I shouldn't need to worry about fish or snail going through.
Without the teeth, cleaning should be easy.

Can I use a plunge router and a 1/4" carbide spiral cutter
and just plunge it in from the outside of the back wall and move slowly horizontally? How do I prevent chip out in the inside surface? Will
backing it up with a piece of MDF or another sheet of sacrificial
acrylic work? What RPM should I use to do this? I've never
used a router on acrylic before. (Well, once I tried to route
a template using acrylic and it shattered the acrylic into hundreds
of tiny bits, so I'm scared of working with acrylic).

thanks,
/tom

zekni
07/22/2005, 02:42 PM
Hi there..

Building a 120"x36"x48" tank.

Which weld-on# should I use? 40?

Is the pins method a-okay for a tank this size?

Thanks

zek

Acrylics
07/23/2005, 09:48 AM
Originally posted by Randall_James
Acrylics, could you describe or give me a picture of how you build your jigs? I made some for holding work will doing edges etc, but I am having some problems joining pieces at 90 degree angles and still accessing the work to make sure I am not flooding the stuff with weld-on.
Check out the following thread, gives some pics of some of the jigs we use, I like simple and these are about as simple as it gets :)
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=390652

Also when bonding these pieces, how do you go about the protective paper?
I have been lightly scoring the bonding area and then peeling the stuff off so only that area is exposed. (the weld-on and I seem to have issues at times, I think I need to reevaluate my applicator)
Just peel it up against a straightedge.

Originally posted by mfinn
I'd let it sit 24hrs for either. WO 16 *is* WO 3 with some monomer (acrylic) tossed it.

[QUOTE]Originally posted by maldivian_chicken [B]Can I use a plunge router and a 1/4" carbide spiral cutter
and just plunge it in from the outside of the back wall and move slowly horizontally? How do I prevent chip out in the inside surface? Will
backing it up with a piece of MDF or another sheet of sacrificial
acrylic work? What RPM should I use to do this? I've never
used a router on acrylic before. (Well, once I tried to route
a template using acrylic and it shattered the acrylic into hundreds
of tiny bits, so I'm scared of working with acrylic).
I'd be hesitant to do this for a coupla reasons:
By cutting a slit in the tank, your are potentially weakening the tank as there will be no bracing at all in the area. If the tank was not built well to begin with (proper thickness or better), the chances are good that the tank could fail originating from the slit.
Plunge routing in acrylic is not always enjoyable, esp if not used to it. Acrylic can be "grabby" and also melt so the problems can arise from going too fast or too slow.

If'n ya wanna do it anyway:
I'd advise drilling a pilot hole slightly larger than the router bit you wish to use and going through that instead of plunge routing.
Make a series of vertical slots rather than a horizontal one
Backer boards will be of little use for this.

If nervous: do not do it

Zek,

I simply wouldn't advise this tank for a DIYer. The tank will weigh in around 1500lbs when completed and will have to flipped several times during construction and will have many thousands of $$ in material so I just can't recommend it.

FWIW, "Pins" method and WO 40 don't mix, two completely different processes. One can either/or - but not both, the viscosity of #40 won't allow for it.

HTH,

James

Randall_James
07/23/2005, 09:42 PM
If I fly to Portland OR, Do you think I could get a day or 2 of tutoring? :D

Acrylics
07/24/2005, 12:17 PM
LOL! :) Shouldn't take *that* long. 95% of what one needs to know to do this stuff well can be learned within about an hour. The rest is simply practice and spending a few $$ on good tools, tables, that sorta thing, but mostly practice. Of course it *is* easier to learn when you can see it in person, this is understood. So, if ever in the 'hood, give me a shout and if we aren't terribly busy - can show ya a few things.

James

bobr
07/25/2005, 09:19 PM
Acrylicman,
I constructed an internal overflow out of .25" lucite using a 2-part plastic bonder epoxy. The epoxy worked great as far as strength, but I am now worried about whether it is safe to be in the water.

How do I know if it will be safe or not? I couldn't find the weldon stuff anywhere or I would have used it.

Thanks for all your help,

Acrylics
07/25/2005, 09:25 PM
Bob, you may have to check with the mfr of the product you used. I couldn't tell ya, maybe someone else might chime in.

James

maldivian_chicken
07/25/2005, 09:52 PM
James,

I didn't realise that cutting a slit on the back
of a tank to use as overflow will weaken the tank structurally,
but you're right.

Back to a drawing board. I want to have a centre overflow
but don't want to have this big thing in the middle of a
tank like a traditional overflow. That's why I want the overflow
to be outside the tank (with easy change of plumbing as a bonus).

Will a series of 1/4" holes instead of a slit be better if the spacing
between the holes are wide (say 3/8" or more) so that the top and bottom are essentially still tied together? I wonder how many 1/4" holes are needed to flow say 200 to 400gallons per hour.

/tom

Acrylics
07/25/2005, 10:22 PM
Why not just cut a coupla bulkhead holes in the upper back? Maybe not as neat as an external overflow but will serve the purpose and is easy to do. Just put a filter screen on it and you're ready.... maybe?
FWIW I had 2 x 1" bulkheads on one of my tanks like this and I got ~600gph (total) out of them with ease.

HTH,
James

tha_reids
07/25/2005, 11:41 PM
Great thread people!!!
More info in here than entire web:)

Anyone with acrylic background want to discuss annealing?
I have worked with alot of different plastics including cell cast acrylic and lexan in the past. CadCam routing, cutting, drilling, bending and bonding these materials was common place.
We never ever annealed the acrylic. Never had crazing issues.
These items were more architectual in nature then structural.

So, when is it necessary to anneal acrylic tanks? I hear alot of talk about cutting, router clean up then annealing the items before assembly but what about the stress/heat caused by the bonding routing and polishing that takes place afterward? Cut, route,drill, fit, anneal, then bond, route, polish. Why not do all machining, bond, polish then anneal entire tank to relieve stress afterward?

Anyway, I just DIYed my sumps using 1/2" cast. I bought the 1/2" acrylic for use on the main tank but decided to get some practice before taking on the main tank project. FYI Wholesale on this plastic has jumped about $45 this year here in CA (bay area).
Petroleum is up.

So, I put my sumps outside to do some tests, sun light at certain angles give off rainbow shades in joints. This is stress related right??? Like viewing thru polarized lenses?

Do we need to anneal?

Thanks for the thread
and thanks to all that put time into this thread!

Randall_James
08/02/2005, 12:24 AM
Ok I went with a MAPP gas torch to try flame polishing and it works. MAPP burns in between propane and Acetylene.

It appears that my flame needs a little tuning yet, but the results so far are really good. I am just doing this on the exposed edges that I have already done a radius on to knock off the sharpies.. I does tend to pull thinner pieces < 1" into a bit of an arc on long stretches. Is the normal for it to pull up like this a bit or is it because the torch is not hot enough?

goby1
08/02/2005, 06:29 AM
tha reids, do you mind if I ask where you got your 1/2'' cast from in the bay area? And the $$? I'm just about to DIY with 1/2'' cast, and can't find consistent pricing around here (easy bay).

Also to all: after all this thread (read whole thing, plus melev's documentary), I can't seem to figure out the flush trim routing deal. Is it better to jig a router to the tank (melev) or push the whole tank through a routing table? Why do the flush trim bits, with the bearings, not work without an auxiliary guide? Thanks, this thread is one of the best I've read, esp. the info from Acrylicman and Acrylics. G1

NorthernCF
08/02/2005, 07:21 AM
I slide my tanks on the table. But, they are only 2'x4's; Try that on a 300gallon tank :) . (Make sure the protective papper is still on if you are using a table router).

GreasyMidget
08/02/2005, 10:49 AM
Hey there Acrylics, I am quite sure this has been asked before 10 billion times, I need some kind of book or instruction on exact steps to gluing and how long to let things cure before moving to the next joint. Basically Acrylicman was gonna do some ebook things but i cant read through hundreds of these posts to find what i need so my question is this, Can you show me some links to good step by step builds that either you or someone else has dont so i can print it and read it. This thread is all over the place and its awesome but ITS HUGE lol. I just need some to the point step by step instructions.

I am getting bubbling and all that stuff but i think its cause ive moved the pieve before it cured. weld on 3 and 3/16" to 1/4" acrylic is what im practicing on.

Any help woud be appreciated.

Thanks

tha_reids
08/02/2005, 03:58 PM
Goby1,
I paid $218 for a sheet of 1/2 x 48 x 96 cellcast delivered to the door. 8 months ago it was $168 for a 50" x 100" delivered. I ordered it from Concord,CA and they deliver to me in the valley(north bay/valley). Gas/oil is sky high right now and so is acrylic.
I got it through Denco Supply (Sign supply company) .

Ehydo
08/04/2005, 08:44 AM
Originally posted by Randall_James
Ok I went with a MAPP gas torch to try flame polishing and it works. MAPP burns in between propane and Acetylene.

It appears that my flame needs a little tuning yet, but the results so far are really good. I am just doing this on the exposed edges that I have already done a radius on to knock off the sharpies.. I does tend to pull thinner pieces < 1" into a bit of an arc on long stretches. Is the normal for it to pull up like this a bit or is it because the torch is not hot enough?

I have tried MAPP to bend and polish and it burns too hot. I get bubbling every time. I like to take it a bit slower and use propane.

Italian Stallion
08/15/2005, 09:47 PM
what type of cast is best for making a sump is it polycast

Acrylics
08/15/2005, 10:53 PM
Polycast is my favorite, but to say it's "best" is subjective. That said, yep it's the best :)

James

Qwiv
08/15/2005, 11:01 PM
I want to mod the top brace of my 180 gal truvu tank. The center support is huge. More than a foor wide. I will have (4) HM over the tank so I want to reduce it. Can I reduce the center brace then add more or reduce the with but increase the thickness??

Ehydo
08/16/2005, 08:45 AM
Originally posted by Qwiv
I want to mod the top brace of my 180 gal truvu tank. The center support is huge. More than a foor wide. I will have (4) HM over the tank so I want to reduce it. Can I reduce the center brace then add more or reduce the with but increase the thickness??

You probably don't need all of that support but, reducing the size you void the warranty on your tank.

Qwiv
08/16/2005, 03:43 PM
Tank is used, don't think I have a warantee.

Ehydo
08/16/2005, 04:16 PM
Originally posted by Qwiv
Tank is used, don't think I have a warranty.

You should check. Some tanks have great warranties that last for a long time.

juststartingout
08/21/2005, 04:17 PM
I am having some problems getting a nice edge on my acrylic. I don't seem to have this problem when working with 1/4 material, but when I route 1/2 material I am getting some bit "divits" on my edge. I tried to shake some baby powder down on the router table, so it slides a little nicer. The table is made from the MDF board with the white surface on it (I can't remember the correct name for it at the time) and I'm using a piece of aluminum as the fence. The fence is about 1/2 thick, thinking there was to much friction, I tried the other side wich is about 1/8 thick. Still no help. These "divits are very slight, but none the less should not be there. :mad:
Any Advice????

NorthernCF
08/21/2005, 04:23 PM
I had an aluminum fence. I didn't realize it but I was able to bend it pushing too hard. My pops pointed it out and I got a nicer fence. I don't think this is the issue though.

I asume the nice edge you are talking about is the trimmed edge for gluing? The most common cause for divits is moving too fast through the piece. The next would be a cruddy blade. Perhaps you cut enough of the 1/4 that the blade isn't even all the way up. If it is a tall blade try raising or lowering it.
Let us know if thats not it.

juststartingout
08/21/2005, 04:47 PM
Yeh, the edge is for gluing. The bit has cut only about 10 pieces, so should be in good shape. I think that I'm pushing it through at a slow steady pace, but maybe pushing to hard agaianst the fence.

NorthernCF
08/21/2005, 05:46 PM
That shouldn't matter...

is your fence and routher like this

------- o ----------------

Acrylic here

[or]

-----------------------

Acrylic here

0

NorthernCF
08/21/2005, 05:47 PM
bah the html pulls out the spaces....

Ehydo
08/22/2005, 02:48 PM
Try putting a \ in front of a HTML char.

juststartingout
08/22/2005, 10:34 PM
I will try to post a photo of my table, probabley on Wed. as I'm teaching in the evening now.

NorthernCF
08/23/2005, 12:08 AM
I just thought I would run through the numbers with you. Basically I was wondering if you are pushing up to the fence and router on once side, or if the fence is on one side and the router is cutting the other. The latter is what I have seen everyone do. Wood workers go nuts when you tell them this.

tha_reids
08/23/2005, 01:37 AM
Are you using a 1/2" collet or 1/4? A few things can cause blade chattering. One is deflection typical of 1/4 inch shank. 1/2" is more stable at high rpm. Second is rpm. Third is feed speed. Forth is trying to take off too much material in a single pass. Even a $50,000 dollar cad cam router will make several passes at 1/2 inch acrylic before final pass is made.
Keep us posted

NorthernCF
08/23/2005, 09:03 AM
Great points. Let me add to using 1/2" shank, I always use the 3/4" strait bit. The wider the faster it is moving.

NorthernCF
08/23/2005, 09:03 AM
Coffee, must get coffee :bum:

chem1586
08/23/2005, 11:58 PM
Alright, I've read through most of these posts, great information, and thanks to everyone who has chimed in with advice. This is what a forum should be like.

My Question:
has anyone ever heard of MGM acrylic sheet? I have been looking around for some 3/8 inch cast acrylic, and requested a quote from Regal Piedmont Plastics. They replied with a 3/8 inch thick 24x48 inch piece for 30 bucks. That was cheaper than I had found for even 1/4 inch cast acrylic. My initial request was for Polycast because I read here that that was the best. The acrylic they quoted me was called MGM. Has anyone ever heard of this brand before or worked with it? Is it really equivalent to Polycast?

Thanks,
chris

chem1586
08/24/2005, 12:26 AM
So I did some cross referencing on google and found that MGM is short for Maquiladora General de Matamoros, a mexican cell cast acrylic sheet producer. So it is cell cast for sure, but quality?? I dont know, it is just so affordable?? Some one help me out here. I would like to hear if anyone has any experience with this product. thanks.

H20ENG
08/24/2005, 01:29 AM
Patiently waiting for James' knowledge on this one.....

GreshamH
08/24/2005, 01:33 AM
IIRC he (James) has actually said something about mexiplex in another thread some place :D

juststartingout
08/24/2005, 07:35 AM
I'm using a 3/4 bit with the 1/2 shank. I'll get a pic of my table & fence tonight. Thanks for the help.