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Old 12/20/2017, 11:09 AM   #5076
shred5
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Where is a good place to get acrylic online? Cut and polished if possible.
I do have a tables saw and 3 routers but hate cutting plexi for large projects.


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Old 12/20/2017, 11:18 AM   #5077
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You don't want polished edges for bonding, just FYI

TAP Plastics, ePlastics / Ridout Plastics, US Plastics, but most are $$ compared to buying a full sheet locally.


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Old 12/20/2017, 11:28 AM   #5078
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd R Turbo View Post
You don't want polished edges for bonding, just FYI

TAP Plastics, ePlastics / Ridout Plastics, US Plastics, but most are $$ compared to buying a full sheet locally.
I meant routed edges.

I realize locally could be cheaper but the only thing they have is Acrylite and I just read no good anymore. They sell sheets and do not cut.

Not many plastic places here, maybe a glass place might have some.

US plastics does not list a brand on theirs do they?. Looked last night and could not find anything.. I have used them before and they are great.

So is good acrylic now? I saw you said plexiglas-g.

Thanks
For the help..


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Old 12/20/2017, 11:53 AM   #5079
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Yup, Plexiglas-G is always good. The generic equivalent is arguably good for building anything for yourself, it's called PMACS (pronounced p-max) and most vendors have it listed as produced by the parent company of Plexiglas which is Arkema


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Old 12/20/2017, 01:23 PM   #5080
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Polycast is imperial thickness, so 3/4" = 0.750". It's Plexiglas-G that is metric, or 3/4" = 0.708" so take that into account.
Just a note on this; Polycast/Polyone has started making their material in both metric and imperial thicknesses up to 1". They call it "to be comparable" with the international market. I call it a price increase ;-)

Anything above 1" is, or should be - imperial thickness.
So, when ordering Polycast, be clear on metric or imperial thicknesses.

James


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Old 12/20/2017, 02:25 PM   #5081
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Good to know!


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Old 12/21/2017, 08:16 AM   #5082
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My plans comments please.
I wanted to build this all myself : stand, sump, frag tank and main tank.
I wanted the stand to house the tank and frag tank and tied to the same sump.

The frag tank is going to be 6 or 8 inches high and 20"x20: rimless maybe 24"x24" Is 1/2" overkill?

The sump in gong to be 33″ long x 15″ wide x 15″ high I was going to use the rest of the 1/2" from frag tank and make the inside panels 3/8 and hopefully rimless? overkill using 1/2"?

Now the tank I want 48"x30" x 20" I have used the calculators and one calculator say 1/2" says it is fine with framing and other says 3/8 is fine. I want to use either euro or just a brace down the middle. Problem is 3/4" is 487.00$ and would require 2 pieces. That is more than I wanted to spend. I do not feel 1/2" is enough and should be 3/4".. Anyway to do this and save a little money. Maybe use 1/2" bottom and framing and 3/4 for the sides? Still is allot of money. I could reduce size some?

Are there more charts or calculators for acrylic other than garfs and http://diyfishkeepers.com ?


My choices locally for Plexiglas-G is 62x96: 1/4 214.00, 48x96: 3/8=240.00, 1/2" 322.00 and 3/4" 488.00 sound reasonable. 10.50 per 1/2 hr to cut.


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Old 12/21/2017, 12:29 PM   #5083
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I have a 48"x24"x20h sump out of 3/8", with 3" euro bracing and a center brace.
I also had a 48"x24"x24h tank (1/2"), also with 3" bracing and a center brace. Both lasted more than 10 years, and I'm still using the sump, 13 years later.

No need to go to 3/4 for a 48" long tank that is 20" high. I would recommend 1/2" for a home construction build, but many places would do it in 3/8".



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Old 12/21/2017, 12:37 PM   #5084
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zephrant View Post
I have a 48"x24"x20h sump out of 3/8", with 3" euro bracing and a center brace.
I also had a 48"x24"x24h tank, also with 3" bracing and a center brace. Both lasted more than 10 years, and I'm still using the sump, 13 years later.

No need to go to 3/4 for a 48" long tank that is 20" high. I would recommend 1/2" for a home construction build, but many places would do it in 3/8".
Thanks
What thickness was the tank?


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Old 12/21/2017, 02:52 PM   #5085
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Missed that part, the tank is 1/2".

(Edited earlier post to make it clear.)


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Old 01/03/2018, 02:52 AM   #5086
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I'm sorry if this doesn't belong here, but it seems to be a gathering place for the more knowledgeable in the acrylic world, and will prevent me cluttering the forum with another thread.

I have a 36"x 24"x 21"(75 gallons) eurobraced tank that has recently come in to my possession. On inspection, the seams appear solid, and I have the tank up don't see issues. I believe it is 3/8 inch or better acrylic( the tank was professionally built, has well finished corners etc),but I have not put calipers on it(they ended up somewhere in the massive pile of post Harvey debris).

I intend to drill two more holes in the back, and use an internal overflow, a 5 sided box salvaged from my very first saltwater attempt's external overflow. I will use the three overflows with two gaskets to hold it to the tank.... quick and simple solution I believe. If not, I will clean up the mess, and build a better box! The previous owner apparently was ok with the single t-piece overflow gurgling like a drunken sailor on shore leave, the residents of my home, myself included, are not. It also has two 3/4" return lines on each side of the back panel.


My question- the Euro bracing is aprox. 3" wide(I'm at work or I would measure prior to posting), and while the overflow will just out far enough to make clearing/cleaning it possible, the wiring of the powerheads is...... well a pain! I would like to drill two 3/4 or 1" diameter(probably 3/4) holes in the bracing for cable management. Will this compromise structural integrity on the tank? I really do not want to go through the back for any other reasons

One other hypothetical, would it be possible to cut a small notch it the leading edge of the back bracing, aprox 6" lengthwise, and 1 inch wide, to provide easier access to the overflow? I'm not certain it's needed, and with the bulkhead bolting it on it's not impossible anyway it's installed...... but it would be nice. Kill two bird with one pull here, and ask both questions.



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Old 01/04/2018, 11:45 AM   #5087
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TxAggie08 View Post
My question- the Euro bracing is aprox. 3" wide(I'm at work or I would measure prior to posting), and while the overflow will just out far enough to make clearing/cleaning it possible, the wiring of the powerheads is...... well a pain! I would like to drill two 3/4 or 1" diameter(probably 3/4) holes in the bracing for cable management. Will this compromise structural integrity on the tank? I really do not want to go through the back for any other reasons
Round holes in the euro should not be an issue at all as long as they are not too close to the inside of the euro

Quote:
Originally Posted by TxAggie08 View Post
One other hypothetical, would it be possible to cut a small notch it the leading edge of the back bracing, aprox 6" lengthwise, and 1 inch wide, to provide easier access to the overflow? I'm not certain it's needed, and with the bulkhead bolting it on it's not impossible anyway it's installed...... but it would be nice. Kill two bird with one pull here, and ask both questions.
You can do this but this has a bit more of an impact on integrity, so only take away what you absolutely need to, or use a larger overflow box. If you do notch, make sure to radius the corners, make a smooth transition, and scrape/sand to remove any sharp points etc

James might chime in on the latter one also, I would guess that you want to avoid the notch whenever possible.


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Old 01/04/2018, 10:22 PM   #5088
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Many thanks! I think the box I have will have enough room to get my fingers to the overflow intakes. If not, I can loosen the bulkheads and move it out another inch or two which, while irritating, is not going to be the harbinger of the apocalypse(Although I could definitely borrow a white horse, have black armor(medieval reenactment), and could light a sword on fire....). The two small round holes where actually what I was more worried about, and it sounds like they'll work well.


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Old 01/24/2018, 07:57 AM   #5089
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I am looking at getting a router and I want to use it for wood and acrylic. Do I need a variable speed router for acrylic?
I have never had one before and I want to get a cheaper one, so can someone please point me in the right direction?
Craftsman makes a router and table combo for about $100. Fixed speed about 25k rpm's and 1/4 inch collet.
Not sure if this will work good though.


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Old 01/24/2018, 08:54 AM   #5090
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well you get what you pay for. For a small project like a small sump or frag tank, you might be able to get away with a cheapo but you're going to be really limited in what you can actually do, especially with the small table type routers. Those are generally for woodworking and such. With acrylic, if you are squaring sheets and prepping parallel edges for a tank, you need the width of the panel between the fence and the bit and you pass the sheet between them, vs with most wood projects where this is a big no-no, you have the fence at or behind the bit (so a table around the router works)

Personally, Bosch is the cheapest I would go with if you are planning a few tank projects.

Tell us what you are wanting to do, you might be OK with craftsman


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Old 01/24/2018, 09:01 AM   #5091
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well you get what you pay for. For a small project like a small sump or frag tank, you might be able to get away with a cheapo but you're going to be really limited in what you can actually do, especially with the small table type routers. Those are generally for woodworking and such. With acrylic, if you are squaring sheets and prepping parallel edges for a tank, you need the width of the panel between the fence and the bit and you pass the sheet between them, vs with most wood projects where this is a big no-no, you have the fence at or behind the bit (so a table around the router works)

Personally, Bosch is the cheapest I would go with if you are planning a few tank projects.

Tell us what you are wanting to do, you might be OK with craftsman
Thanks for the reply. I thought it was on the cheaper end of the spectrum. I am not planning on building tanks, would like to build overflow boxes and maybe a sump. A little more research suggests I should get a variable speed with both 1/4 and 1/2 inch collets.
Maybe build my own router table instead of buying a combo like the craftsman.


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Old 01/24/2018, 10:40 AM   #5092
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Thanks for the reply. I thought it was on the cheaper end of the spectrum. I am not planning on building tanks, would like to build overflow boxes and maybe a sump. A little more research suggests I should get a variable speed with both 1/4 and 1/2 inch collets.
Maybe build my own router table instead of buying a combo like the craftsman.
One of my favorites for a little handheld is the Porter Cable 1 3/4hp router. They're small enough for most folks to handle easily and powerful enough to mount in a router table.
For the acrylic work we're doing, there's no need whatsoever for a variable speed so don't worry about that.. unless you're looking at some fancy wood profiling

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Old 01/25/2018, 12:57 PM   #5093
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For the small thin stuff I got this router at the PO and it works fine. Robi 163G router. I think it was about $75.00. I have it mounted in an old metal craftsman router table and that is mounted to a larger table. You will need more surface than those small tables provide. I think the bits i use cost more than the router. hahaahahaha


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Old 01/30/2018, 09:39 AM   #5094
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One of my favorites for a little handheld is the Porter Cable 1 3/4hp router. They're small enough for most folks to handle easily and powerful enough to mount in a router table.
For the acrylic work we're doing, there's no need whatsoever for a variable speed so don't worry about that.. unless you're looking at some fancy wood profiling

James
I bought a Porter Cable 9690LR router and a Ryobi router table. I also bought a speed controller from Harbor Freight for $18 that is supposed to control the speed of the router. I have not tried any of it yet.
I want to cut teeth in an overflow box, and I am in need of advice for a bit.
I would like to make a template so I can reproduce what I make.
If the router is mounted under the table, what kind of bit should I use?
I have read downcut spiral for acrylic. Should the bearing be on the end of the bit?


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Old 01/30/2018, 11:01 AM   #5095
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I use upcut for all spiral bits. Downcut would push the chips into the material/bearing, that's bad, also it would push the material away from the router which is also bad. so I'm not sure where you heard that. Upcut for all table mounted or handheld, this pulls the material into the bit and the chips away from the material/bearing


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Old 01/30/2018, 01:16 PM   #5096
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I use upcut for all spiral bits. Downcut would push the chips into the material/bearing, that's bad, also it would push the material away from the router which is also bad. so I'm not sure where you heard that. Upcut for all table mounted or handheld, this pulls the material into the bit and the chips away from the material/bearing
So with the router under the table, I want the bit to push the chips up away from the table and router?
If I am using a template should it be on top or below what I am cutting? That will dictate which end of the bit the bearing is on, right?
Sorry, total newbie here.


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Old 01/30/2018, 02:03 PM   #5097
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Upcut bit means the chips are pulled toward the router. So when the router is installed facing up in a table, up is down. The chips get pulled "up" relative to the router which is down.

When you have a template and are using a flush trimming bit (which has the bearing on the tip) then you will want the template on top of the material.

Now the big trick is making the template. I made an overflow template out of 3/8" scrap and that took several hours. What I did was tape a piece down as the depth stop, then tape a piece down that was perpendicular to that and make one notch. Then move the perpendicular stop 1/2" and make another cut. Repeat for as long of a template as you need. Mine is 48" so that took a while.

But now you can take that template and stick it down to your work and making an overflow takes just a few minutes.


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Old 01/30/2018, 02:09 PM   #5098
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Upcut bit means the chips are pulled toward the router. So when the router is installed facing up in a table, up is down. The chips get pulled "up" relative to the router which is down.

When you have a template and are using a flush trimming bit (which has the bearing on the tip) then you will want the template on top of the material.

Now the big trick is making the template. I made an overflow template out of 3/8" scrap and that took several hours. What I did was tape a piece down as the depth stop, then tape a piece down that was perpendicular to that and make one notch. Then move the perpendicular stop 1/2" and make another cut. Repeat for as long of a template as you need. Mine is 48" so that took a while.

But now you can take that template and stick it down to your work and making an overflow takes just a few minutes.
Great info! Just what I was looking for!


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Old 01/30/2018, 02:28 PM   #5099
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If your lazy like me, you can get an old weir box with teeth from someone that had a tank break. Make your template by moving that across a piece of acrylic. Make it as long as needed.


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Old 02/02/2018, 05:21 PM   #5100
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be *very* weary routing overflow teeth with a flush cutter. If the tape slips there's a very good chance the tooth will chatter and snap. If you're doing overflows with 1/4" slots, spaced 1/2" on center - you're *probably* going to experience this. If you can make the slots 5/8-3/4" on center - you'll have a much much easier time of it as the teeth won't chatter so much.

There are easier/safer methods that just require a fence and router table, but not "repeatable"

HTH,
James


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