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Old 03/03/2007, 09:21 PM   #26
RokleM
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Thanks to everyone who has posted in this thread. I've read almost the entire thing over the last month and have learned alot.

Well, I got my first one completed. $15 scrap extruded 1/4 from a local shop (yes, I know it's not the ideal material, but it's good for learning). As well, I had to rely on my table saw for the "clean" cuts becuase I didn't have a good setup to clean up the pieces perfect. As a result, all the pieces are not as clean as I wanted. I did however get good results with the trim bits. The top is mostly for looks, as it's not glued in most places. I tried to keep the tank upright when gluing the top, but will turn it upside down next time. The pieces not being 100% the same height and lack of weight pushing the pieces together hurt that process. It might work better with heavier material, but with the 1/4" it was way too light and slippery.

None the less, it's my first attempt, and it actually held water for the first 3-4 hour test. Honestly I expected leaks or it to blow apart.



BUT... my next one will be much better. I've had a bit of an upgrade in tools



My next project is actually a media reactor. After that I'm going to build a few more small boxes like that. My final goal is to replace my 100 gallon poly sump with a 125ish gallon sump/refuge out of acrylic.


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Old 03/03/2007, 10:00 PM   #27
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Good show guys...
You know - I had the luxury of working in a custom fabrication shop for my first experiences with acrylic; had all the tooling, machinery, jigs, and a seasoned craftsman showing me the ropes. You guys are doing it from home, reading from the net, and making do with a few basic tools and can make water-tight tanks.
You ought to proud of yourselves

James


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Old 03/04/2007, 04:02 PM   #28
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Anybody want to chime in on how to bend acrylic and were to get black acrillic stock ? I've been trying to find a deal on overflows for my 150 project and they are so expensive for what they are. think I'de like to learn how to make them. I just don't like the square corner overflows that I'm capabe of turning out now.


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Old 03/04/2007, 05:13 PM   #29
edwar050
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Great question azrednex. I am fabricating a small 20 gallon refugium and was wondering what other types of solvent can be used to properly bond acrylic? I was wondering if regular pvc cement would work as there is no WO-4 at our local hardware stores and I am just building a fairly cheap small tank for a fuge. Tanks look awesome btw mabye one day I will have the money to purchase one like that!

Brad


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Old 03/04/2007, 05:16 PM   #30
shag26272
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edwar get it from here they ship fast too

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...7248&rd=1&rd=1


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Old 03/05/2007, 01:23 AM   #31
Acrylics
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azrednex,
try the local distributors in Phoenix such as Laird Plastics & GE Polymershapes for the black material. They will have it, they both carry material for Tenecor that area.
You can buy strip heater elements from Tapplastics.com They are not that great but are okay for 1/4". You can also make your own, do a search for "strip heater" with "acrylics" as author. I showed a simply DIY strip heater a few yrs ago.

Brad,
I think I'd stick with using a good solvent, ask you local distributor or have some shipped in. PVC cement works "okay" in a pinch but the THF in it doesn't do anything for acrylic other than stress it. I wouldn't trust a tank made from it, no matter how small.

HTH,
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Old 03/05/2007, 08:22 PM   #32
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I got some 12x12 pieces of Lexan CP which I think is extruded to practice with, I have one more side to glue on, I must admit that after reading this thread and using some of the techniques, it is alot easier then I thought it would be and my seams are coming out pretty good. anyone think this 12x 12 cube will hold water even though its lexan? the sides are 1/4 and the bottom is 3/8, if it doesnt hold water im just using it to practice with because I got a deal on it. thanks


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Old 03/05/2007, 08:42 PM   #33
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Do you mean Lucite CP?

James


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Old 03/05/2007, 08:44 PM   #34
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i think my question was in the wrong section,anyway i wanted to know the correct procedure is when glueing the four sided unit of the sump to the bottom peice? do i ,pin all four sides and glue all at once?or do i pin each side then glue,then let dry then go to the next? iam using weld-on #4 with 1/4" extruded acrylic.
thanks


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Old 03/05/2007, 08:47 PM   #35
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yes im sorry, Lucite CP continuous process I think it is called


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Old 03/05/2007, 08:47 PM   #36
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all at once, it's good to have a helper if you can. Just to pull wires and keep the solvent (where you started) moist so it doesn't set.

James


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Old 03/05/2007, 08:49 PM   #37
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Lucite will be just fine

HTH,
James


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Old 03/05/2007, 08:51 PM   #38
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when your talking about him gluing his bottom on all at once , is the tank on its side and you glue up and down for the ends? and across for the front and back of the tank?


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Old 03/05/2007, 09:03 PM   #39
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If you have all four vertical panles glued together, you place that assembly on top of the bottom and do the whole joint at once. It will start at one corner and go all the around, ending up at the corner you started at. All will be a horizontal joint.
Almost never any reason at all to do a vertical joint.

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Old 03/05/2007, 09:03 PM   #40
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always glue with the piece flat on a table so that solvent wont run out of the seem. So think horizontal seems, not vertical.


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Old 03/06/2007, 09:30 AM   #41
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So, I about to make my first big tank and I've got a question.

I'm looking to make the tank 48x36x12. Can this be made braceless if I use 3/8" or would I have to go up to 1/2" material?


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Old 03/06/2007, 10:55 AM   #42
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Neither IMO, I wouldn't build it out of anything less than 3/4". 1/2" will hold water but will bow far more than you'd think. You can use thinner for the bottom, but for the vertical panels - need thicker material IMO.

James


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Old 03/06/2007, 12:23 PM   #43
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I wanted to ask another question regarding my tank which is 72X24X24 with no center brace. 1/2 inch acrylic

Since adding a center brace doesn't appear to be an option.
Would it help a lot if I mounted a 2 x4 behind the center of the back panel of the tank.

I could support this by running 2x4 to the floor and to the studs on the wall behind it.

Above ground pools and hot tubs don't have center braces so I was trying to think of a way to give lasting support to this tank.

I can't do anything about the front panel but maybe this will help?

Thanks for any advice


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Old 03/06/2007, 12:51 PM   #44
H20ENG
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James,
Speaking of old glue....

I always wrench my solvent cap back on, and it still has that real stinky solvent smell after a year.

Is there any way to "test" the glue other than to glue a test piece?

Does the solvent break down chemically over time, or is it just that the MC evaporates out?

Out of curiosity, how much glue to you "make" (mix?) at a time, and how long do you keep your undiluted MC? What type of container?

Thanks for letting us bug you so much!
Chris


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Old 03/06/2007, 01:18 PM   #45
shag26272
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when polishing the edges, should I end with 2000 grit?? also does lowes or HD sell some sort of buffing compound?


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Old 03/06/2007, 01:44 PM   #46
slavearm
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I have a 12" OD x 1/8" thick wall diameter tube. I am trying to find a way to route a small channel 1/8" deep by 1/8" wide 12 diameter in a 3/8" acrylic sheet to set and glue the tube into. I have access to shapers and routers, but for some reason, how to get it perfect is eluding me. Because it is only 1/8" thick, I think it is really important to get that channel perfect so it can seal on three sides (bottom, OD, ID).

I had also thought about making a 11 7/8" acrylic circle to insert into the bottom of the tube, glue (weld-on #4 or maybe #16) the piece in the bottom of the tube, then glue the whole assembly to a flat acrylic sheet.

I am making a monster skimmer. Thanks for the help.

Shane


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Old 03/06/2007, 02:06 PM   #47
shag26272
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if you have a router table couldnt you make a jig with 2 2x4's spaced apart with something on the ends holding them and just rest the tube in the middle and run it over your bit?


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Old 03/06/2007, 02:10 PM   #48
bchbum189
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Quote:
Originally posted by shag26272
when polishing the edges, should I end with 2000 grit?? also does lowes or HD sell some sort of buffing compound?
Ive had better luck going from 300 grit on up to 800 as final and then buffing with a high speed buffer with most any form of rubbing type compound then polishing compound. Cleaning up with novus 2 by hand at the end finishes nicely and removes any dust and faint scratches.


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Old 03/06/2007, 02:23 PM   #49
shag26272
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whats novus 2? Ive used 3M perfect it on cars before with good results..


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Old 03/06/2007, 02:42 PM   #50
bchbum189
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http://www.tapplastics.com/shop/product.php?pid=113& it is designed specifically for plastics.

1 is for final wipe downs and anti static
2 for restoring and fine scratches
3 for heavier scratches

If youve had good results with cars, take that same approach to acrylic, they act similarly in terms of removing scratches. So much so that I hired a car painter to do all of my polish work.


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