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Old 04/09/2007, 09:22 AM   #101
TheGrog
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Two things.

First is the calcium reactor I built and had problems with the cracking is up and running......and holding water just fine!! Was leaking water quite a bit at first and I thought I would have to redo the top flange, but I realized that I did not tighten the recirc hose clamp.....oops. Water tight now! Thanks to all who helped me out on this!

Second is that I got two sheets of 1/4" acrylic (30x96") for FREE and I am planning several projects with them. They are covered in paper with no labels or anything else. The guy I got them from has had them forever and can't remember specifics on them. My question is this, How can you tell if it is extruded or cast??? Any way to tell the quality of the acrylic by appearance?

The outside edges are rounded and smooth and taper down a bit if that helps at all.

Thansks!


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Old 04/09/2007, 02:10 PM   #102
bchbum189
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no masking typically means import(cheaper stuff) as you might expect from something without a label on it. Just because its not as quality as others, doesnt mean its not build worthy, its just not commercially worthy.

Have to wait for james to chime in on how to look at it and tell diff between extruded and cell. I can tell by cutting them which is which, but appear the same at the start to me.


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Old 04/09/2007, 03:17 PM   #103
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If the paper is all brown, no marking, no labels, and has the texture of crepe paper - it's prolly cheap import cell cast. The better mfrs will *almost* always print their name and brand on the one side of the sheet, if not both.
You can also check thickness, if it varies by more than .005" - it's cell cast.

If you could explain "The outside edges are rounded and smooth and taper down a bit if that helps at all" - I might be able to help more

James


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Old 04/09/2007, 03:23 PM   #104
tres0422
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Acrylic Blow Mold?

I am looking to make a dome.....No used for it yet but I eventually would make a skimmer and use it for the neck connection.

So I was thinking of making a circular jig like one that you would use for flanges(one side with a center opening the other without) both with screw holes in the jig. I would then insert an o-ring about 3/8" larger diameter than the opening and a 1/4" peice of acrylic. Then drill the holes and screw down the jig and acrylic. The closed side of the flange jig would be threaded and hooked up to a compressor with a valve in line.

I would heat the acrylic exposed in the opening and add a little air pressure. My question is do you think the dome will come out even? Or will it look goofy.

Thanks,
Tres


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Old 04/09/2007, 03:56 PM   #105
Acrylics
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Tres,
Your close but would end up with a nipple where the air blows into the acrylic. If that will work for you, go for it

If you want a bettter dome....
Make 3 pcs of 3/4" material total:
On the bottom goes the solid sheet with the 1/4NPT tapped into the middle. over that hole place a 1/4" thick disc on a coupla 1/4" risers, the disc is there to diffuse airflow to the outside.
On top of the bottom piece, make another with the hole diameter equal to the desired dome diameter. Screw this piece to the bottom.
Make another just like previous piece, keep this piece free.
Put your acrylic in the oven, heat until very pliable. Place the heated acrylic on the 2-piece assembly, place the free piece on top and clamp it down using quick clamps. Blow air to the desired height is reached.
Trim flashing.
Done.
I don't like putting wood in the oven so that's why we do it this way. Your previous way will work but wood easily can warp in the oven causing a deformed dome. This way also negates the need for the large o-ring which will get destroyed by the hot acrylic.

HTH,
James


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Old 04/09/2007, 08:29 PM   #106
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Rich, if you're still looking...
I found a coupla pics, I'll post either tomorrow or the next day. Tomorrow will be busy so not sure I'll be able to get to it at work.

James


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Old 04/09/2007, 09:27 PM   #107
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That would be great James! I'm not having much luck getting a good bond on the end of the tubes. Had to break out the 16. Haven't had to do that in quite some time.


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Old 04/09/2007, 09:36 PM   #108
Acrylics
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What diameter tube?


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Old 04/09/2007, 09:39 PM   #109
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1/4 x 4.5" od cast.
I also have some 1/4 x 6.5"od cast I'm gonna be working with next.


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Old 04/09/2007, 10:46 PM   #110
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Rich,
The way we do it is to tape a sheet of 220 grit wet/dry to a flat table and grind the ends on the paper in one direction only until flat - should take about 2-3 minutes per end. Follow this with 320 paper (about 5 strokes each side) and you're good to go. The router fixture doesn't really work on anything smaler than 8" diameter, just to difficult wt rotate small diameter tube without tilting and the sandpaper works well

HTH,
James


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Old 04/10/2007, 11:25 AM   #111
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Thanks for the quick and insightful help. Your way will work a lot better.
Thanks,
Tres


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Old 04/10/2007, 01:40 PM   #112
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Quote:
Originally posted by Acrylics
If the paper is all brown, no marking, no labels, and has the texture of crepe paper - it's prolly cheap import cell cast. The better mfrs will *almost* always print their name and brand on the one side of the sheet, if not both.
You can also check thickness, if it varies by more than .005" - it's cell cast.

If you could explain "The outside edges are rounded and smooth and taper down a bit if that helps at all" - I might be able to help more

James
Thanks James!

Yep the paper is all brown with no labels or printing. Pretty sticky to the acrylic though. The guy I got it from said he has had it for "years". Don't know if that makes any difference.

The edges (except the saw cut ones.....the sheet was cut in 1/2 length wise) are rounded, clear and not the same thickness (taper down the last 1/2 inch with a visible line running the length of the acrylic where the taper starts), and on one edge it has little everted "dimples" about every 6". They look like paint drips made from acrylic. Tried taking a pic of it but you could not see what I am talking about clearly.

Basically I am thinking of making a sump(s) out of it. In addition, I want to play around and make a small (~10 gal) species tank for a mantis shrimp with a built in overflow and closed loop in a back chamber. Going to use NO lighting as no corals, just some LR is going in there.

Think this stuff will do for what I have planned?

Thanks again.


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Old 04/10/2007, 06:38 PM   #113
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Sounds to me like a cheaper imported material, not something *I* would use for aquaria as many of these material simply do not want to glue well. But then again, the price was right and it's not like you'd be losing anything by trying it. Even if it doesn't work well, you will have gained some more experience which will pay dividends down the road

HTH,
James


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Old 04/10/2007, 08:04 PM   #114
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extruded acrylic??

Acrylics,

I have built a small sump 17X14X10 out of extruded acrylic, held together with WeldOn #3 and a bit of #16. I will be installing a 1.5" top brace(4 pieces, not enough left for a one piece).

I recently read that extruded can absorb a lot of water and therefore weaken the joints possibly resulting in a flood. Is this true? With the anove dimensions do you think I have to worry?

I will probably do the tank out of Cell Cast. It will be cube'ish in dimensions 24x24x16 3/8" thick with a 1 piece Euro Brace. Is there a big advantage to cell cast or will I be throwing my money away? What is the most scratch resistant?


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Old 04/10/2007, 10:20 PM   #115
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Re: extruded acrylic??

Quote:
Originally posted by newreef8584
Acrylics,

I have built a small sump 17X14X10 out of extruded acrylic, held together with WeldOn #3 and a bit of #16. I will be installing a 1.5" top brace(4 pieces, not enough left for a one piece).

I recently read that extruded can absorb a lot of water and therefore weaken the joints possibly resulting in a flood. Is this true?
Not really, IMO. If the joint pops, it is *not* due to moisture absorption. Extruded acrylic absorbs 1.6% moisture (by weight), cell cast absorbs 1% moisture (by weight). If this idea was true in extruded, one would think it would happen in cell cast as well, since people don't worry about it in cell cast - it is my opinion that they shouldn't worry about it extruded either.

Quote:
With the anove dimensions do you think I have to worry?
As long as you get those top braces on, I woudn't worry

Quote:
I will probably do the tank out of Cell Cast. It will be cube'ish in dimensions 24x24x16 3/8" thick with a 1 piece Euro Brace. Is there a big advantage to cell cast or will I be throwing my money away?
There is a significant advantage to good quality cell cast (Polycast, Acrylite GP, Plexi-Glas G) but it primarily involves stress resistance. Extruded acrylic is far more apt to craze than cell cast given any similar conditions. Crazing is the definition given to stress fracturing in acrylic, these fractures can lead to material degradation and (possibly) material failure. Since cell cast is far more resistant to stress - far less likely to craze under similar conditions.

Quote:
What is the most scratch resistant?
Neither, both are the same in this regard. If there is any difference - it is negligible.

HTH,
James


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Old 04/11/2007, 05:50 AM   #116
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Thanks for the quick reply. You have put my mind at ease on the water absorbsion. I was lead to believe it was a much higher percentage in extruded.

I think I will still pick up the cell cast for the tank just for the added securitydue to the water volume and this tank will be on the main floor.

Thanks again....


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Old 04/18/2007, 04:41 PM   #117
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"It's just a fixture in which the router is mounted horizontally. You can slide the height up and down and set it with screws. Basically, you just set the height and turn the tube under it to get a good, routed edge."

James,
After seeing your "right angle router jig" years back (That was quick) I made one awhile back- scrap MDF, and some caulking gun type quick clamps to set the height.
Wow, that thing is super handy! I actually use it alot for perfect tops and bottoms. And if you think your router table throws acrylic chips, try lifting your router 2 feet in the air!
I cut tubing on the tablesaw fairly accurately, then over to the router to true up and baby-butt smooth the ends.
Smaller tubing is a bit trickier (and slightly more dangerous), but I just cut a little and slide the tubing straight out from under the bit, reposition my fingers, and continue.
I have also made a jig to hold a cone up off of the router table to cut a perfectly flat top for gluing tube, etc.
Until I am CNC fluent, I'll just have to keep doing things the old fashioned way

PS; I recently had some grainy looking joints in some 3/8" cast (WO4). Tell me again, is this from soaking too long, or not enough? Thanks!

Chris


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Old 04/18/2007, 04:48 PM   #118
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Chris,

Can you post up some pic's of thoes jigs?

Thanks,


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Old 04/18/2007, 04:59 PM   #119
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Rich,
I'll have to take some of the 90 deg jig. The cone jig is simply a piece of MDF with a hole cut into it to hold the cone upside down. some strips double side taped to the bottom provide the general height adjustment, then the router height adjustment is used for fine tuning.


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Old 04/20/2007, 07:44 AM   #120
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18x18x18 nano cube, 1.5-2 euro all around, what size acrylic? 1/4 or 3/8?


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Old 04/20/2007, 07:49 AM   #121
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id use 3/8"


So i just had my first experience with wo #40. And let me tell you, it was a real pita to deal with. I used the recommended syringe with 65 gauge opening(i think thats it?) And could barley get it out. I got 20 minutes into it, barley had anything glued and it turned about 300 degrees and got hard as a rock. Reminds me alot of working with fiberglass.
I also managed to cover myself, and everything around me in it.

But damn those seams look good!

Is there a better method to applying this stuff?


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Old 04/20/2007, 08:01 AM   #122
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I used a Sailfert 5ml syringe from an old testing kit to apply it.


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Old 04/20/2007, 08:31 AM   #123
Acrylics
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Bchbum,
As RokieM points out, just use a syringe with no needle. I keep various sized syringes around and use the one appropriate to the application and amount of 40/42 needed.

RokieM,
3/8" would be better IMO and doesn't cost *that* much more, think of it as a one-time insurance payment

James


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Old 04/20/2007, 08:54 AM   #124
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Quote:
Originally posted by Acrylics
3/8" would be better IMO and doesn't cost *that* much more, think of it as a one-time insurance payment
For you maybe, the prices I've seen are almost double However, it's likely the direction I'll go anyway.

Did this one recently... 1/4 extruded, 10x10x20. It's my replacement QT frag tank. All of edges are not as perfect as the one below, but I had a number that came out very bubble free.

I haven't attempted any corner routing/rounding or polishing yet.






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Old 04/20/2007, 11:25 PM   #125
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I got a acrylic stand from a friend for free. I have a 120 gallon glass tank 4x2x2 and the new stand is 6 foot long and 2 foot wide and 3 feet tall. Its out side panels are made of 1/4" acrylic and it has 4 1/2" thick 3" wide acrylic frames that are inside running from top to bottom . Its made to hold a 180 and my tank is a 120 but my tank is shorter and will only sit on 2 frames in the middle and miss the other 2 on the ends by 6 inches. I was thinking of running a 1/2" acrylic piece from the frame that the tank will fit on and running it sideways on the edge to the other frame.

This makes sence im my head but i can take a pic if you dont understand me. My main question would be can a stand with 1/4" thick side pannels and 4 1/2" thick frames hold a 120 gallon tank or was this guy crazy? The frame runs front to back and down both the front and back walls but not the bottom the bottom is just glued to 1/4" acrylic. The stand is custom and there is no way to talk to the guy that made it if any thing brakes or any thing would you use it?


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