Acrylic Fabrication Q & A

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (DIY)' started by Floyd R Turbo, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. TherealplexiG

    TherealplexiG Well-Known Member

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    @Triton Marine
    Air circulated ovens are the best with pid temp controllers... If you were at my part of the world. Would have built a custom one for you..
    If you are doing custom stuff, it would yield something, but commercial range of aquariums wouldn't be feasible with an oven, when you have chiggers (chinese) who sell so cheap..
    Not true brotha, in the EU they extensively use two part, so in Indonesia, China and Singapore... Of course for acrylic aquariums...they ain't no single way to skin a pig.. They say...aye
     
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  2. Floyd R Turbo

    Floyd R Turbo Super Duper Member R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor Toys For Kids 2016 Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Still unnecessary for almost every aquarium, since you don't need to use 2-part when solvent will do up to 2" thick just fine, and when you're that big, you're not annealing usually because of the sheer size of the build (which would require one of those ovens like ATM uses)

    My point is that for the average hobbyist or even the average to above average tank build, annealing is really not needed.

    I'm not sure why 2-part is used so extensively in the EU or Far East, do they just not have access to Methylene Chloride?
     
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  3. TherealplexiG

    TherealplexiG Well-Known Member

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    I don't think he requires all these for a hobby but rather he wants to take things professionally. Though I prefer glass over acrylic for my personal tanks... Only thing that wows me is the clarity which even optiwhite can't come closer to..if you scroll back and see the pix I posted, of those couple of tanks being done with 2 part is of Schuran. A well known manufacturer. 2 parts is easier and fool proof in terms of producing aquariums..but it's not recommended to be used below thickness of 1/2 inch..in other words two parts is whole Lotta forgiving.. But ya need to anneal to get the strength...
     
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  4. Lowell Lemon

    Lowell Lemon Well-Known Member

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    @TherealplexiG
    I have been looking for a supplier of Optiwhite glass tanks. If you have an interest or have connections to a manufacturer let me know. Shipped to the U.S of course (Seattle port would be best).
     
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  5. TherealplexiG

    TherealplexiG Well-Known Member

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    How can I get in touch with you?
     
  6. iLLwiLL

    iLLwiLL Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking to add some components to an acrylic sump and have never worked with the stuff.

    I'd love to add some features the vertex and dreamboxes have like heater cradles, multiple dosing line holders, probe holders, cable runs, etc.

    Is this as simple as getting some half inch acrylic scraps ,shaping them and sticking them on with some Weldon? I have a palm router, table saw, dremel and an oscillating bench sander... Think those tools will be enough to get what I'm after accomplished?

    Thanks for any advice!
     
  7. Floyd R Turbo

    Floyd R Turbo Super Duper Member R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor Toys For Kids 2016 Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    For simple components like that, it's relatively simple. You can shape however you want, and then just make sure that the edge you are going to bond to the sump wall is flat and smooth. You can use double-stick tape, specifically this brand https://www.amazon.com/Intertape-Double-Sided-Flatback-Paper/dp/B01AGY2EHG which you might find at a local woodworking specialty store, and a template and a flush-trim router bit but that's probably not necessary.

    You can sand the bonding surface (of the part) so that it's flat, then scrape it with a razor blade to get it flat & smooth (sanding will tend to round corners) which shouldn't take more than a minute or two, and then bond it on with weld-on #16 (the gel stuff). This is one of the few times where WO16 is useful. Goopy, but useful. Hold it in place for a few minutes and then let it cure for several hours, preferably overnight before trying to put anything into the part

    1/2" acrylic is a bit of overkill, 1/4" for probe holders and such is plenty

    Also you can use any acrylic for this - cell cast, extruded, etc. Whatever you can find at the Big Box stores will work, since it doesn't have to be structural. As long as it's not Lexan or polycarbonate - must be acrylic
     
  8. imustbenuts

    imustbenuts Well-Known Member

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    Also, I pick up scraps from our local plastic shop. They charge like a buck a pound. They have large bins of scrap to pick from and much cheaper than buying from big box store. Sometimes they just tell me to take it, no charge, if I'm not getting a lot of scrap.
     
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  9. iLLwiLL

    iLLwiLL Well-Known Member

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    Ooo, I like the scrap idea. I'll look around my area to see if I have any local. I'll look into that WO16 stuff, thanks so much for the tips.

    The sump is made if 1/2" so while overkill I like the idea if looking like it came that way.
     
  10. Lowell Lemon

    Lowell Lemon Well-Known Member

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    Weldon products are no longer for sale to the public do to the chemical hazards to the unskilled public. While there are many who may sell to the public Weldon's parent company is trying to only make it available to the professional plastics fabricator. Sorry but your purchase options might dry up.
     
  11. imustbenuts

    imustbenuts Well-Known Member

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    It's still on the shelf at my local shop. I just picked up #4
     
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  12. cromag27

    cromag27 anemone whisperer & acrylic/wood expert R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor Article Contributor

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    unfortunately, scip grip 3 and 4 is still being sold to consumers.
     
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  13. cromag27

    cromag27 anemone whisperer & acrylic/wood expert R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor Article Contributor

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    [​IMG]
    got a small one of these for the home shop, thinking it would save time from going to the large shop to use the big boy.

    wrong. now i'm spending MORE time at home making stuff like this....
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. ourcoralreef

    ourcoralreef Well-Known Member

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    Maybe put a drain for easy draining
    just a thought very nice
     
  15. Matthias7

    Matthias7 Well-Known Member

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    I am building a frag tank for my fish room. I have a question regaurding the top brace. I bought one sheet of 3/8 pmacs. The tank is planned to be 70in x12 x18 (wide). I do not have enough material to make a one piece eurobrace. Will I have issues if I brace the top using strips? I would prefer not to have to buy another full sheet. The other option would be to make the tank 10 inches tall. My preference would be to keep my original dimensions if possible
     
  16. mtswaneya

    mtswaneya Well-Known Member

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    You can always cut some strip length wise and add strips on the inside. Sorry for he crappy picture. I would just glue the two center pieces to the front and back pieces. Should be fine. Could always add a center brace if your worried 8A419C4A-5CC8-4148-AB85-5C89CDA90B8C.jpeg
     
  17. Matthias7

    Matthias7 Well-Known Member

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    I was planning on doing just that was unsure if those joints are strong enough? There will be a center brace as well because it's a long tank
     
  18. mtswaneya

    mtswaneya Well-Known Member

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    Should be fine. Clean the joint real good and glue it together and it will be strong enough.
     
  19. Floyd R Turbo

    Floyd R Turbo Super Duper Member R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor Toys For Kids 2016 Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    IMO the point of weakness is where the short side strips butt up against the longer front/back strips. This joint is going to pull apart nearly immediately due to the direction of force so I wouldn't even bond there. What I would do instead is place all 4 pieces in that location (edit: as shown in @mtswaneya's sketch), and then place another strip over the top (edit: along each side) so that it overlaps the front/back strips on the corner and the side strip. This is a lamination joint so it's a bit tricker to make it bubble free, but that's purely aesthetics.

    Then do the same with the middle cross-brace, but of course you only need to laminate where it actually crosses the front/back brace (no need for a piece underneath that brace)

    Realistically though, if you're going to do a center crossbrace, that combined with the front/back strips are going to take the pressure off the side panels pretty well and you might not need any side braces at all. Just the front/back strips and the center cross-brace, and call it good. Additional support never hurts though.
     
  20. Matthias7

    Matthias7 Well-Known Member

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    Would it be better to have the strips that go from the front to back cover the entire distance? And then brace the front and back panels? Not sure if it matters for this particular tank because of the height.
     
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