Tempered Glass Shelves--> diy aquarium? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 05:41 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Tempered Glass Shelves--> diy aquarium?

I'm assuming since I've never seen this done there is some problem but...

Would it work to use tempered shelving panels for a diy glass rimless aquarium? The exact shelves I'm thinking of are 3/16" thick (the common thickness) and 12" cube or 16" cube.. any size that wouldn't require cutting of course. There are various lengths available too to make 48"x12"x12" or what-have-you.

My main concern is that the edges of these shelves are rounded off into what they call a "pencil" edge... does that mean the silicone joints wouldn't hold?

Has anyone actually tried this?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 10:02 AM
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 10:59 PM
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I've done it a long time ago using store shelving. BUT I made small tanks.
The rounded edges will provide minimal surface area for the silicone. Silicone sealant is marvelous stuff, but not made for gap filling. If you have free glass you might want to play with it. In the basement.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 11:07 PM
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LIkely cheaper to just call a glass shop and get the proper glass. Look for places that have "glass" or "windows" in the name....
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 02:05 AM
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You can have a glass shop cut your parts to the right sizes, then have those pieces tempered. The result looks just like non tempered glass, but is very strong. It does cost something, about twice what the glass costs, as I recall.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 02:07 AM
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you might be able to make a old school tank using angle iron or such to help brace/build your corners. if done right it could look pretty slick, if your into the whole steampunk thing your could really go crazy

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 09:32 PM
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If you can't get the proper edge overlap it's not recommended to use silicone. You could possibly use epoxy to build something like that however if you used a jig. Do two panels at a time in a V shaped jig with the joint at the bottom, epoxy would fill in and pool up in the joint. If you did a nice jig it might come out looking smooth (use wax paper or parchment paper). Added bonus that you could bevel the epoxy corners if you wanted to. Not all epoxy cures clear. Some get a yellow/brown tint to them after a while.. You can get a wide selection of epoxies at a hobby shop as well as chopped fiberglass and glass beads to use as a filler/possible strengthener (The chopped fiberglass adds strength, i'm not sure about the glass beads). Would be about $10-20 for the epoxy at a hobby shop (The bottles come in several ounces) and fillers are $5 each.

You can apply PVA or wax (crayon?) to areas that you don't want the epoxy to stick to.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-16-2010, 05:29 AM Thread Starter
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2-go to glass shop
3-go steampunk

I've never heard of using epoxy but I did find another writeup on how to do it: http://www.ehow.com/how_5061274_buil...oxy-resin.html
I like sparky's idea of using the jig. But now the more I think about all of this work and possible flood I'm starting to loose my diy spirit for this project. But wow is it hard not to think "aquarium!" every time I see glass shelves in stores.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-16-2010, 06:12 AM
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A few years ago I was building cabinets to make some money. When I needed to make glass insert doors I always just had the glass shop I used cut the pieces to size, and send them out for tempering. Some of these were 4 foot x 1 foot pieces of opaque patterned glass, and the cost per piece wasn't outrageous. I could never tell by looking if they were tempered or not, so the corners didn't round over or anything like that. For relatively small tanks, like 3 foot long or less, this might be a good way to go. The only problem I had was the inaccuracy of the cutting the glass place did. That could be a real problem for a rimless tank.

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