Help! Ordered acrylic, got polycarbonate
I've spent the past week gathering tools and supplies to build an acrylic sump tank. On Friday I ordered my acrylic sheets from the local glass shop. Unfortunately, the receptionist was used to the terms "Plexiglass" and "Lexan"; so even though I had written down acrylic she told the guys in the shop to cut Lexan. I went ahead and accepted the polycarbonate since they gave it to me at the same price as acrylic and threw in a couple of good sized extra pieces that I can experiment with (or possibly build a rack for my CO2 bottles). The good news is that the polycarbonate should be easier to drill and machine. The bad news is that I have a bottle of Weld-On #4 ordered and have spent the past two weeks preparing to weld together an acrylic tank.
I know people have made sumps and even aquariums out of polycarbonate, but I have no idea how to weld/glue it together. If there is a tutorial out there it would be really helpful (I haven't done a lot of searching yet). Does anyone know if polycarbonate can be welded together in a similar manner to acrylic, or does it have to be glued/sealed like glass? I have MDF cut up for building jigs, so I can hold things square. What I don't have are clamps long enough to span the length of the tank, and I'm not sure about the height (width is no problem).
I ordered the acrylic slightly over-sized so I could router the edges to get them smooth and square. The edges on the polycarbonate are already quite smooth, so now I'm not sure whether or not to cut things down. I'll have to trim the bottom and end pieces down to keep the tank from being too wide, but if the sides and ends are the same height do I need to router the top and bottom edges? Do I still assemble the four sides first, and then set them on top of the bottom pane? I know with commercial glass tanks the edges are assembled around the bottom piece; although those have a frame added afterwards. I realize I'm sort of rambling here; but the situation caught me unprepared and I'm an anal retentive bastard when it comes to design (occupational hazard when you've spent over a decade as a design engineer and mistakes can cost thousands of dollars or more).
At this point, any information would be appreciated. I was hoping to be ready to assemble the tank by this weekend; but I'd much rather wait a week or two and get it correct. Thanks.