Bonding acrylic to plywood? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 04:39 AM Thread Starter
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Bonding acrylic to plywood?

Hi, Im planning to build a hybrid plywood + acrylic tank but am a bit stuck on how to bind the acrylic to plywood. More specifically, I'd like to have an acrylic top and plywood base. I hear silicone does not bind well to acrylic and have google searched alternatives. There were suggestions about using Dow795, epoxy, or perhaps ruber and silicone but frankly, none of the solution gave me confidence it would hold long term. If anyone here has experience with this combination, would appreciate to hear any suggestions!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 05:04 PM
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Most bolt it to the plywood..
Basically a gasket/clamp type system.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 09:13 PM
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Here is an interesting anecdote. I am familiar with the problem with acrylic and most everything else. I know you are not attaching it to actual plywood but some type of”treated” wood. I built a 50gal ? (48x24x24) our of some REALLY Thick plywood- as I recall it was 1” thick. I coated it with many layers of polyurethane and then glued the front and end glass pieces to the back and bottom using plain old silicone. The attachment to the plywood had an obviously large area to connect and then I also went around the entire tank on the inside with another bead along all the seams. I used it several years until I moved and had to tear it down. This was somewhere back in the 90’s lol!


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 11:50 PM
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More like 100 gallons Joe!

I would use epoxy or silicone and bolt it. The water will hold it in place. The king of DIY did a plywood tank with acrylic. Tons of options out there. Acrylic doesn't like silicone, but good epoxy will hold it. I'd silicone around the edges as well. I've used silicone on acrylic in a glass tank/sump many times. Holds water just fine. Does NOT hold a lot of pressure though! Works as a divider/overflow for the most part.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diverjoe View Post
Here is an interesting anecdote. I am familiar with the problem with acrylic and most everything else. I know you are not attaching it to actual plywood but some type of”treated” wood. I built a 50gal ? (48x24x24) our of some REALLY Thick plywood- as I recall it was 1” thick. I coated it with many layers of polyurethane and then glued the front and end glass pieces to the back and bottom using plain old silicone. The attachment to the plywood had an obviously large area to connect and then I also went around the entire tank on the inside with another bead along all the seams. I used it several years until I moved and had to tear it down. This was somewhere back in the 90’s lol!


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glass is different than plexiglas as to it's properties and attachment.
Normally this is where I'd post something relevent regarding this but atm can't find anything definitive.
Only "known" you need to use cell cast plexiglass.
Plex absorbs some water so it flexes (expands/contracts) differently than glass.


Believe it's instability in water is what makes any attachment to wood in an aquarium more difficult..
Having in the past looked up this very topic what I remeber is the silicone is really not a good "glue" but more of a gasket material
and the "best practice" seems to be to press the seams using wood and screws to "bolt" it to the plywood.


Secondly glass is much preferred apparently than plex.
Even the cost factor is only slightly in favor of plex (thinner) vs glass (thicker) when I did some calcs regarding an all glass vs all plastic DIY tank.
Well think I just crunched one pane's numbers.


Considering the unknowns on plex vs knowns on glass "I" would lean to glass windows over plex.


now regarding the o/p..Not sure 'exactly' what they had in mind..
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billybobjoel View Post
I'd like to have an acrylic top and plywood base.
A plywood box with a clear lid? (this should be fairly easy to accomplish) Or an acrylic fishtank with a plywood bottom panel? (in this case I'd suggest skipping the plywood and coming up with a different plan!)
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