diy reflector out of aluminum cans? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-23-2005, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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diy reflector out of aluminum cans?

Just finishing off a coke and thinking, humm. Wonder if I could make a reflector for a nano out of that can. Thinking of buying a 13watt bayco, and a tall boy reflector...

Anyone every try it - or reasons it is a bad idea?

I know polished aluminum is a good reflector - but a can is not all that polished. I am assuming that the inside of the can is coated. If I polish it, I suspect it woud oxidize pretty quickly, but maybe it could be sealed...

Or should I post a poll, what brand of beer makes the best reflectors?

58 gallon oceanic, Kessel 360 tun sun, pressurized co2, eheim pimp #179 - 2217 and diffuser
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-23-2005, 04:30 PM
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Someone at Nano-reef.com used a Coke can as a reflector for their refugium. They were happy with it although IMO it looked terrible. Ofcourse if you do try it, and it works well, you could always build a little canopy and mount the can inside it. At most the reflector will cost you five or ten cents.


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-23-2005, 06:33 PM
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Two things...

The alu cans are terrible reflectors. I guess you could paint them white, that would improve things a little.

And, the material is very thin. Once you cut it, it's almost impossible to keep in shape. You can't glue mylar to it, it will be all bubbly and stuff.

I have experimented with rain gutters. Still looking for a nice white 4" diam pvc pipe, cut in half. That could be a nice cheap diy reflector. Haven't seen any of that size though, they are all black.

Which brings us back to how good these AHS reflectors really are


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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-23-2005, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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If I tried this, I would be mostly playing.

I was thinking of making a small sheet of aluminum from the can, polishing it, and shaping it into a reflector (probably with the help of a form). The reflector could then go into a diy pendent/hood. All in all, if I value my time at all, will just order a ahs reflector first - but if I get bored and have the time in the meanwhile I might try it for grins.

Pretty much have seen only good reviews on the ahs reflector, and am under the opinion it is polished aluminum.

58 gallon oceanic, Kessel 360 tun sun, pressurized co2, eheim pimp #179 - 2217 and diffuser
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-23-2005, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgc
Pretty much have seen only good reviews on the ahs reflector, and am under the opinion it is polished aluminum.
It's made from something called specular aluminum (MIRO). It's a step up from regular polished alu reflectors.

But by all means try to polish the beer cans, and let us know how it works out. Might be a good thing for those of us who can't afford the high end reflectors.


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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-23-2005, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
Still looking for a nice white 4" diam pvc pipe, cut in half. That could be a nice cheap diy reflector. Haven't seen any of that size though, they are all black.
OSH carries large diameter PVC, you need to get a pull tag for it. Be warned that PVC gets pretty heavy in the bigger diameters. I had a 6" diameter PVC tube for shipping a backdrop frame and it weighed a ton! Even the 14" scrap piece I had weighed over 5 lbs.

The black ABS pipe painted white might be a better option as it's less dense than PVC and the walls are thinner.

óBill

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-23-2005, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
Two things...

The alu cans are terrible reflectors. I guess you could paint them white, that would improve things a little.

And, the material is very thin. Once you cut it, it's almost impossible to keep in shape. You can't glue mylar to it, it will be all bubbly and stuff.

I have experimented with rain gutters. Still looking for a nice white 4" diam pvc pipe, cut in half. That could be a nice cheap diy reflector. Haven't seen any of that size though, they are all black.

Which brings us back to how good these AHS reflectors really are

try plastic drain pipe. 4-5 inch diameter. white.
available at home depots and other BBS. 10$ or so a 10 foot length. they can cut it down for you. not heavy either. not the same as black corugated pipe. its white, with very slight ribbing. has a series of holes drilled into one side only in a line down the length of pipe.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-24-2005, 12:51 AM
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Thanks, I'll look for them. I asked in our HD but they just shrugged and pointed me to the black drainage pipes/hoses.


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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 07:40 PM
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How about white plastic gutter? If you want it shinnier put some furnace tape (not duct tape) inside. It is shinny and will stick well even hot. I used to put the furnace tape inside my old floresent aquarium hoods when the plastic started getting brittle. It would extend them several more years.

Roof flashing can be bought in small pieces and it's heavier than a can. It isn't as shinny as the furnace tape, but it also comes painted white.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 08:39 PM
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The white gutters sold over here are not the half-circle that we are looking for. It has a flat back and flat sides that point slightly outwards. Not a good starting point...

I played around with the furnace tape, and in reflectivity it is between tin foil (bad) and Mylar (okay). It's tough to attach it without wrinkles etc, at least for me.

The plastic drainage pipe that motard referred to sold at HD is white outside... but inside black

(BTW I gave up on DIY and ordered the real stuff... AHS reflectors!)


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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2005, 03:19 AM
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Why not just buy a peice of aluminum and polish it with a buffer and rubbing compound then bend it over a form?
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-08-2005, 12:01 AM
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I beleive it could work, check out this article:

http://www.trackertrail.com/survival...dchocolatebar/

For those too lazy to click the link:
How do you start a fire with a coke can and a bar of chocolate?

A guy polishes the concave underside of a coke can using chocolate as a polishing agent, and uses the concave shape to concentrate sunlight on a piece of wood till it starts burning.

I did the same thing, using brasso, to make a led flashlight.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-08-2005, 04:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
The white gutters sold over here are not the half-circle that we are looking for. It has a flat back and flat sides that point slightly outwards. Not a good starting point...

I played around with the furnace tape, and in reflectivity it is between tin foil (bad) and Mylar (okay). It's tough to attach it without wrinkles etc, at least for me.

The plastic drainage pipe that motard referred to sold at HD is white outside... but inside black

(BTW I gave up on DIY and ordered the real stuff... AHS reflectors!)

ahh thats too bad. i bought the piping 2 times in the past ( 6 months ago) for a project, and its white in and out.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2005, 07:09 PM
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Excellent article Salamastre. I got two aluminum MH reflectors for only $10, but they both have faded wrinkled white paint on the reflective surface. After I strip the paint, I will attempt to polish the surface like the coke can. Any Ideas on how I could speed up the process? I think that I should use toothpaste instead of chocolate as it contains cerium.

Steve

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2005, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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my thought came from articles polishing airstream campers. Those guys have gotten polishing aluminum to an art form. For the most part, they are using a compounding solution and random orbital buffers - but that is from memory.

58 gallon oceanic, Kessel 360 tun sun, pressurized co2, eheim pimp #179 - 2217 and diffuser
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