my diy acrylic tanks - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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my diy acrylic tanks

I have decided to build two small acrylic tanks and put them both on one stand. Its something ive wanted to do for a while now so I can try differt things and see the different results.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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This project cost about $60 per tank using acrylite FF and weld-on 4
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Here are some pic of the glueing process.This is the jig I made to router the top out.pg[/IMG]
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Please forgive the poor documentation its a brand new camera that I dont really know how to use yet and its my first time using photobucket.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 10:33 PM
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Wow that looks good.. Something I want to tackle too. What size are the tanks? I like the way you have your top too
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Down_Shift View Post
Wow that looks good.. Something I want to tackle too. What size are the tanks? I like the way you have your top too
I will post better pictures tommarow. Its not as challenging as you might think if you have access to a router tabel and a table saw you can build nice acryilc tanks. This is the simple jig Ive made to router the tops out. If you have any questions ill try to help the best I can. The tanks dimensions are 24" long 14" tall 18" wide
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 12:39 AM
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~26 gallons each, not bad.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 01:59 AM
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cool looks good. how do the gluejoints look? bubble free? especially check the corners where the three sides meet. these are notorious spots for bubbles where water can seep through.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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cool looks good. how do the gluejoints look? bubble free? especially check the corners where the three sides meet. these are notorious spots for bubbles where water can seep through.
I know exactly what your talking about but I have had lots of practice building these tanks. I built 11 tanks over the summer for other people using 3/8 and 1/2 ACRYLITE GP I made sure they were built verry good NO leaks. although The first tank I ever attempted to build had the problem you are talking about I think it was because The guy at the glass shop sold me extruded acrylic when I asked for cast acrylic. If anyone is going to attempt building acrylic tanks big or small you need to use CAST ACRYLIC I cannot stress this enough.I dont know how good this picture is but every seam came out perfect even I was suprised. When I built these tanks I used the pins method and had a nice spiral carbide router bit that left perfect edges. When doing the glueing process I waited 45 to 60 seconds before pulling the pins out .you have to get a good feel for when to pull the pins out or it wont melt the acrylic together and then you do get bubbles.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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~26 gallons each, not bad.

Craig
Thanks Craig

Last edited by chuukus; 12-22-2008 at 05:54 PM.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 04:00 PM
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"When I built these tanks I used the pins method and had a nice spiral carbide router bit that left perfect edges. When doing the glueing process I waited 45 to 60 seconds before pulling the pins out .you have to get a good feel for when to pull the pins out or it wont melt the acrylic together and then you do get bubbles." What is the pins method? I don't remember ever hearing that term used before.

Is that where the pieces are separated with pins, until the glue softens the plastic, then the pins are pulled out to let the pieces contact each other? Like veneer is glued to sheets of wood?

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Yes Hoppy once you have the peices routered you glue the fron and back to the sides next the top and bottom. I use accupuncture pins because they let just the right amount of glue in the joint. Then I watch the pins closely when the pins start melting grooves into the acrylic I remove them slowly. You will have some softened acrylic squeeze out of the joint if you do it right. After about 24 hrs you can router the access off with a flush trim bit.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 05:26 PM
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Looks great! Where do you buy your acrylic? USPlastics?

- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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The best place to get a good idea is this guy in texas that build custom saltwater sumps using the same method.
http://www.melevsreef.com/allmysumps.html
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GulfCoastAquarian View Post
Looks great! Where do you buy your acrylic? USPlastics?
No I buy it local but its really expensive when you get past 1/4" one 4' by 8' sheet of 1/4 is $4.50 a square foot witch isnt bad but the other day I got a quote on a sheet of 3/8 and he told me 17 dollars a square foot I almost passed out. So I found a place in Florida thats the cheapest ive found and they cut for free. They also have inexpensive shipping. http://acrylicparts.com/acrylicprice.html Im gonna buy acrylic from this place from now on. If anyone knows a better place to buy cast acrylic please give me a link I would greatly appreciate it.
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