Anyone worked with plastic or acrylic? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2006, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone worked with plastic or acrylic?

I had an idea to house some of the equipment behind black plastic (do they make black acrylic?) in the back of the tank. Has anyone worked with putting a slow curve, similar to a bow-front tank, in either of these materials? Is it possible, easy, foolhardy, etc. Next question, of course, is will the material be expensive?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2006, 01:03 AM
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You can get almost any color in acrylic - Plastic Sheets & Rolls: TAP Plastics - but I can't tell you how hard, easy or foolhardy it is to do that. Do you have a Tap Plastics story near you?

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2006, 02:43 AM
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I worked for TAP Plastics as a fabricator for 3 yrs. It is very easy to work with. It is probably one of the easiest materials to work with actually. If you wan to curve it. Make a jig and slowly heat it up and place in the jig to cool.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2006, 02:51 AM Thread Starter
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Hoppy, thanks for the reply. I live no where near a TAP plastics anymore I haven't lived in Sacramento, for 7 years. I even used to go to TAP plastics for one of my jobs. It looks like the 2' x 2' acrylic sheet would work, but I wouldn't know how to shape it.

You don't have experience working with it, either?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2006, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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fshfanatic, thanks to you as well What would I use to slowly heat it? The jig would be required not only to shape itn but to also hold it in place while it cooled?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2006, 03:01 AM
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You can use either a heat gun or a high powered hair dryer depending on the thickness of the piece. And yes dont remove it until it is completely cooled.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2006, 03:34 AM
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With care you can use the kitchen oven to heat it too. Way back when I was in High School we used an oven as I recall. It was really fun to work with, and with lots of hand labor you can make it crystal clear and polished all over.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2006, 03:59 AM
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I used a blowtorch to flame polish the edges. Do it very quickly or it turns brown

Ehfipimp #273 ( Eheim Classic: 2260, 2217, Eheim Ecco: 2236, 2232 ) Fluval FX5

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2006, 02:17 PM
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I read that your blade should spin around 9 to 11k rpm. Is this true?
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2006, 07:44 PM
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Not sure exactly, cant remember. However, it it spins too fast, it will just melt back together. You can score the plastic and beak it as well.

Ehfipimp #273 ( Eheim Classic: 2260, 2217, Eheim Ecco: 2236, 2232 ) Fluval FX5

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2006, 10:25 PM
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You can cut the sheets with a router also.
I worked in fabication for 2 years in Santa Barbara.
You need a good saw blade specific for plastics. You can route the sides and then flame polish and you'll get a better edge. Or just sand the edges good.

Most plastic sellers will cut to size for you.
Best to do that, then make a mold of the bend radius you desire, then a heat gun would be idea to and slowly heat and allow gravity to drop the flat panel into the mold shape. You can bend this wood panels into the shape in some cases etc or use bricks etc.

Ovens are great at low temp also, but they have size limitations and the spouse and kids can get riled.

Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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