View Single Post
Old 11/25/2004, 10:18 PM   #1
Premium Member
Zephrant's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 3,237
Hang On Wall Raceway

Hang On Wall Raceway:

This is a way to get strong lighting close to the corals, yet not take up any counter space. My vision was a set of four of these units on the wall, one cascading in to the next, but I ended up starting with two for now.

Getting started:

Get your acrylic put together- This project uses a piece of 1/4" material that is 48.5" wide by 18.5" wide, plus two 5.5x5.5" pieces. It also uses two strips of 3/8" thick cast acrylic that is 1" x48".
Draw out the pieces you need to cut on the sheet of acrylic. Rip the sides to 5.6"x48.25", and the base to 6.25"x48.25". The end pieces are rough cut to 5.6"x5.6". You cut them a little over sized on the table saw, so you can trim them to exact size and clean up the edges on the router table.

Using the router table and a fence (or a jointer if you don't have a setup like this) take 0.050" or so off of each side to smooth it out. Set the fence once, and do both sides and he end panels at once, so they are all exactly the same height. Note the yellow fingers on the router table- They keep the material from pulling in to the bit, which is dangerous and leaves divots that need to be trimmed off. Use a 3/4" dia. or larger bit if possible.
You need to trim all four sides of the end pieces, and just the top and bottom of the sides. No trimming on the bottom is neccisary.
Also at this time make the two pieces for the top frame- Just rip them to 1" wide, and 48.25" long.
Install the round-over bit, and round over the edges of the top frame. Much easier now then later.
When you are done you should have:
Two each 5.5x5.5"
Two each 5.5"x48.25"
One 6.25"x28.25"
Two each of 3/8" 1"x48.25", rounded over on one long side.

Here is the glue and bottle that we will be using: Weldon #4 and a 2 fluid ounce squeeze bottle with a 20 gauge needle.
The pins are standard sewing pins. You could use a smaller pin for 1/4" acrylic, but these work fine too.

Now we are ready for the glue up. Remove the paper from both sides of the ends, and one side of a side panel. Place the side panel on a flat table, and use a pair of angle braces to prop up the end panel, about 1/8" from the end. The goal here is to glue the end panel close to the end, but leave enough hanging out that the flush-trim bit in the router and cut it flush.
We will be using the "Pins" method here- Review this thread for more details.
Install one pin at each end. If you have a flat enough table, you don't need a shim under each pin.
Line everything up, then fill the joint with Weldon #4.
Wait about 30-60 seconds, then slide out the pins. The panel will be pretty slippery on the pins, and worse when the pins are pulled. Just get it back in to place, and hold it there for 30 seconds. Check the ends to make sure they are flush (both of them) If not, they will take more work later to get a leak-free tank.

Here is the end panel without the pins.

Here is the joint as it dries- Note the clear seam, and the ooze on both sides of the joint. This is what we are looking for- Good clean, strong joints. Don't touch it for at least two hours, preferably four hours.

Repeat for the other end panel.

Strip the paper off of the one side of the other side panel and lay it out on the table. Carefully flip the panel with the two ends on it over, and set it on this piece. Use a block of wood to hold up the center, or it will sag and cause the joints to not be straight.
Repeat the glue up method- This time you don't need the braces, as the top joint holds the panel in place.

At this point let it dry overnight. The next day you can use the flush-trim bit in the router to trim the end edges, or wait until later.


Zephrant is offline   Reply With Quote