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Old 06/21/2005, 12:17 AM   #176
gbr
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melev, Zephrant, Acrylics...

a few questions for the pros...

It seems as though the preferred method is to glue the side to the back one at a time and then glue the front to both sides and then glue the bottom on...true? or would the top come before the bottom?

What does the term "euro-bracing" actually refer to? Is that where the top is out of one solid piece and then the openings are routed or is that were there are just strips glued along the top edges to make a brace...or is it just a catch term for any top bracing?

Is there a particular brand of double sided tape you find works best? (didn't see it in your pics on your tools page melev)

How do you align the framing squares when taping them? Due to the notched bottom that seems like it would be a guessing game.

What holds the vertical piece in place while you set the pins? I only have two hands... I'm guessing more double sided tape but it seems like when you pull the pins you could pull away from the tape as gravity takes over...is that were you start shimming?...

Thanks for all the great info so far.

melev...always have loved your site...now I think it is time to break out the old video cam and post up a movie on doing one joint...would really help. Thanks again.


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Current Tank Info: 180g acrylic room divider mixed reef, 4x96 PC and 2x250 MH, MR-2 w/Blueline HD55, Sequence 4200 sump recirc, Sequence hammerhead return, airwaterice RO/DI, diy 55 gal sump and fuge, Red Sea ozone, Littermeter Kalk dosing, diy Ca Reactor
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Old 06/21/2005, 03:09 AM   #177
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It seems as though the preferred method is to glue the side to the back one at a time and then glue the front to both sides and then glue the bottom on...true? or would the top come before the bottom?

I like to put the front panel facing down, and glue the ends and baffles to it. That way the front seams look their best, hopefully. I flip the whole thing over and then glue all those parts to the back wall. Then I glue on the base, and typically the next day the top. (Another guy I know glues on the top (which has already been routed for the opening), then flips it over to glue on the bottom, because the top is open and air can get in and vapors out.) Here's a link to some construction images of a sump I built not too long ago:

http://melevsreef.com/acrylics/sumps...chvy_sump.html

What does the term "euro-bracing" actually refer to? Is that where the top is out of one solid piece and then the openings are routed or is that were there are just strips glued along the top edges to make a brace...or is it just a catch term for any top bracing?

Typically, Euro-bracing is how four strips of glass are glued within the top of a glass tank, reinforcing the panels so they do not bow due to the water pressure. It also refers to a tank that does not have a centerbrace of any kind. I prefer to build sumps with a top flange because I like the clean appearance:

http://melevsreef.com/acrylics/sumps/diy/flange.html

Is there a particular brand of double sided tape you find works best? (didn't see it in your pics on your tools page melev)

I almost never use it. Maybe two times out of 106 sumps. 3M is found at Home Depot.

How do you align the framing squares when taping them? Due to the notched bottom that seems like it would be a guessing game.

The smooth area of the Speed Square (or Framing Square) maintains the pieces at a perperdicular angle, or 90 degree angle. The notch that has been cut out is to avoid the solvent wicking or bleeding under the speed square, maring the surfaces within the sump. You'd be amazed how handy that is, having that corner trimmed off.

There are times when I put a speed square on both sides of one panel, which keeps it from falling to the left or to the right. And if it happens to be an end piece, one speed square is on the acrylic holding the end up, and the other square is on the wooden work area. Because of the notch, I can press it up along side the sump, and it fits right over the base piece and pressed up against the end piece perfectly. Without being notched, I couldn't do that.

I've been playing with the idea of mounting weights, or even affixing magnets to keep the square where I need it in a more permanent way, freeing up my hands. Maybe one day I'll follow through with that plan.

What holds the vertical piece in place while you set the pins? I only have two hands... I'm guessing more double sided tape but it seems like when you pull the pins you could pull away from the tape as gravity takes over...is that were you start shimming?...

Since I'm gluing on ends and baffles, those pieces are smaller. I use the speed square to keep my piece supported, although I do let it lean slightly. I slip the pins underneath, straighten the piece and tug to make sure the pins are holding. If they need a shim, I'll insert one where necessary. Keeping my hand on the upright piece, I apply the solvent, wicking it in to the seam. After about 15 seconds or so, I stand the piece up at a true 90 degree angle, which helps push out any excess glue out of the joint. The pins are pulled and the speed squares are positioned on both sides.

I make sure to verify the piece is in the exact correct spot during the next 20 seconds, moving it up and down and side to side if it has slipped out of position.

Thanks for all the great info so far.

melev...always have loved your site...now I think it is time to break out the old video cam and post up a movie on doing one joint...would really help. Thanks again.


You are right, I should do that.


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Old 06/21/2005, 04:23 PM   #178
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Thanks melev...I understand the need for the notches but I was more refering to how the two ends being glued together stay along the same line without angling slightly...I guess I would have to draw a picture. But what I am getting out of this is that the square can actually hold up your end piece without falling over and creating a mess????? I can just envision the end piece leaning up against the square, pulling the pins, and then watch as the whole thing falls either right or left in on itself...guess that isn't as big of a concern.

Your tools page shows guitar strings. Are you on to those now or are you on the acupunture pins? Have you found anywhere else online that sells the pins without requiring a $25 order? The local acrylic tank manufacturer uses fishing line...ever tried that?


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Research shows that 87.3% of all statistics are made up!

Current Tank Info: 180g acrylic room divider mixed reef, 4x96 PC and 2x250 MH, MR-2 w/Blueline HD55, Sequence 4200 sump recirc, Sequence hammerhead return, airwaterice RO/DI, diy 55 gal sump and fuge, Red Sea ozone, Littermeter Kalk dosing, diy Ca Reactor
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Old 06/21/2005, 04:41 PM   #179
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"Acrylics" (James) recommends stainless steel wire that is .007 thick. http://www.smallparts.com/products/descriptions/SAW.cfm

That is $14 plus shipping.

I'm using the acupuncture needles Adrinal tried out. He pm'd me recently about getting more, but I've not had time to respond and decide.

You can even use the twist ties that come on loaves of bread if you like. The thicker the wire, the more solvent in the seam. As the acrylic comes down when the pins are pulled, the more stuff will ooze out. It doesn't look pretty.

Can a sheet fall over? Yes! Can it make a mess? Yes! However, most of the time they stay put, if I put a speed square on both sides for a few minutes. After that, they stay put. However, if you remove the square a little too soon, it may begin to lean one way or the other and cure that way. So keep an eye on things, and don't rush.


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Old 06/21/2005, 05:03 PM   #180
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Marc you mantioned that you let the panel lean slightly with the speed square wouldnt that negate the need for the pins as ample solvent should get into the joint if its at a slight angle


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Old 06/21/2005, 05:47 PM   #181
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I don't think you would want to do that on anything other than a tiny piece. I like to see the solvent squish evenly out both sides of the piece of acrylic. I would asume if you angled it in the solvent would not be thick enough on one side... besides you would need at least another person if not 2 to do it that way. Pins, you can do a pretty large tank alone.


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Old 06/21/2005, 07:32 PM   #182
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I only use the leaning method for the end pieces on the front panel. You can't really do it anywhere else successfully. All excess solvent is routed off later.


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Old 08/21/2005, 12:30 AM   #183
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I learned a lot at an acrylic class today.

Its probably been covered and I missed it, but making sure the pins are about halfway in is key to getting the glue go around the pin. Another thing he did was stay behind the glue as it wicks in. For some reason I thought you should stay ahead of the glue and let the wicking catch up with you.

HTH


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Old 08/21/2005, 02:29 AM   #184
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What class are you talking about?


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Old 08/21/2005, 09:47 AM   #185
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Local acrilic dude. I know he is on RC, but don't know his handle. Don't you hate it when people use different handles and switch around names ;p hehe


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Old 08/21/2005, 10:11 AM   #186
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Quote:
Originally posted by NorthernCF
Local acrilic dude. I know he is on RC, but don't know his handle. Don't you hate it when people use different handles and switch around names ;p hehe
yea so identify your self

Spazz is what he goes by on RC and TRT


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Old 08/21/2005, 11:11 AM   #187
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LOL
RC - NorthernCF formerly Adrinal (old MMORG handle)
HFG on TRT
But, JNS just calls me, "just another coral junkie".


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Old 08/21/2005, 11:15 AM   #188
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Old 08/21/2005, 11:18 AM   #189
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Quote:
Originally posted by NorthernCF

But, JNS just calls me, "just another coral junkie".




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Old 09/17/2005, 08:26 AM   #190
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Thanks for great info and the tips. I am planning to build prop tank 48”L 30”W 14”H out of ¼” acrylic. I am not sure will ¼” be sufficient so any help would be great.
I have built few skimmers and kalk reactors so I am familiar with pin method. Gluing sides of the tank would be quite easy to do but bottom and top is something I see problem doing. Recommendation here is to let solvent soak for 30 seconds or so before puling pins out but applying solvent on 156” long joint might take longer than that. I am quite interested in how you manage similar task?


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Old 09/17/2005, 08:44 AM   #191
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30 seconds would be sufficiant. I would use 1/2" for this project.


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Old 09/18/2005, 12:32 AM   #192
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I built my grow-out tanks out of 1/4" Plexi and they are solid at 48" X 24" X 12". I don't think the 2" extra height will cause any significant extra stress. They are top braced with about 2 1/2" "euro-brace" strips on the top and there is little to no bowing on the 4' sides. 1/4" will be more than enough for a prop tank.


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Research shows that 87.3% of all statistics are made up!

Current Tank Info: 180g acrylic room divider mixed reef, 4x96 PC and 2x250 MH, MR-2 w/Blueline HD55, Sequence 4200 sump recirc, Sequence hammerhead return, airwaterice RO/DI, diy 55 gal sump and fuge, Red Sea ozone, Littermeter Kalk dosing, diy Ca Reactor
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Old 09/18/2005, 11:15 PM   #193
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I honestly think 3/8" would be sufficient. 1/4" will bow somewhat, and 1/2" seems like it would be overkill (but gorgeous!). If you make it out of 1/4", the bowing becomes apparent at the center of the panels, more and more as you increase the tank's vertical height.

I do recommend a flange on the top, especially if you don't use internal baffles to hold it all together (and you are not, because this is a frag tank. http://melevsreef.com/acrylics/sumps/diy/flange.html


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Old 02/06/2006, 09:05 AM   #194
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I know this thread was dead but hopefully someone will see it.

To the acrylic pros out there melev, Zephrant, Acrylics;

As you continue to build sumps and tanks have you decided which wires or pins work the best? Still happy with the .007 stainless wire? Or the accupuncture needles? I started my sump this weekend, made all my cuts. Now I have to true up all the edges to make sure they are all even. I'm mostly likely going to get the .007 wire hopefully locally, but I wanted to see if there were any updates.

Melev, as always your website has proved invaluable. I think I've read every acrylic page 10 times and I haven't even open the can of #4 yet!! Thanks for all the info to all of you!


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Old 02/06/2006, 10:13 AM   #195
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Dan,

I still use .008-.009" stainless wire for anything up to 3/8", and .014" wire for over 1/2" so nothing's changed here

James


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Old 02/06/2006, 11:37 AM   #196
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Awsome, that's what I needed to know. Now I just have to find the stuff. A hunch says I won't be able to, but then again I really don't know where to look.


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Old 02/06/2006, 12:59 PM   #197
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For wire? Go to www.smallparts.com
They have malleable stainless wire in various gauges, not all that expensive either, which is nice

For the econimical (ok..cheap) way to make the thicker wires, strip the paper off of Hefty bag twist-ties.

HTH,
James


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Old 02/06/2006, 01:02 PM   #198
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I thought that twisties were a little to thick? My material is 3/8". I'm going to practice first of course.


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Old 02/06/2006, 01:16 PM   #199
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Then use the thinner wires I didn't read that you were using 3/8".

James


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Old 02/06/2006, 05:29 PM   #200
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Hey James! So good to see your posts from time to time.

I'm using accupuncture needles, and reuse them until I lose them. NorthernCF has the source. In the last shipment he ordered, I got some of those and they had small plastic handles. He orders various thicknesses, and I prefer the .020 ones the most. I've used .016 as well with good results.

Glad the site is helping you. That is the whole reason it is there, so that others like you can DIY these projects with some confidence.

Practice with some scrap acrylic to get an idea of what you are dealing with, so your sump will come out nice. And if you have questions, just ask.


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