How much do 4 x 8 sheets of 1/2" cast acrylic sheets cost?

thebiggerthebetter

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Dec 31, 2009
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I'd not trust my quality of build versus that of professionals so I would have to overbuild my tank like with eurobracing the perimeters and corners and not trusting my butt-to-butt and butt-to-face joints but rather gluing narrow strips front and back over the joint with a few inches of an overlap, etc. I'd end up using more acrylic and more glue (Weld on 40 two part, not cheap btw either, roughly $150 a gallon, can buy 4 gallons for $550 but it has a shelf life of 1-2 years) than the profies but overall I'd still come out far, far ahead in the overall cost.

I'd also start with much smaller tanks to gain experience and confidence.

Also, my aesthetic demands take a backseat to the functionality (hold water, no leaks, longevity, pref. forever), no, not even back seat, they are in the open trailer way back in the wind, rain, tire rubber specks, brake dust, and road crud, so I am not worried about many air bubbles, somewhat ugly joints, etc.

If you want yours to look perfect or near perfect, you'll need a lot more practice and to develop a skill and/or work your tail off removing excess glue and polishing and buffing the joints and the surrounding areas until clear. Even using more glue is not that simple because the glue heats up as it polymerizes / cures and if a thick layer is used, it will start boiling and bubbling itself... This also depends on the amount of the catalyst you mix in, ambient temperature, thickness of the acrylic one is gluing, etc. So there is enough to learn as one goes along...
 
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Oughtsix

Dovii
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Apr 9, 2011
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When I am constructing a woodworking project I frequently like to make use of rabbets (a dado on the edge of a board) for a bit of extra strength but mainly to make alignment when assembling much easier. I have a lot of woodworking experience but little acrylic construction experience. What do you acrylic experts think of this approach?

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This would be quite easy to accomplish with a router. Like my picture shows I would make the rabbet a little wider than the thickness of the sheet sitting in the rabbet so I would have a bit of a protrusion to smooth out with a flush trim bit. Maybe 1/32".

I would like to hear opinions???

I have also considered doing a simple lock joint but I am thinking this would be over kill.... or would it? It would certainly make alignment a breeze during assembly! I would most likely use a lock joint for the sides to the bottom and just use a simple rabbet for the sides intersect the other sides. This profile would also be pretty easy to setup on a router, but would take a lot more care while doing the routing. A rabbet can be easily fixed if you have a jitter in your hand while cutting it. A lock joint would be much less forgiving.

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If I used rabbets or lock joints for constructing an acrylic aquarium what do you think it would do to the cementing process? I think I would use the stick pin method of inducing a gap to fill with the Weldon, then let the Weldon sit for a minute to soften the acrylic before pulling the pins and clamping. It seems like a lock joint would be harder to get a clear bond without air bubbles... but since I would only use the lock joints from the sides to the bottom I wouldn't be as worried about a visually distracting air bubble.

Thoughts?
 
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