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Thread: 3ft tall Aquarium?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by phixer View Post
    ...... I build custom tanks for a living and nothing under 500g these days. .....Forget solvent cements for thickness over 1" due to uniform coverage. Solvent i.e WO #3, #4, &16 or McBond (methylene chloride and glacial acetic acid to slow down evap rate) I mix my own now. 2 part polymerizable cements such as PS30 or WO 40/42 work better and are what is used in the trade when constructing professional grade tanks of this size. Not mass produced inferior grade junk that will craze and turn yellow under UV , warp under MH lamps and bow like the bags fish come in.
    Thank you for your informative input. You certainly seem to have a thourough knowledge of working acrylic and bonding. It sounds like you have a very succesful career manufacturing large acrylic aquariums, that is evident in your understanding of the different solvents and even mixing your own, wow! Nothing beats someone who knows what they are talking about to set the record straight lol.

    We used to have another user named Phixer on this forum a long time ago, pretty sure it wasnt you though, he certainly didn't write with your style...
    Quote Originally Posted by phixer View Post
    I have some cell cast acrylic panels that are 1.25" thick. They are 10FT in length and about 36" tall. Im trying to decide which method to use to bond them. I have made lots of smaller tanks but none with material this thick or panels this long and heavy. Up to this point I have always used solvent cement, but at this thickness Im thinking Weld On #40/42 might be best. Here's where Im confused.

    Will #40/42 form as strong a bond as #4 even though its not really a solvent?


    Since it's #40/42 and fills gaps, should I bevel the edges of the vertical panels, creating a small gap from the outside bevel. Then fill it in with the cement using a jig to keep it perpendicular. This would create a fillet on the outside that could be routed off.

    Using #4 and the pin method, if I let it soak for long enough will the solvent be completely squeezed out of the joint from the weight of the panel after I pull the pins and the panel sinks down or will a long enough set time allow the both surfaces enough time to soften so they mesh together and it wont matter what squeezes out when the piins are pulled?

    Confused as to what method and type of cement should be used here.

    Thank you
    Anyways, thanks again for your helpful post.
    Glass, water, and fish..
    all else is extraneous

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ichthys View Post
    Thank you for your informative input. You certainly seem to have a thourough knowledge of working acrylic and bonding. It sounds like you have a very succesful career manufacturing large acrylic aquariums, that is evident in your understanding of the different solvents and even mixing your own, wow! Nothing beats someone who knows what they are talking about to set the record straight lol.

    We used to have another user named Phixer on this forum a long time ago, pretty sure it wasnt you though, he certainly didn't write with your style...


    Anyways, thanks again for your helpful post.
    Thats me 7 years and about 38 tanks ago. That 10 ft tank (585g) is still going strong, notice the thickness. It was constructed using #42 and aluminum foil tape to build the dams to cast the panels into. Panels were suspended using 4 Abaco granite slab lifters and 2 gantry cranes to create a 1/16 gap while the cement was injected into the void with the applicator gun.
    It is the smallest tank I make nowdays and is actually pretty simple, I have found the 2 part stuff fairly easy to work with in comparison to solvent despite what others have experienced. It is more forgiving if the temp and humidity are kept constant during curing. I like it because it also fills small imperfections better.

    The bubbles that people normally speak of with it are often caused by an exothermic reaction when too much cement is used due to the gap being too large. In other words the bubbles are created because the cement is boiling during the reaction as it cures. Those who work with this stuff will tell you how it gets pretty hot when curing. The more added the hotter it gets. Voids / creases often mistaken for bubbles are another issue, if anyone is interersted I can explain in a separate post.

    Although 10ft tanks have become a lot more popular I find there to be more of a niche market in 500-5000 gallon acrylic tanks if you can build better and undercut the big boys. Several photos posted on other forums.

    It would be ignorant to claim to know everything. Many others much more knowledgeable out there but also several who fabricate BS and mislead people. Eventually people move on, get out of the hobby/business etc..life happens and we dont hear from people who know and understand this craft. And it really is skill IMHO. As stated these are only my experiences/opinions. Hope they help folks to build right by dispelling much of the false information being tossed around.
    Perhaps someone with some thermo-forming experience will chime in. Would like to build a prototype bull nose or oval shaped tank in the future and have a few questions.

    People call much of this trade secrets. I call it advancing our hobby and am glad to share what I have learned.

    Style = form + function + circumstance + wisdom / experience delivered with humility.
    Last edited by phixer; 12-26-2013 at 08:55 PM.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ichthys View Post
    Thank you for your informative input. You certainly seem to have a thourough knowledge of working acrylic and bonding. It sounds like you have a very succesful career manufacturing large acrylic aquariums, that is evident in your understanding of the different solvents and even mixing your own, wow! Nothing beats someone who knows what they are talking about to set the record straight lol.

    We used to have another user named Phixer on this forum a long time ago, pretty sure it wasnt you though, he certainly didn't write with your style...


    Anyways, thanks again for your helpful post.
    Duplicate.....

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