DIY acrylic sump

Discussion in 'D.I.Y.' started by Jcraft, Jun 12, 2006.

  1. Jcraft Harlequin Tusk

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    I put the design on paper, marked all my lengths and went to the plastics shop and got them cut to size, as I don't have many tools to work with.
    But now I have a problem- I did not take into account the bottom having to be 1/2" longer and wider(using 1/4") to hold the sides. Instead, it is as wide as the baffles and left and right sides at 18" and as long as the front and back pieces at 36" (total size is 36lx18wx16h)
    Will this be a problem or can I glue the outside of the bottom piece to the inside of the side panels? Will the structural integrity be compromised?

    pics of the build to come . . .
     
  2. Won't the width of your side panels still be an issue if you do that ... unless one set of sides is wider than the bottom piece?

    You might be better off just getting another bottom piece cut. That piece you have right now definitely won't go to waste. You can always find a way to use it.
     
  3. I wouldn't think it be THAT big of a problem. The glue should hold it the same. It still will throw off all you other measurments. The baffle heights will be off by a 1/4 of a inch but may night be a big deal. Now if you have the money just go buy another bottom peace and have peace-of-mind.
     
  4. Hi Jcraft :)

    Imperatorfan and Eidillitih are right, insetting the bottom will still leave you gaps on your sides/baffles. I'm not even sure how you would go about gluing the tank up that way.

    On the couple of tanks I have built with my hubby, we always glue up the sides first. Then I use a block and carefully sand any high ends to get the box perfectly level before placing it on the bottom peice of acrylic.

    We cut the bottom panel of acrylic a little larger than needed so there is a fat 1/8" extra all the way around. We use pins to get lots of glue in the seam, pull them, and add weights.

    After giving it at least 24 hours to dry, my hubby uses a router bit to remove the little rim of extra material and make the bottom nice and flush.

    I am sure there are other ways of gluing up a tank successfully though! And we are by no means experts. :P Haha!
     
  5. Jcraft Harlequin Tusk

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    To make things simpler I just went back and got a larger piece to use as the bottom piece- this time cut 2" over to allow for any discreptencies.

    Being that Father's day is this weekend, I was able to find a great deal on a router/table combo so I picked that up to trim the edges and cut the teeth for the refugium.

    And yea, I pieced all the panels together and figured out that it wouldnt have worked anyway . . . :D
     
  6. Jcraft Harlequin Tusk

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    sorry for not having taken pics while "in the process" but I forgot my camera . . .

    the seams are by no means perfect, but you can see a definite improvement as I went along- most of the seams were done yesterday, the rest done this afternoon, so tomorrow afternoon after giving it ample time to cure, I will water test it.

    I also will decide where and if I need to brace the top.

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    my "not at all perfect" baffles- I tried to make a jig like on Melev's reef to route the teeth, but failed miserably. So I tried it freehand :lol:
    this was the result o well, the acrylic wasn't cracked and they should work great nonetheless!

    the tank is drilled for a 1.5" bulkhead and I had originally planned on enclosing the bulkhead with a glass DIY overflow, but decided against it . . . my alternative is this. It's a 4" to 2" pipe fitting that I cut 3 big holes into. I will use gutterguard to cover these holes :D
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  7. Kirk_M

    Kirk_M Chevron Tang LARC Supporter

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    Johnathan,

    Did you use the "pins method" for gluing your seams?
     
  8. Jcraft Harlequin Tusk

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    I used very small diameter guitar strings as the "pins"
    That was done on all the joints except the baffles . . . I was only able to get one side done with pins before room got a lil tight :D I placed ample weight on the baffles though and those seams look great.
     
  9. Wooo Jcraft grats on the sump! It turned out great!

    I could have sent you Gabe's old blank for making teeth. His weren't perfect either though. :P

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    Plus, your free hand ones have more character anyway and they'll sure do the job! Hopefully you'll find that your baffles give you good support and you won't even need to brace the top at all.

    (By the way, we didn't make the tank in the picture. We got it very cheap because it was damaged, fixed it, drilled it and made baffles for it!)

    Steve, thanks for the tips and link!

    This thread makes me want to build that bigger frag tank I've been thinking about for the last 6 months! ;)
     
  10. Jcraft Harlequin Tusk

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    Yesterday i filled it up to the brim with water and let it sit overnight to check for leaks . . .

    Pleased to report there were none :D

    Also, you can see in the pics that there is very little bowing out and then only on the sides. Seeing as the sump should never be THIS full again, what do ya'll think I should do? Brace the sides with a small strip of acrylic? (Eurobraced) Or just leave it . . .
    the sumps volume is 44 gallons


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  11. Jcraft Harlequin Tusk

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    and heres the finished overflow pipe-

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  12. Kirk_M

    Kirk_M Chevron Tang LARC Supporter

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    A little over-engineering never hurt anything. It's under-engineering that kills a project. I'd see no harm in adding the euro-bracing.
     

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