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Old 09-24-2003, 01:42 PM   #1
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Sources for Acrylic

I was looking at the tank building tool at garf.org, and decided that I'd like to plan out a custom tank build. I'd like to know where I can purchase sheets of acrylic, and what price should I expect for both the sheet and for cutting. Also, is Plexiglass a suitable replacement for Acrylic?
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Old 09-24-2003, 01:45 PM   #2
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plexyglass and acrylic are just different manufactures you can pick these up at either HD or a home improvement center. It just depends on your area for price and the thickness of the acrylic. Cutting you can do yourself with a acrylic or plexiglass cutter or using a fine tooth blade of a table saw. When cutting with a saw make sure you tape on both sides of the cut to prevent spliting. HTH
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Old 09-24-2003, 01:51 PM   #3
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Thank you gooyferret. I thought that was the case, but was not certain.
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Old 09-24-2003, 03:52 PM   #4
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there are different "grades" of acrylic ... some stand up to time and radiation (heat, light) better than others.

I don't know the specifics of which brand or type is "better", as I've only used acrylic to build filters and other gizmos, none of which need to be flawless in appearence.

for building a tank you're going to be using acrylic of at least 1/4 inch in thickness, and if it's a sizeable tank, 3/8 or 1/2 inch. the 1/4 inch can be "cut" using the score and snap method, but it's very difficult...

as gooeyferret said, you want a fine-tooth blade in your table saw. I picked up a blade last weekend by "Vermont American" that is 7.25", 200 teeth and extra-thin "kerf", or blade thickness... it was $4 at a closeout store. It cuts plexi like a hot knife through butter... but if I try to "push" the plexi, the blade ends up chipping it - so best to go slow.

additionally, you need a solvent adhesive to bond your plexi panels together. The only glue I know of that does this is "Weld On" there is a #3 which works very fast and is thin like water, and a #16 which is thick like syrup and takes 24 hrs to cure.... I give joints two coats with #3 over about 2 hrs, and then a final coat of #16 and let it harden for a day.

if I remember correctly, there is another user near your area that ordered his plastic from a supplier, and they did the cutting for him... hopefully he will read this post and fill in the details!
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Old 09-25-2003, 04:25 PM   #5
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Hurm. I came across this in a thread at applesnail.net :

Quote:
It varies a lot depending on where you get it and what thickness it is. Brand new acrylic with the protective film on it from a hardware store tends to be expensive, somewhat less so from a specialty plastics dealer.

If you're not looking for presentation quality acrylic a junkyard or the like can be a good source. Some scratches can even be removed with the right techniques. A lot of decent plastic gets thrown away by companies in the form old/busted display cases, vending machines, etc, but it's kind of tricky because of all the different types of plastics.

A good trick is instead of buying expensive plastic cement (and there are different types for each type of plastic) just dissolve some scraps of the plastic you are gluing in a solvent such as acetone to make your glue.

http://www.thekrib.com/TankHardware/plex.html
Has anyone here used acrylic out of a scrap yard? What was your experience with using these?
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Old 10-02-2003, 06:20 PM   #6
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Here is a link to a website that I have received a catalog from for plastics. They have all kinds. Just imagine it (plastics wise) and they have it or I would bet that they could get it, lol. Anyway here it is-

http://www.piedmontplastics.com/

Here is another link but you will not be able to get a catalog from them ( these guys cary everything that you can imagine nto just plastics)-

http://www.mcmaster.com/

This is a link to website that sells all kinds of fastners, knobs, & thinga-majigys-

http://www.reidtool.com/

The above link talks about melting plastic by melting it with acetone and use that for glue. I would recommend using a glue made exclusively for that purpose due to the fact if a joint fails it could really do some damage.
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Old 01-13-2004, 03:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justDIY
I give joints two coats with #3 over about 2 hrs, and then a final coat of #16 and let it harden for a day.
i wanted to bring this thread back up to question this method. i've read that more coats of #3 or #4 cement will actually weaken the joint. is this true?
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Old 01-13-2004, 04:02 PM   #8
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i would suggest www.usplastics.com

i haven't found any sites that can compete their selection, and prices. their catolog is almost the size of a phone book, and it's free
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Old 01-14-2004, 03:38 PM   #9
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wow...US plastics has a huge selection! but $180 for a 48x96 sheet of 3/8" acrylic? that's better than the $215...but still... somebody said that even $150 was too much for that product...

btw, when i look at the yellow pages, there's a ton of different subcatagories.... what should i look for?

http://www.cincinnati.ypcity.com/yps...&go=plastics#0

the next page has a bunch more listings...
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Old 01-14-2004, 05:30 PM   #10
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yeah usplastics does rule, mr burns were you asking me about the yellow pages ?

if you were, i was just joking, their catalog while being large, isn't the size of the yellowpages/phonebook, it's like a 130pages long and it's free [i just checked, it's 290pages long].. but contains abunch of things you never thought existed. oh yeah mr burns they're in lima ohio (that's 30mins away for me, probably a few hrs for you) i am going to call and ask if i can pick up my order and save the money on shipping, if you want i will let you know how that goes.
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