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Is there any structural reason to not make an acrylic tanks with five flat pieces as you would with glass? You only see acrylic tanks that have the front and sides formed from a single bent piece, which adds a lot of complexity for the home DIYer.
 

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Thanks Art. Seems like all the acrylic tanks I see locally (mainly TruVu) are three pieces (not counting the top bracing) and have a flat front face. But the sides are bent off of the front. The backs are usually colored acrylic.

I know how hard it can be to get a good bend using a heat strip. I used to fabricate assembly fixtures and molds out of acrylic in a long past job. The thickest material I ever worked with was 1/4" so I can't even imagine how hard it would be to try bending a 1/2" sheet with DIY equipment.
 

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Art,
Do you have any experience in bending acrylic tubing? What would you recommend I use to keep the tube from collapsing while bending? I know they use springs when bending copper pipe, so is there an equivelant tool used for bending acrylic?
 

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Well I tried bending a piece of 5/8 OD acrylic tube, packing it tight with fine quartz gravel and heating it over the kitchen stove. By keeping inward pressure on the ends while making the bend I was able to keep the tube from stretching and collapsing around the gravel. I ended up getting a decent bend albiet with some ripples on the inner radius.

Of course, when I tried to drill a test hole in it using a brad point bit it cracked :lol:. I'll pick up an appropriate bit when I go back to Tap Plastics for more tubing.
 

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I tried using a spring (pulled out of a curtain rod) but the acrylic tends to mold itself to the shape of the spring making it near impossible to pull out.

I've got some old jobber bits in a drawer. Next time I'll give one of them a shot.

Thanks.
 
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