Acrylic Advice

Discussion in 'General Reef Discussion' started by TTNuge, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. TTNuge

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    I purchased a drop in Klir Roller-mat that will go in my 7" filter sock location. The opening in the top of the sump for the filtersock chamber is a little small and I need to open it up a little bit. What's the best way to cut through acrylic on the top of a sump that is already installed? Can I trim it with a certain Dremel bit or is there another better option?

    Also,. the over-flow drain above the filter sock area that flows into the rest of the sump is a little low for the rollermat. I need a 1"x12" piece of acrylic that I can use to block off the bottom of the overflow holes. What would be the best way to attach it? It would be nice to have some sort of plastic screw and nut that I could use to make it adjustable but not sure the best way to accomplish that.

    Any good acrylic guys out there have any advice or ideas on how to best accomplish what I'm looking for? Appreciate any information I can get.

    Thanks,
    Trent Neutgens
     
  2. OP
    TTNuge

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  3. ironman

    ironman Mr flabs of steel!
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    Most hardware stores sell nylon screws and nuts.
     
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  4. nox.rupaw

    nox.rupaw I contributed!
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    You can cut thru acrylic with almost any handheld device. but the important bit is that being a plastic, acrylic will melt pretty fast when you're trying to cut it. you have to be cognizant about that while you're working with acrylic

    for the 2nd part, Im not exactly sure what you're trying to do. i think pictures might help more in explaining what you're trying to accomplish here. But if you want to drill acrylic then like @ironman said, nylon thumb screws work the best. If you're around eden prairie i can give you a few 1/4-20 plastic thumb screws. I got a ton. you need to use a 1/4 inch plastic drillbit to drill a hole (regular drillbit can crack acrylic), and then tap it for threading
     
  5. OP
    TTNuge

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    Thanks guys, that helps a lot. I assume if I'm cutting with a Dremel I'll want to keep the speeds low and go slow to try and cut it rather than melt it.

    For the second part, I think if I get a piece of acrylic 1" by about 14" I can cut a couple inches off so I have a 1"x10" and a 1"x2" piece, drill a hole through both and then just clamp them together with a nylon bolt/nut combo and won't even need to tap it.
     
  6. nox.rupaw

    nox.rupaw I contributed!
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    you can try the score-and-snap method if you dont want to cut it. either ways, i'd try it out on a peice of scrap acrylic before doing it on the sump.
     
  7. ironman

    ironman Mr flabs of steel!
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    Cutting 1/4" thick with a dremel would suck. You can also get away without using a specialized drill if you start with a 1/8" bit and step up in 1/16" increments, a 1/4" single flute countersink tool can also work in a pinch. Can you upload a picture of the area in the sump you need to mod? I've got some spair acrylic laying around, I could rip you the piece/s you need FIF.
     
  8. OP
    TTNuge

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    So I marked out here a rough idea of what I need to trim out as the opening on the top isn't as wide as the filter cup and filter.
    sump_Top.jpg

    And this is where I need a 1" or so strip to block off the bottom part of the holes.

    sump_sides.jpg

    Hopefully that makes a bit more sense of things.
     
  9. nox.rupaw

    nox.rupaw I contributed!
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    those pics make it so much more easier to understand what you trying to get done.

    almost any saw type device will get the job done for you. if it were me i'd personally use a dremel because thats all i have at home, but pretty sure the final product would be super ugly. Then i'd reach out to @jlanger or @clownnut because they're smarter than me and actually know what they are doing when it comes to acrylic.
     
  10. Flounder

    Flounder BRS Reef Squad!
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    I'd use a palm router for a nice smooth cut. Maybe flame it after. But tape the hell out of everything near by with plastic. I did acrylic work on my running sump too in 2017
     
  11. Flounder

    Flounder BRS Reef Squad!
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    Screenshot_20191204-172912_Chrome.jpg
     
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  12. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    I'll chime in, but... I don't advocate cutting acrylic while the sump is still filled with water and operational.
    But if you got to do it...

    When cutting out the two pieces on the top, you'll want to use a drill bit to drill a decent sized hole in the corners of the cutout; starting small and working up to a larger diameter (1/2"+). These holes will prevent the acrylic from having a square corner where it will be very prone to cracking. Using your tool of choice, make your cuts to those predrilled holes. To reduce the chance of cracking/chipping the acrylic, create a jig for the router bit (with a bearing) to follow the shape of the cutout. I would do a shallow relief cut first and then follow up with deeper cuts until I was through the material. And buying a brand new bit would be a wise choice!!!
    My tool of choice would be a router with a base that would ride on the acrylic top to prevent the tool from chattering and possibly causing the acrylic to crack; but that may not be an option with the sump installed inside the stand. Using a router to cut the acrylic will create an indoor snowstorm; as @Flounder mentioned and it won't go away any time soon.
     
  13. OP
    TTNuge

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    Ugh, why does everything have to be so difficult! Who makes a sump opening for a filter sock that is smaller than the filter sock itself?

    It's time to just cut the damn hole in the floor and run the sump in the basement. I'm just afraid that will be a configuration disaster as well.
     
  14. clownnut

    clownnut TUNNWOLC
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    first: filter sock you can turn to get it in. it's designed for filter sock and not filter cup.
    2nd: a notch will create a weak point, stress like to concentrate at notches location. ideally, you want to avoid that.
    3rd: if that's my sump and i have to do that while the sump is up and running, I would find a hole saw big enough and create a jig and drill out the portion rather than cutting it with a router. a little less work, less mess, and bigger curvature.
     
    #14 clownnut, Dec 6, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
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  15. vikingr8der

    vikingr8der Junior Member
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    Well, basement sumps are the best...
     
  16. OP
    TTNuge

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    I am seriously considering it. I've already ruined the carpet under the tank making smaller holes to the basement. I don't have a wife/significant other to answer to. My RO/DI and Mixing Station are already in the basement. I already have Apex gear down there so it wouldn't be too hard to move the brain and probes down there along with the other equipment. I could use my full size Thieling Roller-Mat. I could run a fuge if I wanted to.......

    My luck is I'll have a joist right in the way but that is something that can be worked around. I have low ceilings in the basement and not a lot of clearance above the doorway that is right below the tank but I think it's doable. Maybe I can find someone willing to do it all in exchange for an Apex EL. I'll go out to the bar, have a few drinks and some food and come back to a completely plumbed in basement sump!!! :D
     
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