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Rimless Biocube Acrylic Lid

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So I’m in the middle of rebooting my biocube and decided to do everything right this time. Part of this build I figured I would do the rimless mod like other have done but I wanted to be able to make an acrylic top along with a screen to prevent fish jumpers. I first used 3/4” mdf board to make a template of the top of the glass. So I set it on top of the glass and used a router to make it exact to the top of the rim. After I made the template I clamped my piece is 1/4” cast acrylic to it and used my router to match the template. I then decided to use my stand to clamp in my router upside down and then used a straight board to make a homemade ghetto router table because I’m too cheap to buy one ?. I raised the router bit just enough to route off half of the lip so that it would fit snuggly around the glass of the aquarium. I could have quit there if I wanted a completely closed lid, but I want to incorporate a screen top so back to my template I went. I then moved my router gate (aka piece of wood) away from the bit an inch and a half and then I routed out the inside of the board. I now have a complete mdf template to easily make more of these if I wanted. After cutting out the center of my template, I clamped the acrylic to it again and routed out the inside. The only thing left I have to do is figure out how I’m going to affix the screen top from BRS to the top. Let me know what you think!










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I finally got around to adding a screen to my acrylic top. I ordered 1/4” screen from BRS and I used a 1/8” bit router to make a groove, using my ghetto router table again) and then used screen spline and put the screen in. It’s not 100% perfect but I do like the way it turned out. Another step closer to finishing the build. 


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That’s fantastic!!!! I really need to do some projects that involve templates for my router. I have a mini Rockler router table for my Dewalt 611. Super smart idea to use the rim of the tank itself as a template, although that must have been nerve racking. Tilt the router a few degrees and that glass would go boom!


I may try this to make a lid for my glass ATO, more to try routing acrylic than actually needing a top for it. Maximum RPM and go slowly?  It’s rectangular, so a template may not be needed. If you modified the template a bit by gluing on tabs you could have the lid sit inside the tank and rest on the edge like the artfully acrylic ones.

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I used the router bit that has the straight edge ballbaring to match your piece with template below. I had the mdf clamped fairly tightly against the top of the aquarium and I had the router bit barely long enough for the blade to cut the wood while the ballbaring guide went along the glass. I did put painters tape across the entire top edge of the glass to prevent scratches but I guess it never dawned on me that if I tilted the blade I would have shattered the glass. I sure am glad that didn’t happen!


As for as the speed when cutting acrylic, the faster speed work d best for me. I guess similar to if you was using a saw blade, you want a lot of teeth for a smoother cut. For your ATO top being square in shape, I would just use a table saw or circular saw with an 80 tooth blade. Would likely get straighter cuts than you would with a router. 

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1 hour ago, This guy is extra salty said:

Genius build 

can’t wait to see the tank go live

Thanks! I want to get a bit further along into the build before I start my build threadbutill be sure to document my progress....eventually 

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