Socalsuperhero

DIY Custom 1.4 oven formed pico

66 posts in this topic

Under no circumstances do I recommend that you try anything at home that you read about on the internet...including anything that you read in this thread!

 

Today started off like every other day recently, which is to say that since i've been out on a workman's comp injury I've been bored out of my skull. Than as I was cleaning up around the house I found a bit of half used piece of extruded 1/8" acrylic. It was leftover from another project I did a while back and had a bunch of cracks in it. Anywho, for whatever reason I was inspired to try ovenforming a piece of acrylic since I had never done it before. So i grabed a spare teflon pot that I had saved from the dumpster a couple months back and took the plastic handles off. I didn't have much acrylic to work with, so the fact that I could only get a 4.5" wide piece on the pot didn't bother me at all. Then I was off to the net for a quick search on acrylic oven forming and what temperature I needed to use. Turns out 320 was the magic number for me (Please make sure to check the accuracy of your oven before you try this. Failure to do so may result in ruined ovens, burning plastic, explosions, death, or dismemberment!) I preheated the oven to 320 without the pot in there. Then placed teh cold pot and acrylic in the ove, and 10 minutes later it was done. When i pulled it out I used some masking tape to tape the ends of the acrylic down to the sides of the pot to help it cool in shape.

 

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Needless to say I didn’t start off intending to build a new tank today, but after I saw how awesome the oven formed piece came out, I decided to whip something up. I had no plan and just winged the whole the whole project with stuff that I had lying around. Total, took about 4 hours this morning, although I still have to trim the extra acrylic off the bottom of the tank.

 

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The pump is a mj400 that I pieced some leftover fittings on to. I have a heater that will fit in the fuge area and this tank will also have an auto top. I’m thinking about lighting it with 2x13w power compacts, but 70w mh may also be an option.

 

Overall I’m super stoked with the tank and am thinking that I’ll put it on my dresser or desk. Got to thank everyone who posts all their stuff on here too as you guys inspired me with the whole pico thing.

 

Total display volume 0.68g

Total sump/fuge volume = .68g

Total tank volume = 1.36g

Edited by Socalsuperhero

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AWESOME.. and to think it was alll inspired by some spring cleaning :P definitly has potential

Larry

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Wow, what a really good project and thread! I'm very interested to see how this project develops! :D

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Anyone got one of these?

 

http://www.hellolights.com/12aq2.html

 

It looks like there's some extra room in there with the bulbs so I'm thinking of trying to cut it down by ~2" so it will fit over the tank perfectly with some legs or something.

 

Then again I could just get the one that already fits...

 

http://www.hellolights.com/92x9wcomiaqc.html

 

...then rip the guts out and retro a 70w mh in there. Choices, choices...

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i have the second one, 2x9w to light up my refugium ... the top one shoudnt be that hard to cut w/ a dremel though.

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If your just going to cut it why not save some money and go with this. they even have an 8" 2X13watt

 

http://www.catalinaaquarium.com/product_in...roducts_id=1232

 

HA! Tony, your awesome man! That's exatcly what I was looking for!

 

Holds water...that's always good. I messed around with a couple different plumbing setups, i like this one the best as far as noise and in tank flow.

 

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What did you use to glue/attach the acrylic together ?

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What did you use to glue/attach the acrylic together ?

 

Weldon 3 everywhere and then i had to go back and touch up a few spots with weldon 16 because they didnt' fit quite right. I really didn't take my time with this project an djust slapped it together, but it still came out alright B)

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Nice.

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Holy crap. Super cool. Wonder if you could make more complex shapes (like a wave or something) with a couple pots next to each other, taped together or something. Anyway, what you did is incredibly inventive & interesting. Way to go.

 

C

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again it looks great, ive been thinking of doing something like this but ive never worked with acrylic before so its a little intimidating. what did you use to cut the pieces?

 

any advice for a first time builder?

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again it looks great, ive been thinking of doing something like this but ive never worked with acrylic before so its a little intimidating. what did you use to cut the pieces?

 

any advice for a first time builder?

 

The easiest way is to score and snap it. I used a sabre saw with a fine tooth blade because I was too lazy to go look for my utility knife :P

 

Also, to do it right really take your time prepping the pieces. It can be really tedious but if I had to do it again I would have spent a bit more time fitting everything better.

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this is amazing... I really want a custom pico, and i can see this as being my method of achieving that! :)

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To Zach, it would be tricky (but perhaps not impossible) to do a "score & snap" approach to cutting the bottom piece because it needs to be in a semi-circle. Personally, I've only scored & snapped and I'd recommend that approach for all the other straight parts. Home Depot sells the scoring knives...drag it along a straightedge ruler several times to score your line (you should see shavings coming off the acrylic piece) & then pick it up & snap the sheet. Works like a charm for straight pieces.

 

Ok, back to admiring the cool pico design...

 

C

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Spent the morning taping and painting. It would have been cooler if I had some black acrylic laying around, but I guess krylon fusion gets it done also. Hopefully the lights will come this week since I can't wait to get it up and running! Then I just have to figure out how to make square lights fit a round tank :huh:

 

I ordered an actinic and 10k bulb in the fixture so I hope it should be enough to keep some shrooms and zoos going, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

 

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Tight.

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That's pretty sweet, especially for being just "thrown together!" Good work!

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Ok, big warning to people who are going to try heating up acrylic in their ovens...

 

I found out the hard way that my oven was 80F above when it was actually set to 320F (newer oven, digital control)... My oven now smells very very very bad. I did some research and I found out its not uncommon for household ovens to be very off, and that these very bad smelling fumes can actually be explosive.

 

I think I might have to buy a new oven if I can't get this dang smell gone. I've even used the self cleaning feature and it still smells somewhat... The wife doesn't know yet ... dun dun dun ....

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Ok, big warning to people who are going to try heating up acrylic in their ovens...

 

I found out the hard way that my oven was 80F above when it was actually set to 320F (newer oven, digital control)... My oven now smells very very very bad. I did some research and I found out its not uncommon for household ovens to be very off, and that these very bad smelling fumes can actually be explosive.

 

I think I might have to buy a new oven if I can't get this dang smell gone. I've even used the self cleaning feature and it still smells somewhat... The wife doesn't know yet ... dun dun dun ....

 

Wow man, I'm really sorry to hear that. Based on this, it sounds like the best idea for anyone thinking about trying this is to go buy an oven thermometer and check their oven. Also start a little low and work your way up as different thicknesses of acrylic may react differently.

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Krylon fusion spray paint is safe to use in the aquarium!??!?!?!?

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The fun of DIY, you learn from experiences, right? :P

 

A guy at work I was talking to said he used to make headlight lens covers using cardboard shaped and taped, then laid a few layers of moist news paper over it. He told me he then used a heatgun to evenly heat it, and let gravity do the rest of the work. He also said to wear a pair of white cotton gloves, as you can work and hold the acrylic without burning your fingers.

 

I don't think this method would work too well with thick acrylic.

 

I think I'm going to give this a whirl, and see what kind of interesting shapes I can make..

 

For the record in my oven I was attempting to make a S type front .. just playing with it. It seems to have lost its rigidness from overheating...

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