DIY Glass aquarium cabinet

jkh13

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Was wondering if anyone has ever attempted an all glass cabinet similar to the ADA cube cabinet?

Getting hold of cut and polished optiwhite glass isn't that tricky and the structure seems simpler then building a traditional wood cabinet with doors but making the glass load bearing might be tricky. Does anyone have any knowledge on the best adhesives/bonding techniques for glass?
 

zozo

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Personally, i like the idea if i imagine the looks. But would rather go for Plexiglass instead. It's 10x stronger and much less weight than glass. Easier to cut etc. And the cemented joints will be much more aesthetically pleasing than glass with a sealant bonding in the joints.
 

jkh13

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Tempted to give it a try with perspex. I've read it is more impact resistant than glass but does anyone know if it is more load bearing than a similar depth glass and also if the use of plexiglass cement would create bonds strong enough to hold the weight of a 60L tank?

I'm thinking of having front and back panels but no side panels in order to handle equipment inside. I guess I would need a structure in the middle in order to support the weight, similar to the Ada cube cabinet.
 

zozo

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For a 60 litre tank? That's roughly setup max 70 kilo :) I guess that would be peanuts for a decent construction with plexiglass.. I have seen chairs made from it holding a 110-kilo man with ease.

Example: Rated up to 300lbs
https://www.amazon.com/FixtureDisplays-Chair-Acrylic-Plexiglass-10035-3-H/dp/B01GZI4IWQ

Depending the looks you are after next to cementing it can also be screwed. You can tap thread into it and use countersunk Allen bolts for reinforcement. I have seen furniture pieces from perspex done like that and it looked rather decorative. It can give a nice industrial see-through appearance. If you are working with doors and hinges, you can't get around screwing anyway.

Well not entirely true, acrylic hinges to glue are available. But that's tricky work. It can't be readjusted once it is glued in place.

The load-bearing from the construction, of course, depends a lot on the material thickness you want/require to use.

But material-wise, you can replicate an ADA cabinet completely from acrylic, if cemented correctly with care i'll bet it will be stronger than the original. Nowadays PMMA can be bonded extremely strong with UVA glue. Stronger than the solvent weld type cement. :)

Creating something like this from glass, it would be highly recommended to make it from laminated safety glass. I guess that will spoil it price-wise. As far as i know, that needs to be laser cut. Or custom manufactured.
 
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Ed Wiser

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I would talk to someone who does acrylic fab work. Have you made much with acrylic? What is you access to equipment? Do you know how to flame an edge of acrylic?
These are steps to look at when thinking of doing DIY. If you feel like you can do it and enjoy it go for it.
The cost will be a wash as many don’t factor in the cost of their time.
Everything is a trade off.
 

zozo

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Do you know how to flame an edge of acrylic?
Never a nice result if the saw marks are still in. Then it's far easier to polish it with a very fine grid wet sandpaper. And or maybe a polishing compound after that. That's the best DIY way with lack of equipment. Doing it with elbow grease taking your time, no hurries no worries. :)

Machine polishing acrylic is very tricky too, a tad to much pressure and it melts a dent.

Or you need to order it cut to size with routed edges. Which is always recommended.
 

Ed Wiser

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I always flame the edge it gives a very polished look. Just like a polished glass edge. I leaned making aquariums for a local museum aquariums. Spent two years building a several thousand gallon display systems.
 

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