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Suggestions for very slim tank/glass box

zozo

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16 Apr 2015
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8,300
Location
Netherlands
it’s not beautiful

It is, and if Picasso would have made it, it would be worth millions...

In its own right, it is actually a stunning and exciting little object. It has a kind of organic look to it. :thumbup: And once scaped and planted it will soften the edges it will look even better...

Wabi-Kusa, comes from Wabi-Sabi... Kusa stands for Grass figuratively for plants. Wabi is among others the beauty of simplicity and imperfection.

And working with silicone sealant looks easy but actually is rather difficult and requires a lot of practice and developed skills. Some people make a profession out of it, sealing bathrooms and windows etc. and urn a good sandwich with it when you become really good at it.

The most important property of Silicone you need to respect is its skin over time. You'll find this data on the label, it could be type-specific between 5 and 12 minutes. The skin over time is the time you have to apply it before it starts to cure and develop a top skin layer. You should be done and not touch the sealant again when this time is over. If you touch it after the skinning starts you'll mess up the seam beyond repair.

So this means for a novice that you have to work rather extremely fast with no room for error and keep your cool at the same time. Making a small mistake, panicking and or hesitating for a minute or 2 is disastrous for the desired perfect end result. Thus looking at your seams overall you did a pretty nice job...

For a starter or somebody that doesn't do it day in and day out you be better off properly preparing and using masking tape.
Also this you have to do in one go, without long brakes. First, put 25mm wide masking tape on the glass edges. Then take a ruler and a Stanley knife and cut strips off the tape where the glass connects + the desired corner seam thickness, which could be 4mm + 2mm is 6mm strips, and remove it. Then properly clean the glass edges with acetone and don't touch them again with bare hands. Hands are greasy, grease and silicone are the worst enemis.
Then after all panels are taped, strips are cut and removed and edges are perfectly clean. You take the silicone and then you have "Look at the label and the skin-over time" for example 12 minutes to get the entire job done... Apply the sealant, place the panels, strike the seams, remove the tape and done, and let it be and wait 24 hours. Then keep in mind when you start removing the tape, with the excess sealant to it after the sealant is applied, always start with the first strip you have put on, because the 2d strip overlaps the 1t and the 3t overlaps the 2t, then you will pull off all 3 in one pull. Start at the opposite side you have to peal 3 times. And it all about not wasting time. And never apply the tape a day before, because if the glue on the tape cures too much you could have trouble getting it off messing up the seams again. Do all on the same day... Even to get perfect at this takes more than 1 tank to make. You can find youtube videos about this silicone and masking tape workaround.
 
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aec34

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10 Oct 2020
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Gloucestershire
Thanks - I am really pleased with it for a first go! I grew up around genuinely skilled craftspeople and artisans, so I guess I set very high standards for anything handmade.

This has DEFINITELY made me appreciate the precise siliconing of high quality tanks. I did masking tape some of it which helped, but the whole thing was made harder by the tank being so narrow. Note to anyone else trying to make their first tank - wider would make the internal corners easier. And I had no idea how much pressure you need to work a silicon gun - it is not just like icing a cake (not that I’ve iced a cake for 20 years, but you know what I mean).

Found some bits of root and rock today so am starting to plan what is going in it 🙂
 

zozo

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Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
8,300
Location
Netherlands
And I had no idea how much pressure you need to work a silicon gun - it is not just like icing a cake (not that I’ve iced a cake for 20 years, but you know what I mean).

Depends a lot on the type and quality of gun you use... If it's springloaded it will be more difficult but if you take a hydraulic gun then it kinda feels like icing on a cake and you'd be able to apply tiny amounts if needed. The best comparison between it I could give is for operating hydraulic brakes then you still can use one gentle finger squeeze to stop and with cable drum brakes you need to squeeze your complete hand with quite some force to get some effective result.

I happen to have a hydraulic gun, they are expensive but for home use a once in a lifetime-buy.
Amazon product
 
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