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Old 11-19-2008, 03:17 PM   #1
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help needed building w/plexiglass

i'm constructing a water therapy tank for my dog w/arthritis and i really don't know what i'm doing. if anyone could offer help or answer a few questions, that would be wonderful.
i'm using two 24" x 24" sheets and three 24" x 36" sheets of 1/2" thick plexiglass and i need a way to hold them together. is there a non-toxic glue that will hold up in several gallons of water? or a better way of holding all the sides together?
the tank will also have a harness attached through the center of both sides at the very top to support her weight and keep her in the middle of the tank. what could i do to secure this harness w/o pulling the two sides inward?
if you have any other ideas for building such a tank, please let me know.


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Old 11-19-2008, 03:53 PM   #2
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The best thing to use to bond the Plexiglas sheets would be IPS Weld-on. Probably #16 would be best for your application. You can probably get it on-line. If you don't get it sealed water tight with the glue, you can use some silicone for sealing fishtanks. Get it at a petstore. As far as suspending the harness, I think I would fabricate a yoke out of something heavy enough to support the weight of the dog. Make it so that it locks over the top edges of the tank, so the dog can't knock it loose. Maybe a couple of pieces of plexiglas laminated together.


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Old 11-19-2008, 04:25 PM   #3
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i think a pet shop would overcharge for silicone. i make fishtanks and just use clear silicone adhesive available from any hardware store.
but i think you'll need more side support, those measurements add up to more than 'several gallons'. that size is more like 30, 40 gallons or more!
lots of sideways water pressure there. it'd be a heck of a mess and possibly dangerous (to the dog) if it split open while you had your dog in there. oh, and "what could i do to secure this harness w/o pulling the two sides inward?" simply butt glue the long sides to the ends (long side covers edge of ends) to handle side pressure.

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Last edited by DangerMouse; 11-19-2008 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 11-20-2008, 06:11 PM   #4
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I agree with the pressure. It will be way more than you think on the joints. Do yourself a favor and look at existing 50 gallon tanks to see how they are built. Weld-on will work but your cuts need to be clean and square. Weld-on also makes a solvent #4 that fuses the acrylic together. You might want to consider structural silicone. GE makes a couple and they are used in the glazing industry. Also if looks aren't too important to you consider reinforing the corners with alum angle siliconed over the corner.

Good luck and post pics when you are done.
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plexiglass , water proof

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