1/4 inch plexi for 16x20 washer?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Colin Graham, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. Colin Graham

    Colin Graham Member

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    I am making a 16x20 vertical print washer that will encroach on 2000 cubic inches of water and am worried that 1/4 inch plexi wont be rigid enough. I'm welding the seams so I'm not really concerned there but it seems like it might deform alot when full. If anyone has a 16x20 could you measure the tank thickness? Thanks very much
     
  2. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Colin

    My Nova 5-slot washer has a wall thickness of 8 mm.
     
  3. lee

    lee Member

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    my zone vi has 3/8 inch walls I think.

    lee\c
     
  4. Colin Graham

    Colin Graham Member

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    Thanks guys. Back to the drawing board!
     
  5. jamie young

    jamie young Member

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    My 16x20 has 3/8" plexi as well, but you could put a small strip at the top to add strength if needed. My 20x24 has a 3/8 by 1" piece perpendicular near the top to add rigidity.
    Both of mine are zone VI but the place that made them was local in Madison, WI. I went over and got sratch & dent models for a discount.
    Jamie
     
  6. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    My first "self built" 16X20 washer used 1/4 inch acrylic for the walls. I never had a leak in it over tweny years of use. My current Zone VI is what others have said.

    One could get by with 1/4 inch acrylic if it is designed properly. I believe that one could be built lighter and less expensively then using 3/8 inch acrylic if one designed stiffeners into the side walls and used 1/4 inch material.

    You should be guided by your own beliefs on this.
     
  7. Colin Graham

    Colin Graham Member

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    As with many things, ultimately impatience rules design. I cant find 3/8 material locally and have 1/4 on hand, so it seems my decision has been made for me. Thanks for the suggestions and Donald that certainly helps to know yours was good for 20+ years. I'll post some pictures when it's done.
     
  8. Eric Mac

    Eric Mac Member

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    You could use one of those big rubbermaid bins as your container. Those things are industructable. I did it for an 8x10 washer.

    Eric
     
  9. pelerin

    pelerin Member

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    Hi,
    ...any ideas on where one might obtain plexi at a modest cost. (local supplier is TAP) When I looked into this the cost of material made the price of commercially available units seem good value.
    Celac.
     
  10. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    My washer is stainless steel, like Ansel Adams used.

    Curt
     
  11. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I have found acrylic at two wholesalers in the town where I used to live. I am not sure the size of your city but most larger cities will have materials available.

    As I recall, when I built my home built washer over twenty years ago the cost of materials was around $100. I bought my Zone VI washer used on Ebay for $350. So yes you can spend a fair amount on materials. I think new comparable washers are up in the $650 range now.

    Good luck.
     
  12. Colin Graham

    Colin Graham Member

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    Cool! How did you make it?
     
  13. Colin Graham

    Colin Graham Member

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    Works! I put an extra collar around the top and bottom and made the intakes to double as a clamp of sorts, so hopefully if there's a failure it wont be catastrophic.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2007
  14. blokeman

    blokeman Member

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    1/4 inch plexi for washer

    Hi Colin, for what it's worth I'll tell you my experience, in the early 1990's my (then) girlfriend made an exact copy of a Zone VI washer 20x24 (except she expanded it by a further 4 inches). For this we used second-hand (used) perspex (this is what we call your 'plexi-glass') and it is 6mm in width. 6mm is close enough to 1/4 inch. Anyway, I've used this washer constantly since then & have never had any troubles concerning it's lack of strength. We used the specific glue for plexi, the one where you should wear a mask while applying it. Also, I haven't had any problems with buckling, although I always keep a few inches of water in it when not in use. Maybe this vote of confidence with using 6mm material for 13-14 years will ease your anxiety.
    david.
     
  15. Colin Graham

    Colin Graham Member

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    Hi David
    That does help, thanks. I did use the acrylic solvent weld. I guess was just worried because the darkroom happens to be the computer room too and well...you can imagine! But I feel better now that it's done and and has been filled. Thanks again.