Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Working with Lexan

Well, after waiting over a year for my 4' x 8' sheet of Lexan that was my "Christmas present," work began on the Germination Station Gen 2. Since Lexan is quite expensive, I scaled the station down to a 2 foot square from the original 4 foot square.

My dad and I trimming a piece of Lexan on the table saw.

We found out pretty quickly that cutting a huge sheet of Lexan on a table saw is not easy. I tried to take into account the width of the blade when making all my measurements but it was hard getting precise cuts because the Lexan would warp and bend as it was being cut. I messed up the roof by 1/2 inch because when I calculated the hypotenuse, I forgot to add 1/4 inch on both ends of the roof where the front and back pieces would meet. In the end, it was a good learning experience. A laser cutter would have been nice :)

I set up a jig in my garage to glue the pieces of Lexan together. The glue wasn't really glue; it was a solvent that kind of melted the pieces together.

The box all glued up and taped.

The finished box
I put a bead of clear water proof silicone on all of the jointing edges. I haven't done a water test yet.

The box is pretty solid, and I am surprised by how much it weighs. I need to put some brackets on the inside for the lights, and I have to figure out how to put a vent in the back so that the box can be cooled.

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