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Steel Framing

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:22 pm
by andyroo
Hi Loach-y-Folk,
I don't see people using steel support/reinforcement framing around their tank seams/sides, only glass. Is there a reason?

I ask as we're putting an in-wall build into our farmhouse renno; I'm thinking to reduce my glass cost by doing the framing in 1.5" angle-iron on top (pinned back to wall) & on the bottom (rebar'ed into the concrete bottom), then setting the glass and finally finishing the frame with angle iron screwed & cemented into the side walls. Any thoughts?

I am thinking seal the steel-float cement walls/bottom and any wet-side steel with WestSystem 105 Epoxy, as I've got plenty at-hand (the wonders of owning a vintage Boston Whaler)- any thoughts on that? Should I just spring for PondArmour?

The wall gap we're filling is 7'10" x 17~18" to an 8' ceiling. Assuming perfect rigidity of the frame, how high can I go with 0.5" glass?
Half-inch is the thickets that is regularly imported; annoyingly this is only cheap green glass, so suggestions on colour-shift lighting would be helpful, also. If 1/2 won't get enough height and I have to do the shipping myself, I may opt for low-iron or acrylic. Money is certainly a consideration, but so is "I'll only do this once"

Yes, I've asked about this at MFK. Some very helpful inputs, but I'm still sniffing...


Re: Steel Framing

Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:46 am
by Bas Pels
While I am not certain, I think making a metal frame will cost money, money which will not be saved by reduced glass costs

Now a metal frame will add strength to the construction, and therefore thinner glass can be used - but as you said, the metal frame should be perfect to work, anhd how much glass will it safe?

I got a tank, 4 meters long, 70 cm high, that is some 2 feet 3 inches, made of 12 mm (half an inch) glass. I would assume, had I made a metal frame, I could have used 10 mm glass, saving perhaps 300 euros, but the frame would have costed 500 euros or more

Recently I inquired after the cost of a polyethylene tank, to be used as a pond. It turned out to be more expensive than glass, which obviously has the added benefit of being transparant.

Glass is expensivbe, that´s true. But alternatives are often more expensive. Still, you vould perhaps have a construcor make the tank out of concrete, coat it with epoxy a few times and hang a window in it. That might be less expensive than a full glass tank

Re: Steel Framing

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:29 pm
by andyroo
Bas Pels,
Agreed & I'd love to do something less complicated, but this is an island: for anything "special" imported, tack-on at least 50% in shipping & duties. One $400 pane of larger or clearer glass quickly gets well over a grand, and that assumes I don't break it ;)

So I buy "off the peg" where I can: cement, fibreglass, steel and float glass up to 1/2" and rely on relatively inexpensive local labour. The stupid epoxy I have leftover, thank goodness... it cost me best-part-of $200/gal by the time it arrived, but came through my little company (don't tell the tax-man)

thanks, but I can't take credit for most of these ideas. Most come from a pro-installer in Australia on MFK forum who goes by Fishdance. If I had his website I'd share it.

Re: Steel Framing

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:41 am
by Bas Pels
I know tha advantages of having a little company myself :)

I can imagine on an Island prices can be quite different - what's produced locally, even though much more expensive elsewhere, can be the best solution.