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$$$ Acrylic Tubing vs Soft Tubing $$$

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
including fittings and tubing, has anyone seen a noticeable price increase from using acrylic tubing vs soft tubing???
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eazyice View Post

including fittings and tubing, has anyone seen a noticeable price increase from using acrylic tubing vs soft tubing???

Fittings and tubing puts both tubing at a very similar price range; however rigid tubing needs to be bent, needs jigs, and etc in order to bend so it will have a notably high one time expense for the equipment. You'll need a heat gun which can cost between $20USD - $80USD depending on what kind of heatgun you get, I got a Milwaukee which is very powerful, and heats the tubing to bendable temps within a minute, no clue how fast a cheaper gun will heat it so maybe someone else can comment on that. You need a jig to bend the tubing against, which you can either glue a shot glass to a piece of board, or something along those lines, or you can purchase a proper one from FCPU, Monsoon makes a kit for the jigs. You'll also need a ruler or measuring tape but you probably already have one of those.

All in all acrylic tubing will have a one time payment of between $40-$150 depending on whether you get a legit bending equipment, or just make some make shift gear in your garage. Monsoon makes a bending kit with EVERYTHING you could possibly need for bending for around $90USD.

So if you factor in bending equipment acrylic costs more, if you don't factor in one time payments for bending equipment they cost about the same.
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Very much thanks for the detailed response. I am also factoring in the cleaning of acrylic tubing during maintenance vs cutting new tubing for a new clean look.
post #4 of 6
There is another thing you might think about long term wise, acrylic you won't have to replace any tubes. While its recommended that you replace soft tubing every few Yrs. Plus soft tubing tends to absorb colorant and turn yellow even if you use clear coolant.
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post #5 of 6
It really depends on your loop, but in my case acrylic saved me quite a bit over what I paid for the same loop in flexible tubing because the bends in the acrylic are replacing all of what was six 90 degree rotaries that I needed previously. Even with the cost of Primochill's acrylic tubing it's cheaper, but if I would have went with clear acrylic from mcmaster carr or usplastics it would have been a lot cheaper still.

Also, you definitely don't need any fancy bending jigs. Many many people just freehand all their bends. Just take a look at the acrylic bending vids by Jesse @ modmyzoo & Bill @ mnpctech (like this one) to see some really nice looking loops all bent freehand.

For my first bends I used an almost empty spool of teflon tape to form bends around and I have to say it worked a treat. I do have a full 3/8x1/2 Monsoon bending kit now though, but haven't used it enough yet to say one way or another how much it might help.
post #6 of 6
Very true even with the monsoon bending jig I still had to free hand a little bit anyways. Damn should a thought of using a spool of Teflon tape. I bought the set just for the 90 and 180 the spool would of saved me a few bucks.
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