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Old 04-23-2012, 12:29 PM #1
Skyguns
 
 
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Question thick enough ply?

Building my first tank and am starting to armor it up but the question I have is what would be the best thickness of plywood to use for armor against paintballs? I know the thicker the better in most cases but I want to keep it pretty weight friendly.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:09 AM #2
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Plywood is heavy. I assume you are building a motorized?

1/4" would resist paintballs and Nerf rockets. None would penetrate.

Exterior grade unless you can garage it.

Mostly netting for the turret for visibility for safety and defense from RPG players. You build a blind spot and we anti tankers will pop up in it and blast you...

Keep the Center of Gravity lower...
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:09 PM #3
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Corrugated Plastic

What about corrugated plastic sheets? I saw them at Uline, and am going to be attempting a build with them this summer. I built a backpack tank in Indiana in 2008 that I had high hopes for, but I never got to test it out. I had it stolen before I ever got to shoot a round at it, but I'm going to try again this year.

Also, I was thinking about the cardboard at Uline too. They have some triple ply sheets that are supposed to hold over 1K lbs. Might do some testing with that as well. What say you?
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Old 05-07-2012, 01:12 PM #4
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Corrugated plastic probably won't hold up. Look into Polycarbonate sheets (either solid or dual/twin-wall). They are expensive but very lightweight and durable. Whatever you are going to use get a piece to test out before you skin your whole tank.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:43 PM #5
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Tests to Come

I'm going to give the corrugated plastic a try, and I'll post up when I have shot a few dozen rounds into it. The stuff that I had up in Indiana would have almost certainly held up, I feel. It might discolor a bit, but I'm going to paint it anyway.

I'll get some test pieces to shoot up and let everyone know how it goes.

Also, has anyone tried a foam hardener called Bounce? I got some from hotwirefoamfactory.com but never got to test it out. The guy there seemed to think that it would render insulating foam paintball proof. If that is the case, you could build ANYTHING out of that stuff and armor it up for a fraction of the cost of polycarb. I know that it's just a theory, but if Star Trek has taught me anything it is that if it works in theory it's just GOT to work in the real world!!
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:22 AM #6
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Test the theory before betting the farm on it!!!

A dozen or so PBs fired in the "general" direction of the test specimen is NOT a conclusive test.

Put a Hundred or so rounds from 1 to 2 feet away, all at the same spot. That would be reasonably conclusive. Also, make sure your test gun is firing hot, say 300 to 320 fps, cause you KNOW that some Bozos out there WILL be firing hot.

I would do the same with a nerf cannon. I once put a nerf THRU a piece of ply while test firing a new valve-barrel combination. Since it was before I acquired a chronograph, I have no idea what the fps was, but I am confident it was way above the allowed 230 fps. The ply was also a bit less than 1/4", maybe 3/16". Testing is good. Helps keep you out of trouble.
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:35 PM #7
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No Worries

Don't worry, I'm a true believer in testing. I've been building gadgets, gizmos, and infernal devices for most of the last 36 years. I wrote for APG for 10 years (up until the 2011 breakdown, that is) and had a monthly DIY for just under 2 years, so I definitely will be testing things out before I declare them a solution; I'm just forwarding theories.
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:48 PM #8
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Down here in FLA, home to both the Hurricanes football team
and to storms called Andrew, George, etc., they sell plastic
panels to protect windows. Check with Lowes and Home Depot.

Sincerely,
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:49 PM #9
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Good Idea

Hey, I'll check that out. I'm in North Carolina, so you would think that we'd have some hurricane supplies too... though I may be a bit far inland to get them at my local store. It's worth a look!
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:12 PM #10
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I'm guessing those kinds of things are universal
when it comes to their online catalogs.
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Old 05-12-2012, 12:34 PM #11
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Whatever you get, find out how much a 4x8 sheet weighs and do the math for your design. Get samples and blast them.

Then order....
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Old 05-12-2012, 03:30 PM #12
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1/4" ply will work. If you are going to 1/4" ply make sure you secure the plywoold with 3/4 cabinet screws about every 3-5 inches dont be cheap or your tank will start to come aprt after awhile fo use. 1/4" ply doenst have the same streangth as 1/2" for all the jarring that takes place on the field. My sherman is made from 1/4" ply but I screwed it and used 1 1/2" 14 gauge staples to hold it together. For your frame you can use 2x2 studs and for the base of your tank I wouldnt use anything less than 2x4 studs. I know what im talking about since i have been building paintball tanks since 2003. Hope this helps you. Good luck and as always have a great day.

Last edited by Big_joe : 05-25-2012 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 05-24-2012, 04:36 PM #13
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Composite

Something else I want to experiment with is composite material. Insulating foam covered by a layer of corrugated plastic. I think that the properties of the two together will stand up to a pounding. Just a hypothesis at this point, but one that I intend to test.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:58 PM #14
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The chloroplast will split and crack the outer wall.
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