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Stands

Contents:

  1. Help with making stand for 2 55g tanks
    by dbailey-at-bcarh673.bnr.ca (Douglas Bailey) (Fri, 14 Aug 1992)
  2. Request: Simple Aquarium Stand Instructions
    by hopea-at-cs.Helsinki.FI (Pauli Hopea) (8 Jun 92)
  3. REPOST Tank stand design (with pictures)
    by mdh-at-mlb.semi.harris.com (Mark Hanson) (Thu, 23 Jun 1994)
  4. Tank stand plans
    by richb-at-kronos.com (Rich Braun) (23 Apr 92)
  5. Building a stand
    by booth-at-hplvec.LVLD.HP.COM ("GEORGE L""BOOTH") (20 May 92)
  6. PLANS FOR STAND
    by "Robert L. Inglis" <dringlis/ix.netcom.com> (19 Nov 1997)
  7. DIY stand/hood materials
    by "Colin Anderson" <colin_d_anderson/hotmail.com> (Mon, 04 Jan 1999)
  8. DIY stand/hood materials
    by jlemons/myriad.net (Mon, 04 Jan 1999)
  9. MDF board/home made stands.
    by "Tony Minneboo" <fishingt/angelswest.com> (Mon, 4 Jan 1999)
  10. home made stands
    by Kevin <kevin16/home.com> (Mon, 04 Jan 1999)
  11. Stands
    by "wayne jones" <waj/MNSi.Net> (Tue, 5 Jan 1999)
  12. stands
    by "Tony Minneboo" <fishingt/angelswest.com> (Wed, 6 Jan 1999)
  13. Submissions to your site
    by Andy <dduvall-andy/mail.cvn.net> (Mon, 12 Jun 2000)

Help with making stand for 2 55g tanks

by dbailey-at-bcarh673.bnr.ca (Douglas Bailey)
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1992


I'm an amature wood worker.  I've built 3 different aquarium
stands (one for a 70 gallon tank & 2 different ones for 33
gallon tanks).  I'm currently contemplating two stands to
hold 4 25 gallon tanks in configurations similar to that
wanted by the original poster.

Here's my dissertation on the subject.

For any joint which is expected to support a great deal of
sheer force, you're best off ensuring that there is some
structural member supporting those that will support the
weight.

For example, a bad choice would be a butt joint:

                   | force
         ____      V
        |\   \
        | \___\---------------
        | |   |               \
        | |   |----------------
        | |   |               |
        | |   |----------------
        \ |   |
         \|___|

In a butt joint, the only support against the sheering force
of the weight of the tank would be whatever mechanism is used 
to hold the two pieces of wood together.  The original poster
stated that he would use screws.  Screws are ok, but will tend
to loosen if the stand gets moved around or bumped.  In softwood,
the screw holes will deform under the weight of the aquarium and
accellerate the loosening process. My general philosophy is to
have the wood support all of the weight.  Whatever glues and
screws you use are there only to keep the various pieces in
the configuration which supports the weight most effectively.

The best bet for something like this would be to cut a notch in
the verticle member into which the horizontal member fits.  Then
the downward force of the aquarium would be transfered effectively
to the verticle member without depending on the connecting 
mechanism.

For example:

     |\----\
     | \    \                  |  weight of tank
     |  \    \                 V
     |   \    \
     |    \----\           ______________________
     |  \  |    |         |\                     \
     |  |\ |    |         | \                     \
     |  | \|----|         |  \_____________________\
     |  |    |            |  |                     |
     |  |    |      <---  |  |                     |
     |  |    |            \  |                     |
     |  \----\             \ |                     |
     \   \XXXX\             \|_____________________| 
      \   \XXXX\         
       \   |----|
        \  |    |       horizontal member fits into notch in
         \ |    |       verticle member.  Weight of tank is
          \|----|       transferred to surface marked 'X'.


For a 55 gallon tank, using 2x4s for all members, I'd place the
horizontal members on edge (so their cross section is 4" high by
2" wide).  The verticle members should show their narrow edge to
the front and back of the stand.  Then, in each verticle member,
cut a notch 4" high by 2" deep to accept the horizontal members.
For work like this, the notch can be effectively cut with a
hand saw and a chisel.  If you've got access to a table saw or
radial-arm saw, all the better.

I believe a 55 gallon tank is 4' long.  For any stand 4' or greater
in length, you should really use 6 verticle members.  One in each 
corner, plus one in the center of each 4' horizontal member.

I hope my ascii pictures and explanations were clear enough.  If 
wish to ask me any further questions, post them.  I can't receive
email here.

Doug Bailey

Request: Simple Aquarium Stand Instructions

by hopea-at-cs.Helsinki.FI (Pauli Hopea)
Date: 8 Jun 92

I saw once a practical stand for a long (2 meter) tank that was made
from 6 construction blocks. I do not know what the American english
name for these blocks are, but the finnish name is 'light gravel block'.
They are lightweight, you can easily cut them with an ordinary handsaw 
and they are very sturdy and _cheap_ (they are usually about
 50cm x 30cm x 30cm).

 This tank had 3 'legs' each two blocks high. Each leg had a piece of
rubber mat under the leg and between the leg and tank to smooth the
surfaces. 

 If you want to hide the blocks and do a 'cabinet stand' just
make a wooden cover to fit in front and sides of the stand and
mount small wheels under it so you can move the cover back and
forth

 top wiew:

   ------------------------------------------------
   |                                              |
   |                    tank                      |
 x |                                              | x
 x |                                              | x
 x ------------------------------------------------ x
 x                                                  x
 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
                                        \
                                         cover

-- 
object: Pauli Hopea             I   Life is hard...
voice:  +358-0-7522953          I             ...and then you die.
email:  Hopea-at-hydra.Helsinki.Fi I                       -pessimist

REPOST Tank stand design (with pictures)

by mdh-at-mlb.semi.harris.com (Mark Hanson)
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 1994
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

Here is a REPOST with the pictures fixed (Sorry  :^( )

I built a real nice Oak stand for my 55 gallon Tank.
I really kind of overdid it and ended up making a real
nice piece of furniture.

The key I think is to have the tank sitting right on the vertical edge 
of the wood. As you can see from the stands in stores. I still don't
know how they get away with press board and no supports.
                                                                   
I put a top on mine, but would probably not do that again.
No real problems, I just can't check the bottom for build up
of garbage.                                              

My tank is an AGA Aquarium and has the plastic base with a
center support. So it only touches at the edges and at the
center support.                                        

I started off by making three rectangular doughnuts from
pine 2x4's (could be overkill) (see below)


           _____________
          |_           _|
          | |_________| |
          |   |     |   |
          |   |     |   |
          |   |     |   |
          |   |     |   |
          |   |     |   |
          |   |     |   |
          |   |     |   |
          |   |     |   |
          |   |     |   |
          |  _|_____|_  |
          |_|         |_|
          |_____________|


These are the supports/structure at the sides and center.
(Use glue and screws) Just glue if you feel daring 8^)

Measure this so that when you attach the plywood to the sides
and the front and back the edges will match up with the            
edges of the tank base. I used 3/4" Oak plywood and I cut
the front doors directly out of the front piece. This is 
kind of tricky, and was done by raising a table saw blade 
into the plywood from underneath and then moving the plywood
to cut the door openings. Use these cutouts as the doors.

To avoid having plywood edges showing all over the place 
I took Oak 1x4's and ripped these down to 1x1's and capped 
off all the edges. Also use the 1x1's on the edges of the
doors. On the inside of the front where doors were cut out
I cut down the 1x1's to 1"x1/4" to cap off the edges.
I had to use a straight edge router where all the caps met
the plywood to even things up. I then did a lot of sanding
to make it really smooth. I used a 1/4 round router on the
door edges. I covered all of this with Helmsmen Spar 
Polyurethane from Minwax. Inside and out. You can put shelves
inside by just screwing plastic shelf supports into the 
2x4 supports. I put a bottom in mine on top of the bottom
support piece (so there is a 3 1/2" space below the bottom).
And a shelf on the one side. I put a top on mine but you
dont have to. You might want to cap off the top edges of 
the plywood (not sure). Make sure that the center support
(if you have one) is supported by something.

                                    TOP VIEW


   |<-------------------------------- 48" ---------------------------------->|
    _________________________________________________________________________
   |_|_____________________________________________________________________|_|
   | |  |                             |  |                              |  | |
   | |                                                                     | |
   | |  |                             |  |                              |  | |
   | |                                                                     | |
   | |  |<-------- 2x4 supports ----->|  |                              |  | |
   | |                                                                     | |
   | |  |                             |  |                              |  | |
   | |                                                                     | |
   | |  |                             |  |                              |  | |
   | |                                                                     | |
   |_|__|_____________________________|__|______________________________|__|_|
   |_|_____________________________________________________________________|_|
    ^                   ^
    |                   |
    |                   |
  caps              plywood


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mark Hanson                Of all the things I've lost,
Go Gators, Go Bills        I miss my mind the most.
============================================================================
Harris Semiconductor             Internet:   mdh-at-mlb.semi.harris.com
PO Box 883 MS 62B-022            Work Phone: (407) 724-7572
Melbourne, Fla. 32902


Tank stand plans

by richb-at-kronos.com (Rich Braun)
Date: 23 Apr 92
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

U29060-at-uicvm.uic.edu (Jeanette Chun) writes:
>Does anyone out there know where I can get plans to build a tank stand. All
>the wood ones for sale are so expensive.  I know I can build one on my own,
>but I want the plans just to be safe.  I mean, an aquarium can get awfully
>heavy.  I'm going to be getting a 30gal (36x13) or 40gal (48x13) aquarium,
>so plans for these sizes would be preferred.

I've built two wooden aquarium stands.  The first was for eight tanks,
arranged as follows:

	+-----------+-------------------------+----------+
	|           |                         |          |
	|   10gal   |                         |  10gal   |
        +-----------+                         +----------+
	|           |         55gal           |          |
	|   10gal   |                         |  10gal   |
	+-----------+---+----------------+----+----------+
	|               |                |               |
	|               |                |               |
	|    29gal      |     29gal      |    29gal      |
	|               |                |               |
	+---------------+----------------+---------------+
	|               |                |               |

The second is the one I now use for my 55-gal system.  Both were designed
to handle a lot more weight than is really necessary.  (The large stand
shown above was part of a 'divorce settlement' given to an ex.)

In the above diagram, all framing members are standard 2x4 lumber, with
the wide (3.5") dimension facing forward.  The bottom legs are doubled
for strength (I've concluded since then that this probably isn't necessary:
most aquarium shops build their racks out of single 2x4 lumber, except
for tanks >100gal, which are often on steel beams).  My 55-gal stand
uses 4x4 legs, which are IMHO mega-overkill.

For all my tank-stand construction, I use Elmer's wood glue and large
bolts with nuts and washers.  Drill a hole the size of the bolt all the
way through, and counter-sink the round head (get the kind with just a
plain head and a square section of the shank to hold it in place:  they
look nice even without concealing them).  Cover the whole thing with
polyurethane or waterproof paint, including the bolts.

The wood glue is important.  This makes the stand rigid.

Also recommended is the use of a decorative facing board along the bottom
edge of each tank.  Standard 1x6 stock works OK for this purpose, providing
just the right height (when nailed to a 2x4 flush along the bottom edge)
to cover the plastic trim around the bottom of the tank.  This board,
going all the way around the stand, also has a functional purpose:
earthquake protection.  Your tanks cannot slide off.  Water will slosh
on the floor, but the tanks will stay in place so long as the stand doesn't
tip over.  (Hence another recommendation:  for tall stands, anchor them
to the wall.)

-rich


Building a stand

by booth-at-hplvec.LVLD.HP.COM ("GEORGE L""BOOTH")
Date: 20 May 92
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

When you consider that the compressive strength of plain old pine is
750 pounds per square inch (a 1x1 could hold up 750 pounds), the 
design of the stand is not too important from a strength standpoint.  
Almost any old design will not be crushed by the weight.  What is 
important is the stability of the design, i.e., is it braced properly 
so that it stays rectangular and does not become a rhomboid.  Also 
important is how it supports the tank.

We had an 85 gallon tank supported on a simple concrete block and plywood
stand that was perfectly usable but not all that pretty.  Cheap too.

Check out you local fish store - you will find that some stands are 
made of of 2x4s and could support a Mack truck.  Others are made from
1/2" particle board that looks pretty flimsy but are completely 
servicable. 

---------
George


PLANS FOR STAND

by "Robert L. Inglis" <dringlis/ix.netcom.com>
Date: 19 Nov 1997
Newsgroup: alt.aquaria,rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc,rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants,rec.aquar

Well I built a 55gal stand out of 3/4" partical board exclusively.  No 2x4
supports, just 3/4 partical board glued and screwed together.  Mind you
partical board and water do not mix as a rule.  You will need to
water-proof it, ie paint with a good quality paint.  Even after the water
proofing you should not let water stand/puddle on it or possibly suffer the
conquences.

Basic design is to make the length 1" longer than the length of the tank. 
I chose to make the top 15" wide and recess the front and back sides an
inch or so.  Ideally you want the tank and the supporting sides/back/front
to center directly under the tank frame.  

So here is my design.  If you want a better drawing then email me at
DRInglis-at-ix.netcom.com and I'll draw you up something with MS office,
otherwise you should be able to get the gist of this design with my sloppy
keyboard drawing.  

Supplies needed.
Box of 1 3/4" #6 or #8 woodscrews (galvanised if you can get them and get
at least 40 screws)
4 self closing hinges.
Drill bit to predrill the screw holes (this is necessary to insure you get
the screws in straight)
Countersink drill bit.
Builder square
Carpenters glue (you'll use quite a bit of this)
1 quart of your favorite water proof paint.
Paintbrush or roller (I used a paint pad)
Of course measuring tape, straight edge, and a pencil.

Remember to use 3/4" partical board...do not scrimp here.
Cut pieces needed. 
2 ea 15x49" (top and bottom)
2 ea 15x25" (back- left&right sides)
2 ea 15x25" (left and right side)
2 ea 12x25" (front- left&right sides)
2 ea 12x24 3/4 or 7/8" (front doors left/right)
1 ea 11x25" (center inside support)
1 ea 3x25" (center front support and door stop)

<---------------49"---------------------------------->    Top
--------------------------------------------------------- |
 |         |                      |      |                         |      
|   |
 |         |    Door         |      |    Door            |       |   |     
              Front view
 |         |                      |      |                         |      
|   26 3/4"
 |         |                      |      |                         |      
|   |
--------------------------------------------------------- |   Bottom


_______________Back_______________    |
| |------------------------           ---------------------- | |     |
| |   Back L-Side            | |    Back R-Side          | |     |
| |                                    | | Center support       | |    15" 
         Top view  
| |   Front L-Side           | |    Front R-Side        | |     |
| |---------------              -----          ---------------- | |     | 
------------------------Front-----------------------------   |


Doors you will center with the door stop.  I used  pennies to raise the
doors off of the bottom and to insure they remained square while I screwed
in the hinges.

Make sure you glue all joined pieces.  Screw through the top and bottom of
the stand into the sides, front and back pieces.  Do not screw from the
left and right sides into the front & back pieces.  Yes you will be able to
see the screw heads until you put the tank on the stand.  Remember to
recess the sides, front, and back pieces to match the tank frame.   This
serves two purposes, one-to hide the screw heads, two-to insure you have
the tank weight squarely over the supports (sides, front, back).

This stand has worked for me for over 6 months.  It has not come out of
square, warped, or become delaminated due to water spills.  I cannot be
held liable for your experiance(s) if you choose to use this design, you do
so with your own risk.  The total cost for me was $26.00.  Quite a large
savings over a store bought stand.  Only thing I should have done to
improve on this design was to work in some type of recess to hide the tank
frame and to add some trim to finish off the square edges of the top and
bottom.  Otherwise I'm very happy with it.


Good luck.
Robert L. Inglis

 


DIY stand/hood materials

by "Colin Anderson" <colin_d_anderson/hotmail.com>
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999

I know its been said, but hogwash on the don't do it yourself message.  
On to the materials discussion.  I've built two stands, and three light 
hoods.  Of the two stands, one was mdf(medium density fibreboard, 3/4 
inch thick covered with a water based polyurethane(sp).  

The stand holds a 27 high tank very well, is ox like strong, has never 
warped, discolored or anything negative.  In short its perfect, requires 
less sanding and is easier to finish to a high quality(w/paint).  
However, caution should be exercised with design using this material.  
You must make sure you've got a good design, there is nothing but mdf 
and a 17 inch section of angle iron in my stand.  The angle iron is 
bolted to the bottom of the 3/4 top sheet for the stand to prevent any 
warpage.

I've also built a hood out of mdf using the 5/8 sheets and the same 
flecto plyurethane finish.  This I've been very happy with as well, 
however, I wouldn't repeat this attempt, at least not with this finish.  
I'd go oil based(I know, but its way better than water based) to achieve 
a better seal.  On one occasion I left my glass top off for three days, 
as has been stated, one joint swelled slightly, it did however go down, 
and with a little patch would be just fine.  Most people would not EVER 
notice the place where it swelled, all you can see is a crack in the 
finish about 1 inch long.

For my 135, with a metal stand, I constructed a front face and sides 
that attach to the metal stand and make it look like a normal wooden 
stand.  For this I used plywood exclusively.  The results have been 
good, but with a lower finish quality than the mdf or that discussed 
below.  Since it bears no weight we won't talk about plywood as a stand 
material, although I can't see any problems whatsoever.  

For the hood on the 135, I've built it out of 5/8 inch fir plywood for 
the top, and 3/4 spruce for the canopy base.  The fir plywood against 
all odds has managed to warp in a quite dry hood, I attempted to seal it 
with plyurethane, but to no avail.  Note, that the fir only warped on a 
long, 6 inch door that opens the front of the canopy, and could easily 
be rectified if I replaced that section with guess what-MDF that was 
properly sealed with an oil based product.  And the spruce was a little 
harder to get a perfect finish with than the below referenced pine.  
Also, on this canopy, I used some wood filler to replace a little 
boo-boo and fill screw holes, it swelled and has in general been a 
mistake.  I reccommed the little wood plugs for the 2 buck they're 
worth.

My latest project is the 6w/gal hood for a 10 gal. that people are 
scoffing at, I believe it is the best choice of material, laminate pine 
'shelving'.  The laminate should be less prone to warpage than plywood 
and is very nice to work with.  I paid 18 dollars(cdn) for a 8 ft by 16 
inch section.  Cheaper than plywood and with no need for mouldings on 
the cut edges to cover the plywood ends.  I've finished the hood with a 
deep red oil-based stain and an oil based semi-gloss varithane.  Very 
nice to work with, produces better results than water based products, I 
venture to say EVERY time.

My material preference to this point:

1) Laminate pine - paint or stain, no need for moldings, least warpage 
capability

2) MDF - only for small stands and any canopy, make absolutely sure it 
is well sealed in the hood (ie 3 or 4 coates good oil based sealant)

3) Plywood - you can always tell when something is made of plywood, not 
that its bad, good results can be had.  Requires the use of moldings for 
the edges to look professionally done.  On the flipside, many nice 
plywoods are available, cherrywood, birch and aspen being my favorites.  
If they match you're houses woodwork, they may still be the best choice.

I'm sorry, I work for an environmental company and am conscious of the 
ramifications of not disposing of oil based products properly.  But, its 
the only way to go for professional looking results, just make sure you 
dispose of it properly.

And use screws, no nail, especially in load bearing joints.  They are so 
much better to work with than nails.

Any questions?

Sorry for the long post, but I hope my exp. is valuable.

Colin Anderson

In reasonably dry, cool Calgary, where mdf doesn't often swell, but 
along with wood filler, will if neglected.

______________________________________________________
Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com


DIY stand/hood materials

by jlemons/myriad.net
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999

> And use screws, no nail, especially in load bearing joints.  They are so
> much better to work with than nails.

One suggestion on the screws.  use stainless steel screws.  I prefer
square drive or robertson for their strength.  With that much water
around, it would be nice to know the probably won't rust.

I have found ss screws at hardware stores in the decking hardware
section, and have also special ordered them from a screw supplier.
They are a little more expensive, but well worth it.

If you can't get ss screws, they have some treated screws for decking
that will work better than normal screws.  Just not as good as ss.

cheers


MDF board/home made stands.

by "Tony Minneboo" <fishingt/angelswest.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999

As far as I know, MDF, or medium density fiberboard, is a much better grade
of particle board. Made under a much higher pressure it will give a stable
wood that, when properly sealed will not warp. Even in wet conditions. Proof
of this is that many road signs are made of it all across the country.

Now, on to stand design. before I went into the fish business I was a
carpenter for many years.
To build a stand for larger tanks, it's very simple. First build a load
bearing frame out of kiln dried 2 x 4's. Bolt the joints with a minimum of
3/8" better would be 1/2" bolts and nuts.
Cover this with any of the plywood or sheet materials already discussed in
other posts. Now, you can use thinner, cheaper sheets. Maybe get a better
grade of plywood. it won't warp because it is attached to the rigid 2 x 4
skeleton in many places. Finish edges like many people have all suggested.
Point here is. Please don't put a 100 gallon plus size tank on any material
only 3/4" wide, be it plywood, particle board, whatever. Build a strong
frame and go from there. be safe. Water is over 8lbs per gallon. The tank,
rocks and a couple of hundred pounds of gravel, all adds up to the weight of
a Volkswagen bug (old one not new one) You could get killed by a weak stand.
Be careful out there.....
Tony Minneboo
Owner, Angels West
mailto:fishingt@angelswest.com
Visit our website for breeding quality angelfish and proven hatchery
supplies.
http://www.angelswest.com


home made stands

by Kevin <kevin16/home.com>
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999

Tony Minneboo wisely advised:
> To build a stand for larger tanks, it's very simple. First build a load
> bearing frame out of kiln dried 2 x 4's. Bolt the joints with a minimum of
> 3/8" better would be 1/2" bolts and nuts.
> Cover this with any of the plywood or sheet materials already discussed in
> other posts. Now, you can use thinner, cheaper sheets. Maybe get a better
> grade of plywood. it won't warp because it is attached to the rigid 2 x 4
> skeleton in many places. Finish edges like many people have all suggested.
> Point here is. Please don't put a 100 gallon plus size tank on any material
> only 3/4" wide, be it plywood, particle board, whatever. Build a strong
> frame and go from there. be safe. Water is over 8lbs per gallon. The tank,
> rocks and a couple of hundred pounds of gravel, all adds up to the weight of
> a Volkswagen bug (old one not new one) You could get killed by a weak stand.
> Be careful out there.....
> Tony Minneboo

I agree. Do the math. Aquariums are VERY heavy.

I worked as carpenter for awhile and built the stand I've been using for
my 75 gal. for four years.

Some general recommendations:

1) Build a strong frame. Tony is exactly right. After the frame is made
you can attach plywood, molding, trim or whatever to make it look good.
That is the way modern buildings are designed and built.

2) Overbuild it. Use more lumber than you think you need. Commercially
available stands for 75's use one 2X4 at each corner. So my stand has
two 2X4s as legs at each corner. Each pair is butted together like an
angle iron. A tank over 4 ft. in length should probably have six legs.

3) Screw and glue. Don't even think about using nails for any part that
bears the load. Use large wood screws or bolts as Tony recommends along
with glue for any important joint. Multiple screws at a joint are a good
idea.

4) Use lots of glue. If glue does not squirt out when you put the parts
together, you don't have enough. Also be aware that end grain soaks up
glue. They will literally suck the glue out of the joint before it sets.
The way I was taught to deal with this is to smear some glue on the end
grain before putting the joint together. Let this sit for about 10-15
minutes. Then reapply glue as normal and put the thing together (with
screws or bolts.)

5) A good cordless drill (with a clutch) will make drilling all those
pilot holes and screwing in all those screws a whole lot easier. The
structural part of my stand has about 70 screws in it. Imagine doing
that by hand.

6) Buy good lumber. If you talk to older carpenters, they will loudly
lament the quality of lumber available today. You can find good stuff if
you look around. Sight along each piece and evaluate how strait it is.
Look at the grain. It should be relatively strait and travel the length
of the board. Lumber breaks along the grain. So pieces with grain
cutting across them are not nearly as strong. Large, loose knots are
also bad. Small tight knots are OK. Go to several lumber yards and dig
through the whole pile of lumber if you have to. 

7) Build it right and it will be level. Making the stand level (and
flat) really should not be that tricky. Having straight lumber is
important. Make certain that every piece is cut to exactly the right
length and that the cuts are square. Then assemble it carefully on a
flat surface. You can check that the corners of a rectangle are square
(90 degrees) by measuring the diagonals. They should be equal. Also
realize that no matter how strong you build your stand it will have some
flexibility. If it is very close to being flat, the weight of the tank
and water will make it flat. Also, you'll hear stuff about using
styrofoam under the tank to compensate for a stand that is not flat.
That makes me feel queasy. Do that weight calculation again. All of that
weight should be sitting firmly on the stand. If the stand is not flat,
maybe you need a new stand.

8) Buy, borrow or rent a power miter saw. You really can rent this kind
of equipment. It will make things much easier, faster and precise. There
use to be carpenters that could cut a board square with a hand saw.
They're all pretty much dead by now. Also, the guy at the Mega Hardware
Depot isn't going to cut the wood as exactly as you should want it.
Practice cutting on the same SIDE of your pencil mark. Yeah, it should
be that exact. Remember what we said about getting the thing level?
Please be very careful with power tools and wear protective goggles.

9) Don't be afraid to start over. If it isn't going well, use what you
have learned on the next try. Wood isn't that expensive. Think about
that weight.

10) You absolutely can build a stronger, better looking stand than the
ones they sell at the local pet store!

Now, if I only knew as much about keeping aquatic plants... :-)

Kevin O. Hicks


Stands

by "wayne jones" <waj/MNSi.Net>
Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999

>I have built my own stand for my 55 gallon tank and it is far superior to
>store bought brands.
>I built the frame from 2x4's and used screws to connect everthing.

Several people have inicated that 2x4's would make better support members than
plywood or MDF board. I strongly disagree. I would not make any type of
furniture using spruce 2x4's as it has a strong tendency to warp and move. 3/4"
plywood or MDF is far more stable. As for being able to support the weight of a
tank, there is no problem except where doors are cut in and there a header
supported by legs should be provided. These can be made from plywood and glued
around perimeter of the openings.
I prefer MDF because the the edges are readily machinable and the surface is
very smooth. The ideal filler to use is a polyester resin like autobody filler.
The best paint job can be obtained at an autobody shop or at a cabinet shop.
Cabinet shops often make kitchen cabinet doors out of MDF and have special
painting facilities to apply an excellent waterproof finish.

Wayne Jones

Don't know too much about fish but carpenter since 1975


stands

by "Tony Minneboo" <fishingt/angelswest.com>
Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999

Wayne wrote:
<<<Several people have inicated that 2x4's would make better support members
than
plywood or MDF board. I strongly disagree. I would not make any type of
furniture using spruce 2x4's as it has a strong tendency to warp and
move.>>>

Wayne, that is why I recommended a kiln dried 2x4 in my post. You just can't
use undried lumber in cabinet work. I am currently building racks to support
over 250 tanks in my new hatchery using dried wood. I used it in my current
fish room that has been up and running for several years with no shrinkage
or warpage. I also used the dried 2 x 4's in my tank stand for my 125 gallon
living room tank. It has been up for numerous years without warping.

One of the reasons I made the recommendation to build a frame inside the
cabinet is that it's much easier for a novice to make the stand strong
enough that way. I agree with you that a PROPERLY designed stand out of MDF
or some other 3/4" material CAN be just as strong. But the keyword is:
"properly designed". Not so easy for a novice.

Ofcourse I could be all wet, first of all I didn't start carpentry untill
1976, so you got a whole year on me there. And then I go ahead and quit to
start a fish business. Go figure. :)
Tony Minneboo
Owner, Angels West
mailto:fishingt@angelswest.com
Visit our website for breeding quality angelfish and proven hatchery
supplies.
http://www.angelswest.com


Submissions to your site

by Andy <dduvall-andy/mail.cvn.net>
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2000
To: Erik Olson <erik/thekrib.com>

I am about to build a stand for my new 29 gallon tank.
I am really like the look and "closed off"-ness of the cabinet style
stand, but i dont have the skill or extra money to enclose it in wood
and make it look nice. So, being inspired by my "crafty" mom, who makes
all kinds of stuff, like sofa covers and other stuff, herself, i have
come up with a nice looking, but cheaper alternative.
 !-=FABRIC=-!

What you need to do is find out the perimiter of your tank stand (lenght
around the whole thing), then add about 12 inches to your measurement. 
The next thing you have to do is measure how tall your stand is. (fabric
is sold in widths of either 36" or 45").  Now go to a fabric store
(walmart even has a small fabric section) and pick up a roll of the
fabric you like (make sure its the right width). When you take it to the
table they cut it at, tell them how long to cut it.  Its usually sold by
yards and fractions of yards (1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 3/4, etc). 

Next step requires a staple gun or small nails (like tiny brads).  wrap
the fabric around your stand with the good side in (the side that looks
nicer). Dont wrap too tight, u want a little give. Also make sure the
overlap is in the front (if u need access to the inside of your stand to
get at filters, etc) Then slide the fabric up until the bottom lines up
an inch or so under the top of the stand (so u have a place to staple
it). then staple or nail the fabric to the stand.  let the fabric then
flop over, so the good side is now showing, and the top edge is tucked
under and stapled, giving a clean nice looking edge. 

Now you have a nice looking stand which is fairly easy to finish off.
Also, with the wide selections of fabric, u could have any color or any
texture you want on your stand (I might even try purple crushed velvet
or fake tiger skin (^:  )
If you, a friend, or you mom even, can sew, make a seam all around the
edges to give it a more finished off edge which is more fray resistant
(if you don't, becareful because some fabric will fray really easily and
look bad) 

If anyone tries it or has any questions, email me at
dduvall-andy(at)mail(dot)cvn(dot)com      (remove the ()'s and replace
with apropriate symbols)


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This page was last updated 30 July 2000