DIY Hood, stand, LED lights - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 04:35 PM
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Excellent job!! I would like to suggest a small orbital sander if you don't already have one. They are wonderful tools. If you use a belt sander at be EXTREMELY careful. First time I used one of these, it took a big chunk of wood out of my project.
Lastly, I would encourage you to explore the different types of polys out there. Recently I discovered a wipe on poly by Minwax.
http://www.minwax.com/wood-products/...FULe4AodvULOvA
I would use the high gloss one. It doesn't come out looking extremely glossy and it very easy to apply. Due to the manner of application to your project you can almost guarantee an even coat of poly onto your project.
My husband built me a wooden stand, and used the liquid poly. He was extremely frustrated. It was hard for him not to get runs in the poly. If you do choose this type of poly, I would use those disposable sponge brushes. Buy some at the dollar store.
Multiple applications are a must!! It will help preserve your piece, especially from water.
Take care.
Cary
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post #17 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 11:35 PM
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Very nice work!

I love that thick slab top.

Since you used S.P.F lumber, you may notice some surprising amount of expansion as they equalize with the humidity in your home. I've glued up spruce/pine/fir lumber before to make "cheap" woodturnings with, and they always "move around"--- the wood just didn't keep a smooth glue joint over time.


If that happens, it won't affect the integrity of the thing at all but might give you a fit where any expanded wood may show a light, wood color streak that contrasts with the stain.
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post #18 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redfishsc View Post
Very nice work!

I love that thick slab top.

Since you used S.P.F lumber, you may notice some surprising amount of expansion as they equalize with the humidity in your home. I've glued up spruce/pine/fir lumber before to make "cheap" woodturnings with, and they always "move around"--- the wood just didn't keep a smooth glue joint over time.


If that happens, it won't affect the integrity of the thing at all but might give you a fit where any expanded wood may show a light, wood color streak that contrasts with the stain.
Thank you for the complement on the top. It really made the look that I'm going for. Something very substanial.It's kinda funny you mention the glue. Two days after I glued the thing together, I moved it to my front porch so I would have space to work on everything else in my dining room.

It rained a couple nights later...

all my nice, smooth, sanded glue joints popped up AFTER I put on all three coats of stain. Can't sand them down without sanding the stain off... URGH!! Ohwell. I'm moving to CA in about a year or so. Nice and dry! The glue will settle down out there, and go back to being smooth again, I'm sure.

****
Excellent job!! I would like to suggest a small orbital sander if you don't already have one. They are wonderful tools. If you use a belt sander at be EXTREMELY careful. First time I used one of these, it took a big chunk of wood out of my project.
Lastly, I would encourage you to explore the different types of polys out there. Recently I discovered a wipe on poly by Minwax.
http://www.minwax.com/wood-products/...FULe4AodvULOvA
I would use the high gloss one. It doesn't come out looking extremely glossy and it very easy to apply. Due to the manner of application to your project you can almost guarantee an even coat of poly onto your project.
My husband built me a wooden stand, and used the liquid poly. He was extremely frustrated. It was hard for him not to get runs in the poly. If you do choose this type of poly, I would use those disposable sponge brushes. Buy some at the dollar store.
Multiple applications are a must!! It will help preserve your piece, especially from water.
Take care.
Cary
*****

I actually did use a poly from minwax. The block is covered in gloss Polycrylic, and the legs are coated in polycrylic satin.

Oh, and I do have an orbital sander. The 90 degree grinder was used for leveling everything out. It would have taken 30+ hours with my orbital. Also, the ridgid orbital that I have began smoking. Silly me. I didn't register it for the lifetime warranty, and had to buy another one (burnt the motor coils). I've since learned... register for the lifetime warranty for those bloody things!

I'll get a couple pics up in a few days. Everything is turning out REALLY well. I have the block attatched to the legs, and pretty much all the load bearing stuff is in place. The table holds me, my wife, and my son, without a problem. No creaking, no racking. Tonight I'm going to put the bamboo on both sides, and begin construction of the bamboo doors.

My filter came in yesterday too. It's an "aquatop" canister... looks just like the sunsun, and comes with a built in 9W UV sterilizer, which you can turn on and off as you please. It also was less than 100 bucks with shipping! MAN I'm getting excited! I hate going to work because it takes time away from working on my aquarium, lol.

As a matter of fact, yes, I always post, or reply, in novels. I'm adding it to my signature because it seems like I say it in every post!
Fraternity of dirt #32 I'm dirty
UGLY TANK
DIY Asian themed aquarium stand

Last edited by moonshinetheslacker; 09-15-2011 at 05:58 PM.
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post #19 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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A few more pics... I'm getting there. Just assembled the doors today, but no pics on them yet.
Here's a pic of my son, and I.
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If anyone has any recommendations on better angles or whatnot for pics of the stand, I'd appreciate it. And if there's anything y'all might like a closer look at, feel free to say something.

As a matter of fact, yes, I always post, or reply, in novels. I'm adding it to my signature because it seems like I say it in every post!
Fraternity of dirt #32 I'm dirty
UGLY TANK
DIY Asian themed aquarium stand
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post #20 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 02:25 AM
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That's awesome, mostly because it is a totally different approach to the appearance of an aquarium. I'm looking forward to the bamboo being added!

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post #21 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 05:37 AM
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I am already in love with your stand.. If I wasn't limited on room (and I am very limited) I would do something similar for my 55g
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post #22 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks to both of you, I really appreciate the comments. I am actually thinking about building/designing something fairly similar to what I am building now, but for a 20L. Not that I have a 20 long mind you, but I was thinking that this design would look really cool if it was only 12 - 18 inches high. Build some kind of locking mechanism for the hood, and it would be perfect for a little kid.

I sometimes crouch down on the floor, to get a look at life from my son's perspective. I remember not thinking very highly of fish tanks when I was little, and now I know why. They are all too darn tall! Of course, this stand is WAY taller then your typical stand, but it will actually be pretty much eye-level with most adults. The average person looks down, at an angle at aquariums, but I found that the most pleasant way of looking at my 10G, was when I was sitting at the kitchen table. So... why not raise everything up by a good foot or so? I hope the impact won't be too over bearing. I'll have to use a step ladder just to scape, and do general maintenance.

In any event, I'm getting off track. I think this style would look way cooler if it were much, much shorter. Use the 2x12s for the legs, and leave them at 10 3/4 inches wide at the base. It will be a much lower angle, and give the appearance of something far more squat. Think sumo wrestler, in a ready-pose.

Nonetheless, I just got back from the solar decathlon in Washington DC, and am currently glueing, sanding, and staining, before going to bed. Tomorrow, the doors should be on this baby!

As a matter of fact, yes, I always post, or reply, in novels. I'm adding it to my signature because it seems like I say it in every post!
Fraternity of dirt #32 I'm dirty
UGLY TANK
DIY Asian themed aquarium stand
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post #23 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 04:25 AM
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Very nice! I think you have started and almost finished your stand before I have even gotten the chance to finish the legs on mine lol. I am very short (5'2") and after having a 65g cichlid show tank in the past I will put my tank on the floor before having another tall stand, or tall tank. It was just too much of a hassle for me. I have always loved pulling a chair up to the tank and watching the fish for hours. I designed my stand so that I can reach inside every part of the tank without having to be on a step stool.
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post #24 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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Well Calmia, now you have my interest peaked. Where's the pics of your stand legs? Or at least a general sketch of your idea? Get with the program already! Start a thread, and show me some pics!
And I really hope that the stand isn't so tall that I dislike it. I suppose if nothing else, I could build a new one, and use this stand as a bar (perfect height)

As a matter of fact, yes, I always post, or reply, in novels. I'm adding it to my signature because it seems like I say it in every post!
Fraternity of dirt #32 I'm dirty
UGLY TANK
DIY Asian themed aquarium stand
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post #25 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 04:59 AM
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I have a few pics of what I have done so far, but I figured I would wait till I am done, or close to it. I can't get the panels for the sides or front or even consider staining it until the 7th My stand is going to be very plain, but I am trying to figure out little touches here and there that I can do for some personality. It will definitely be personalized to what I need. On the bright side I have spent a total of $26 on it, and don't have a whole lot more to get! I found a pair of cabinet doors at a re-shop store for $4 (I was not looking forward to making doors what so ever so yay!) I am currently sanding the doors down though.
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post #26 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 05:54 PM
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Now that is one sweet looking stand!
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post #27 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Reybie, thank you very much! I am almost finished with it as of last night (up past midnight finishing everything, makes for a real early 5 AM) I just have a few small things to do. I need to stain a couple places that got rubbed a little too much, or had to be filed down to be just the right size. And I have one or two pieces of trim to put on in select locations, etc.

Calmia, are you referring to the habitat for humanity re-stores? Because those places ROCK!! Talk about some cheap stuff! I replaced 12 windows in a house of mine a while back for about 300 dollars with re-store windows.

A note on little touches, trim will do you wonders! Even cheap vinyl trim has it's place, in my opinion. And a lot of the time with the vinyl stuff, you don't even have to nail it. Just use super glue!

As a matter of fact, yes, I always post, or reply, in novels. I'm adding it to my signature because it seems like I say it in every post!
Fraternity of dirt #32 I'm dirty
UGLY TANK
DIY Asian themed aquarium stand
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post #28 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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Alright folks, here is the completed stand. Still working on the hood (obviously) but here are some pics.
Before laying down the MTS, some folk get all this dolomite and potash, and stuff that can be a real PITA to find. I'm a bit more of a risk taker, and am willing to put a couple guppies lives in danger to ensure my tank isn't going to poison my fish. So I first covered the bottom with steel wool. 6 pieces, which were stretched out a bit to cover the tank. These will rust in a matter of days, and will continue to produce plenty of iron oxide for the plants. There are certainly some bad chemicals on this stuff, but by the time it leaches into the water, it won't be any worse then the chesapeake bay. I also threw in a few tablets of TUMS. I hear there is some magnesium in them, and they are mostly calcium, so the plants will have plenty of that.
A few expired multi vitamins were also thrown in there. I'm sure there's stuff in there that plants will like, right? I also tossed in probably over 100 egg shells which had been dried, smashed, and ran through a coffee grinder. Again, calcium carbonate. I was also eating a banana. What the heck? Plants might like the peal. So I tossed that in also. Some no-salt was thrown in there for a replacement to the dolomite. So all my bases should be covered. We'll see how it works.
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I'm planning on sticking a black ghost knife fish in here eventually, so I figured he should have a nice big cave. I made this out of a 2 litre soda bottle.
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After the mineralized topsoil was in, it was capped in washed playsand. I found some really grey playsand at home depot that I liked a lot, so I tossed out the yellow stuff I already had, and got the grey stuff. This next pic shows my LED flood lights. The wiring isn't currently the safest, but it'll be fine as long as the front isn't on the hood. Once the hood is completed, the wiring connections will be made inside of sealed boxes, so moisture can't accumulate on them, and there will be an extra layer of insulation between the connections and wooden hood.
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And without further ado, here is the completed stand!
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I still have a couple finishing touches, but I learned a really good trick from Hoppy. It's a secret that he posted on the forums. Stand far enough away, so people can't see your mistakes!

And I will post pics of the hood, and top rim cover once they are complete.

One more pic... I call this my ark of the covenant!
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I suppose I should probably put a pic of the stand over on the official sticky stand thread as well.

As a matter of fact, yes, I always post, or reply, in novels. I'm adding it to my signature because it seems like I say it in every post!
Fraternity of dirt #32 I'm dirty
UGLY TANK
DIY Asian themed aquarium stand
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post #29 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 05:21 AM
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Very interesting looking stand! (I'm sure you aren't looking for comments about the substrate, so I will pass on that for now. Bananas?) I'm trying to figure out what would make the stand look better to my eyes, but I'm not there yet. Maybe a bigger tank???

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post #30 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonshinetheslacker View Post
One more pic... I call this my ark of the covenant!
I was trying to figure out what it looks like before I read your comment... I like it!
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