DIY Plywood only aquarium stand - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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DIY Plywood only aquarium stand

Hey everyone, so for my build thread I'm making a plywood only stand. It's a 40b tank that will sit on it, and I'm using 3/4" plywood. I have this built, and will be cutting the holes for the door and access ports in the back this weekend. I'm trying to determine how big of holes I can safely cut into this thing.

Being a 40b, the width is a little over 36", and the height is 32". I am looking to do 2 doors with a center support in the middle (so two holes separated at the middle of the stand).

How much material should I leave for that central support? And how much on each side, top, and bottom? I'm trying to determine the largest doors I can safely attach to the stand. Hope this makes sense!!

Thanks
-Scott
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 10:07 PM
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2" for a face frame. How are you going to hide the plywood edges? You going to laminate the cabinet or stain or paint? Since it seems as though your cutting holes into a solid sheet of plywood you're going to run inset doors instead of an overlap? How did you attach the sides, bottom, back and top?

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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2" for a face frame. How are you going to hide the plywood edges? You going to laminate the cabinet or stain or paint? Since it seems as though your cutting holes into a solid sheet of plywood you're going to run inset doors instead of an overlap? How did you attach the sides, bottom, back and top?

Thanks for the reply!!
Plywood edges are going to be hidden with trim. Baseboards, chair rail, etc... to trim it out. Once I have all the oak trim in place, I'll be staining it.

The doors will be made of solid oak, with solid oak rails and styles (should have elaborated that, sorry!) So they will overlap the holes I make in the stand. The bottom of the stand is glued in place, and the top of it sits on top of the sides/front/back, the weight of the tank is carried straight down into the floor.

Now for the first thing you said... "2" for a face frame" does that mean it needs to have at least 2" of material on all sides to be good and structurally sound?

Thanks!
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 11:23 PM
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Have any plans drawn up that we could look at? (sketch-up, autocad)
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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I'm at work now but I have the general plans drawn up in sketch-up at home. I didn't shape the moulding cause... well I was lazy lol, but I'll take some screen shots at home and post them so you guys can see what I'm making.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 01:34 AM
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2" would be the minimum. The apron on my cabinets (library system floor to ceiling wall to wall.) is 2.75 because that's the look I was going for.

You could have avoided the molding entirely (unless you wanted it as decoration only) by using a face frame. I wouldn't do a solid wood door. Too much movement. Rails and stiles with a plywood panel . Or rail and stile with a solid raised panel insert. The panel is fully free floating. In other words the panel gets no glue.
How are you doing the doors? Glued up oak 1x4s? (If so there are no rails and stiles. It's a solid panel)

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 04:05 AM Thread Starter
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2" would be the minimum. The apron on my cabinets (library system floor to ceiling wall to wall.) is 2.75 because that's the look I was going for.

You could have avoided the molding entirely (unless you wanted it as decoration only) by using a face frame. I wouldn't do a solid wood door. Too much movement. Rails and stiles with a plywood panel . Or rail and stile with a solid raised panel insert. The panel is fully free floating. In other words the panel gets no glue.
How are you doing the doors? Glued up oak 1x4s? (If so there are no rails and stiles. It's a solid panel)

I was planning on a raised panel door, I have the router bits for it and everything. I really like the look a lot, that's the only reason... that and this thing has to be very furniture quality... the fiance told me I could build it only if it looked like furniture, not just something to hold a fish tank. The trim work is also purely aesthetic, I like the look.

Now I'll make a new post with some screenshots of the stand drawn in sketchup. I can't change anything structurally at this point, as the stand is together.

Pics to follow.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 04:08 AM
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LOL, if you own a router the stand is likely good to go. Can't wait to see the pics.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 04:15 AM Thread Starter
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Ok here are some images from the sketchup drawing:

First pic is an exploded view, pretty self explanatory... 3/4" ply.

Second pic is the stand together without any trim on it, just to show how the joints come together.

Third pic is with the trim, to show how it hides any edges of the plywood.

For the trim, I didn't shape any of it, but it's decorative, not just flat boards.

With this design, I've tested the stand, and it's extremely strong as it is, but I just don't want to weaken it by making the holes too big in the front.

Thanks
-Scott
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 04:17 AM Thread Starter
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LOL, if you own a router the stand is likely good to go. Can't wait to see the pics.
haha, well I don't personally own one, but my dad has a very nice collection of tools, router, miter saw, radial arm saw, table saw, different types of sanders, etc....
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 04:18 AM
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I'd say go ahead and get crazy with the holes as the main support comes from the ends of the tank. There is pretty much nothing going on in the middle anyways as far as support goes.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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You know, I've always heard that the support on a standard rimmed tank is all in the corners... Does this mean you could literally take the 40b, and just hold it up by the 4 corners with no support anywhere else without breaking it? If so... then I would agree that I can just cut whatever I want from the front.

-Scott
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 04:33 AM
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haha, well I don't personally own one, but my dad has a very nice collection of tools, router, miter saw, radial arm saw, table saw, different types of sanders, etc....
Your dad has the tools and he let you build a a a a plywood cube? A cube? Not a quality. please hand me down cabinet with face frames and dadoes and rabbets?

Oh the humanity of it all.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 04:39 AM Thread Starter
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That's not where I'm at in finances or woodworking yet. I'm building what I can at the time being. It is oak ply, and with oak doors and oak trimwork. so once stained up, it will *appearance wise* look like a solid oak stand.

Even if I did it with all solid oak, no ply or anything, I'd trim it, but that's because I like the look, it looks too plain to me with just flat boards.

If I wanted to do everything, I'd have had to double the costs of this one just in router bits alone.

Thanks
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by scbrooks87 View Post
You know, I've always heard that the support on a standard rimmed tank is all in the corners... Does this mean you could literally take the 40b, and just hold it up by the 4 corners with no support anywhere else without breaking it? If so... then I would agree that I can just cut whatever I want from the front.

-Scott
Yeah pretty much. I wish I had a picture, but this lfs in the hood over here had their fishroom in all 60 gallon tanks four high with just a cinder block on each end between them.
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