This is an amazing stand. If you were to do this again, how would you change it?
One thing I didn't adequately appreciate when putting this together was the extent of seasonal expansion and contraction of the wood. I initially cut and fitted all the joints in the winter when it was dry and cool, but by the time I had finished painting everything and was ready for the final assembly it was summer and the wood had expanded because of the hot humid weather making all the joints much tighter than they had been initially. It took a lot of whacking with a mallet to get everything to fit into place. It makes for a nice tight and sturdy fit, but I'm a little apprehensive about how difficult it's going to be to ultimately take this apart.
If I was to do this again I might consider slightly oversizing the joints and relying more on the hardware to hold them together.
Another minor issue is that the inset cabinet doors were perfectly sized to fit the openings in the stand, but with filled aquarium on top the ~1000lbs of weight has cause some slight flexing of the frame which makes the doors stick a little bit when opening and closing. The solution would have been to slightly underside the doors or to use an overlay rather than an inset door design that would be less susceptible to this issue.
I know this is an old thread, but I'm new here and this build is...well everyone else has said it! I'm speechless. I'm definitely going to try this build but in a smaller scale. Thank you for sharing this.