I have been working on the canopy very hard and I have made some signifigant progress towards completion. Sorry for the long delay with regards to updates. I have had some problems staying focused and keeping my eye on the ball.
I added a couple of support boards that will suspend the canopy off of the top of the tank. For these pieces, I used standard 2 x 2 s made out of pine. I drove enough screws through them into the canopy top so that warping will be a non issue. If the wood does happen to warp, it will have to happen between about 1 inch spans or towards the end of the wood that doesn't attach to anything.
Here is a shot down the length of the support 2 x 2. I am showing some detail on this because how important it is. It is imperitave that the support be level and true so that the canopy sits level on the tank rim:
I marked a line on a scrap piece of wood and used it as a template for the support pieces. This gave me a constant measurement through the entire length of the support pieces. In the following two shots, you can see the scrap piece I am talking about and the line that I drew for refrence:
My next step (probably out of order) was to mount the piano hinge to the two indepentant sides as well as the main structure. I routed a groove the width of the hinge half down the two independant sides. I used this as a guide for how I would mount the hinge to the two independant sides:
Then I put the two halves together and attached the hinge with the screws included. Man, what a lot of screws:
After I mounted the hinge to the trailing inside edge of the independant sides, I mounted the other half of the hinge to the top of the rear half of the canopy. Sorry for the lack of detail on the following shots:
Both sides open (hinge hasn't been cut yet):
Then I cut the hinge (not all the way through) so that I could have the two sides lift independantly. I don't know if the pictures will be clear enough to show the detail on this, but the point was to not cut the hinge all the way through. I saw where it could be cut partially, and I improvised. The picture below, you can see where I made the cut with the hack saw through to the hinge joint. I also used a cutting attachment on the Dremel tool to smooth it up and make it nice. This is a picture of the hinge split in half:
Next you can see I notched the hinge a bit bigger so that one side wouldn't hang up on the other side and cause an opening and closing issue with each side of the canopy.
Now each side lifts independantly. YAY!
Both sides closed:
Length view of the hinge mounted with the canopy closed:
I then made the small doors for the canopy for minor cleanups and feeding the fish. I used the same method that I used to make the large doors for the stand. A simple dado down the length of the mitered sides with a floating pannel in the center of the door.
I tried to mount the door with a single hinge, and as you can see in the image below, I reversed my decision. These hinges are meant to be used in pairs and that was apparent with the slop in the hinge. It was crazy. Luckily, the holes are on the inside of the door and you will have to open the canopy door to see it. I am going to fill the holes with the oak colored wood putty that I have been using and then sand them down.
I then mounted some of those magnetic catches so that the door will have a tendency of staying shut. They work very well. If you look at the top right hand side of the opening, you can see the magnetic half of the catch:
Here is the basic metal plate that mounts to the door:
Here is a shot of one of the canopy halves with the mounted door:
Thats about it for now. I might post some more pictures of some detailed sanding work and use of the wood putty that I have been using. I am basically using a plastic putty knife to work it into all of the cracks and nail holes so that it can be sanded down and look somewhat uniform. It is fairly noticeable before the oak is stained and polyed, but after it is finished, it somewhat dissappears into the grain and character of the wood. You can still se it, but it is far less noticeable.