I started building a stand for my future 75 gallon and it has been a lot of fun to work on so far. I have been dieing to get a 75 gallon going lately, but I have been torn between building a stand or buying a stand. After reading a thread by another user, intermediate_noob, I decided to build my stand and canopy using a design that was discussed in the following thread:
intermediate_noob offered a frame design that I really like, so that is the foundation of this project for me. Here is a picture of the design he came up with through researching some reefer forums where the design was originally offered. It is simple and rock solid, and on top of that, the design made A LOT of sense to me since the weight transfer from the top frame to the lower frame is the key to the weight dispersal for larger tanks. Here is a picture of the design that he shared with us:
As you can see from the picture above, the key is the legs of the stand. It consists of a "floating" 2 X 4 that connects the upper frame to the lower frame. It is then surrounded by two 2 x 4s that are what actually transfer the load from the top frame to the lower frame. This is a sound design and it is very easy to make. In essence, the only things tools you need to make this frame are:
Carpentry Square (I used a 45 degree speed square)
Saw of some kind. I used a powered miter saw, table saw, and jigsaw. A circular saw would get the job done though.
Drill with counter sinking head with 1/8" bit.
Phillips screw driver.
I used 2 1/2" plastic covered deck screws to connect the frame pieces. Keeping the wood together is the key. The screws aren't used so much to carry the load as they are just to hold things together.
Here are some pictures of the finished frame:
Here is a couple of pictures of the "floating" 2 x 4. You don't want the floater part of the leg to make contact with the floor or the top of the frame because you don't want any load distributed to the floor or underside of the tank. It just connects the top frame to the bottom frame. At first I disagreed with this aspect, but now it totally makes sense to me. Here they are:
This is a picture of the outer parts of the legs that transfer the load to the upper frame from the lower frame. There are a total of 8 equal length 2 x 4s used for this part.
As you can see in the following pic, everything is level from side to side:
Once the frame was done, I put 1/2" plywood on the top frame and lower frame (for the shelf):
Next step was to add the electrical components. I am kind of anal about electrical aspects with regards to the stand. I like to have the different components split into zones that I can control with a simple switch controlled receptacle. As you can see in the next picture, I added 4 boxes. The top one with be a GFCI, and the next three will be switch controlled receptacles.
There is plenty of room behind the boxes to tack up the wire and do whatever needs to be done. Great frame design!
Here are the switches that I will be using along with the 15 Amp rated 3 prong grounded plug. The idea is to run the plug wires into the line side of the GFI. Then run the regular wire from the load side to the switching receptacles.
I have a little more done, but I haven't taken pictures yet. Hopefully I'll be able to post them tonight or tomorrow morning.