Alright...back after 1 week. I spent last week building my first tank stand. Since this was my first wood project ever, I wanted to finish it before I document it. Certainly it is not professional grade, but I am pretty happy how it turned out.
I won't go into the dimensions since that is already posted earlier in this thread. So I'll go straight into a photo feature trying to explain my journey.
1. First the materials. I decided that a small work bench and some clamps would be nice idea (and it paid off). Got this Black & Decker portable work desk and 4 clamps for about $50 from Lowes.
For the wood, Lowes again. I was really lucky that they agreed to cut 2 4' X 8' MDF sheets into 32 pieces (took approximately 60 cuts) all for FREE!!! Now thats what I call customer service. All together
Wood - $30 X 2 = $ 60
Wood screws (1", 1.5" & 1.75") - $25
Wood Glue - $3
Wood Filler - $4
Water proof sealant - $5 (Decided that I would coat all the sides with it before putting on the laminate sheets for extra protection)
Door hinges & locks - $12
Plywood planks (2' X2' 1/4" thick) - This was more of an after thought when the door was not moving freely due to the contact with the floor at the bottom. The plank will go at the bottom of the stand
Formica Laminate Sheets - $124 (for 2 stands)
Contact Cement - $15
A total of about $150
For the light bars I decided to use copper plumbing pipes...3/4" thick and glue them with copper bond. I would use right angle connectors so that I don't have to buy a pipe bender (which works well but is a cookie cutter with probably very less (if any) use to me after this project. Budget wise cheaper too).
2 each of
copper pipes 5' - $26
copper pipes 2' - $10
straight joints & 90 degree joints - $4
pipe cap - $5
pipe clamps - $2
Nuts & bolts - $2
Copper bond glue - $6
Total approx $55
So in total it cost me about $205 for 2 tank stands (material cost) or $102 per stand compared to $700 for a similar config ADA stand. Also it let me design my stand size to accomodate space at the back for lights and back splash.
Apart from the raw material required to build the tank I bought a Dremel power tool kit for cutting, sanding & polishing. About $125. So tool and work station cost me around $175.
2. First thing, I marked the points where the pieces will be joined and drilled the guide holes. Below are 2 sample pictures.
3. Next I screwed (no pun intended) the bottom panel with the 2 sides and 2 back panels.
View from rear...at this point the 2 back panels are joined to the 2 side panels too.
4. Followed by attaching the frame at the top and the bottom.
5. ...and the horizontal front panel
6. Finally the top panel is marked and joined to all the vertical pieces on sides, front and back.
7. Here is when I tried fixing the door and realized that a bottom platform is needed which will extend about 3/4" in the front of the stand so that the door can easily move on it (instead of scraping the carpet). Selected 1/4" plywood plank and cut it to required size (24" X 18").
8. Turned over the stand and applied wood glue on the entire bottom panel
9. Attached the plywood and stacked the best make shift weights ever...Books
. It was left like that for 24 hours before I reinforced the sides with wood screws (below)
10. At the end, hinge the door...
...install the magnetic lock...
Well not quite done yet. I applied the waterproof sealant on the entire outside and inside surfaces and let it cure for 24 hours. That the final state right now. I'm waiting for the laminate sheets to come in next week. Once laminates are applied, the copper pipes will be installed to finish it. Till then I got to finish assembling the other stand.