Desks & corner stand
So to make a long story very short, my animals suffered a horrible loss due to a foolhardy neighbor spraying insecticide. So I've decided that since I can budget the money to purchase new frogs, and set up a planted tank, that I'd move them into the basement.
We have a 'polish' finished basement, when we purchased the house the previous owner had put up insulation, 2x4 studs, and put up some atrocious wood paneling, mind you this was done sometime during the early 80s. One corner of the basement was converted into a small office, which is bisected in one corner by a sump pump closet. The room is small, 9`4 by 12`3.. the exterior dimensions of the sump closet are 3`6 x 3, giving me a space 9`4 by 9`3 to effectively use with the desks.
We have a very small house, and ironically spend the majority of our time in this room as it is where our computer equipment is. We've been using folding tables for the last few years, however having thousands of dollars of equipment on these tables is a bit nerve racking, especially since they are now falling apart. Two new tables would be in the range of about 400 dollars.. we think we can do something better, by ourselves, for a bit cheaper.
The idea that was accepted by my room mate is that we build 3 pieces of furniture into the room. The first two are utility tables/desks, the third is a corner cabinet-aquarium stand (possibly down the road a tv stand) We wanted to do a simple L desk, however we realized that no matter how we wanted to do it, we'd have to have a 3 piece surface, due to easily available wood dimensions.
The simplest/cheapest idea we could come up with is to install heavy duty brackets into the studs, and lay down 3/4 plywood on top of that, the cabinet would be built separately and installed first, all measurements then taken off that for the plywood. Apply a dark ebony stain and a few coats of shellac, and we're good to go.
Further discussion brought up the fact that using so many brackets was most likely overkill and expensive, and we could achieve the same concept with one 1 or 2 brackets to a table, and using 2x2 to span from the wall to the cabinet for the plywood to rest on. These could be stained/painted to match the surface, recess them 4-6 inches from the lip of the plywood and they would be out of sight.
The corner cabinet is another point that I'm stuck on, I've built storage cabinets before, and they were clunky, and looked like crap.. and they were boxes.. with screw strips. I also need to build it in such a way as to support a 50x high tank.. which is about 600 lbs.
So the points that I'm stuck on, and could really use some input and illumination on.
Will brackets work? Or is the cross member 2x? better?
How far can I span before I have to deal with serious sag with 3/4 or 1 inch ply and 2x? reinforcement
2x4 obviously are required for the construction, but given that it is a corner piece with a rectangular tank, how can that be effectively built up?
Any help or advice is greatly appreciated, and I will document the build.