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-   -   Updated DIY Suspended light mount (Lots of pics) (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/20-diy/151608-updated-diy-suspended-light-mount-lots-pics.html)

iKine 10-16-2011 08:13 PM

Updated DIY Suspended light mount (Lots of pics)
 
I made a post a while ago when I did a similar build for my 25 gallon tank. I wanted to go further with this build, give myself more adjustability and room for future expansion.

I just finished building one of Hydrophytes cedar stand designs (pics of stand and tank tommorow) which I applied this set up to.


Tools:

Power drill
Drill press (optional, but recommended)
3/8", 1/2", 1 1/8" spade bits (wood)
3/16" metal bit
Wrench
Hammer
20L (5G) pale
2 Pieces of pipe (any type, 20" approx length)
Pliers


Materials:

3/8" aluminum rod (I used 2 5' lengths, more than I needed)
*Machine thread eye bolts (I used the smallest I could find)
*Two matching locking nuts for eye bolts
**Two T-nuts (I used 5/16")
**Two matching 3" hex bolts
Two finger knobs for hex bolts (optional)
Small airplane cable (I used 48")
Crimps for cable

Examples of Eye bolts and T-Nuts

Eye Bolt
http://www.biconet.com/birds/GIFs/st...c/eyeBolt2.jpg

T-Nut
http://www.woodpeck.com/media/main_tnut.jpg
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6-updg-3_k...rong_t_nut.jpg

Hex bolt
http://www.bombayharbor.com/productI...0/Hex_Bolt.jpg


This is how it looks assembled

http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/.../HPIM13851.jpg

Front top to bottom I drilled a 3/8" hole with the drill press for the rod to slide into. From the back about halfway through the post I drilled a 1 1/8" hole for the t-nut to sit inside. And from center of that the rest of the way i drilled a 1/2" hole to allow the hex bolt to be threaded into the t-nut from the front.

Note the black knobs, they just sit over the hex head of the bolt so you dont need a wrench to tighten or loosen them. They aren't needed, but I liked using them.

Back view of 1 1/8" hole with T-NUT mounted inside.

http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/.../IMG_00261.jpg

Back view of rod through 3/8" hole running infront of T-NUT

http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/.../HPIM13871.jpg


For the rod assembly, with a little help I bent the rods over the 20L (5G) pale using two pieces of piping (electrical conduit is what I had on hand) for leverage, one at a time checking against eachother to have them match. To mount the cable to the light I tore apart the light, then drilled 4 smalls holes and ran the cable inside. I used a crimp to hold the cable inside the light for a clean look. After that, I found my center for the light and drilled a 3/16" hole to mount my eye bolts.

http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/.../HPIM14011.jpg
http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/.../HPIM14021.jpg


http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/.../HPIM13841.jpg


Doing it this way made it so I am able to adjust my light anywhere I would like to. As well as swing it out of the way when I'm doing quick maintenance. I did a total of 4 of these across the back of the stand. I'm only the two most outer ones for my light now, but did two more in the center in case I ever switch to two smaller pendant or MH lights.

audioaficionado 10-16-2011 08:57 PM

I love the look of your cedar stand. I didn't like those metal nailing plates on the outside and I'd love more details on how you made yours without them as I'm in the process of planning a couple for myself. One for a 20L and a future 75 or even 150gal tank.

iKine 10-16-2011 09:13 PM

I built mine in the same way he did his, i just used small corner brackets hidden in behind. I also toe screwed and glued all the joints for extra strength (overkill though). I am making a shelf for it also, I'm just stealing a scrap from work tommorow and cutting it to size.

I have plans to build one of these for all of my tanks. I am lucky and know the owner of Kanaka Cedar Mill, one of the best mills in this part of Canada. I was able to get beautiful old growth cedar, true 4x4 and 2x4 for an absolute steal.

driftwoodhunter 10-16-2011 10:15 PM

That looks great! I love the idea of being able to swing the light outof the way for tank work. Sharp stand, too - nice clean lines...

iKine 10-16-2011 10:17 PM

Thanks!

audioaficionado 10-16-2011 10:29 PM

I look forward to several close up shots of your corners to see exactly how you did it. If I can see it 3D in my mind, I can build it. That light mounting system is right in line with my KISS philosophy.

iKine 10-16-2011 10:31 PM

http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/...PIM13861-1.jpg

audioaficionado 10-16-2011 10:46 PM

How's the racking resistance?

Can you get it to wiggle if you really try to?

I glued and clamped 2x6 redwood together for the corners and then glued and clamped mitered picture frame flat style 2x4 redwood for the top and bottom. I've got a 400# tank on it and it's still rock solid 27 years later.

iKine 10-16-2011 10:59 PM

I could park my mercury on it :)! its not going anywhere

Deffinately recommend gluing softwood joints on top of screwing. Screws can pull out to easy in the red cedar.

jcgd 10-16-2011 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iKine (Post 1554951)


Woah... I don't know if your joints are going to cut it. I'm sure if you tried you could push one of the horizontal pieces down about a centimeter. Is there anything but those brackets holding the stand together?



The light hanger is really nice though. How much did the rod cost?

iKine 10-16-2011 11:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcgd (Post 1554978)
Woah... I don't know if your joints are going to cut it. I'm sure if you tried you could push one of the horizontal pieces down about a centimeter. Is there anything but those brackets holding the stand together?



The light hanger is really nice though. How much did the rod cost?

Glue, and i used 4" pan heads to toe screw each joint also. Read the thread. I know what im doing.

The first time I bought the rod I paid 3$ a foot, and bought two 4' lengths at my local Rona
This time, I paid .30$ per foot, and bought two 5" lengths from work.

audioaficionado 10-16-2011 11:04 PM

Did you use any softwood jointing such as biscuits, dowels, ect?

I've found the main purpose of screws is to hold the wood together while the glue dries LOL.

iKine 10-16-2011 11:09 PM

I didnt even think to biscuit it! lol, I have a biscuit jointer and everything.

I just used the brackets to dry fit everything, square it up. I then pulled it all apart, glued the joints then reassembled it. After that, toe screwed it all the make it stay nice and rigid.

jcgd 10-17-2011 12:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iKine (Post 1554981)
Glue, and i used 4" pan heads to toe screw each joint also. Read the thread. I know what im doing.

The first time I bought the rod I paid 3$ a foot, and bought two 4' lengths at my local Rona
This time, I paid .30$ per foot, and bought two 5" lengths from work.


It seems you do know what you're doing, I was just checking. I missed the screw holes at first. The glue should be more than strong enough.

iKine 10-17-2011 01:46 PM

Sorry, I didnt mean to come off with attitude lol.

And the glue should be yea, but I didnt seen a point in taking the screws and brackets off. Once I have the shelf in the bottom (which reminds me, I have to messure it lol) you wont see any screws or brackets.


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