My 55 gallon stand project
OK if I start a thread to describe my efforts to build a stand?
I'm using fir 2X4's for the frame and I'll cover it with other material to make it look a little more like furniture.
To try to get the best fit between the base of the tank and the top frame, I inverted the tank and fitted the lumber directly on the base, checking for daylight between the two.
I found that I had to use the middle sections of the 8 foot boards to get the best flatness. None of the 6 boards I brought home fit perfectly, even though I picked out "straight" ones. Which brings up a question...since I'm not using a plywood top, how important is it to get a perfectly flat surface? Mine isn't perfect in that I could get a piece of paper in between in some areas, though not necessarily at the corners. Without access to a planer/joiner or a belt sander, I can't see any way that normal construction grade lumber will not have some daylight showing over a 4 foot span.
This project gave me a good excuse to start making things using pocket hole joinery. These are done with the Kreg HD jig.
Changing course! Try as I might, I cannot get a satisfactorily flat frame using 2X4's. So I'm either going to use a hybrid part-plywood, part-2x4 plan, or go with all plywood. Right now I'm leaning hard toward the latter.
I've done most of my stands with 2x4s and 2x3s, it's pretty inexpensive, and makes for a really strong and durable stand. I used a pockethole jig for some inconvenient joints on a recent stand, and really found it useful.
I don't bother trying to fit the wood to the tank, I just get the measurements of the tank (width/length of trim), and make the stand about ~1/2" bigger each dimension. As long as there isn't a huge difference, I would think a regular piece of styrofoam would work pretty well towards eliminating problems with gaps and such.
You don't need a perfectly flat surface. Your wood is going to warp and twist slightly as it seasons (dries out) over the next year or two anyway. All gaps may end up closing (you'll have at least 500 lbs of water + aquarium + substrate on it) and some gaps may end up getting larger. Then, depending on what the humidity is like in North Carolina, your wood may never stop growing in the summer (high temp+ high humidity) and shrinking in the winter (cooler temps, furnace drying all the air out in the home)
Personally, I say if your working with pine, don't go for perfection. You'll just make yourself crazy. Make it look nice, and you'll end up satisfied.
I am just starting to make a stand using a kreg pocket hole jig as well.
It's a little off this topic I guess but here is a link. Besides the stand I am linking there are a lot of other pocket hole designs to be found there.
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