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-   -   DIY aquarium stand lots of photos - first ever woodworking project (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/20-diy/75028-diy-aquarium-stand-lots-photos-first-ever-woodworking-project.html)

butacska 10-13-2008 02:55 AM

DIY aquarium stand lots of photos - first ever woodworking project
 
Hi guys, I haven't been here for a while, and the reason is that I couldn't get rid of the algae in my tank and I wasn't too proud of it, so I didn't come to post pictures.

Now, me and my husband decided to build a stand for the tank we have empty and tear down the 55g and put this 36g together. But as we didn't have a stand for it, we wanted to make one instead of buying one. The budget - of course - is already way over the price of the new stands but building is fun :) And… this would be our first together project ever :)

We bought 4 2x4-s first and make a frame, then we covered it with a ½ inch birch plywood, stained it and that is it… so far, as we could not make the doors yet… as we don’t have router table or table saw… And that would be a VERY expensive stand if we bought those just for this project.

So…

First we cut the 2x4s. the tank dimensions are 30x12x18 (30.5x11.5x~18). So we made an extra ½ inch on both side. We used my husbands miter saw for this.
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand028.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand031.jpg

Then we had 2 2x4s left to the height of the frame, so we calculated out how high the stand should be:)
So we had all the pieces:
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand035.jpg

That is the bottom.
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand036.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand037.jpg
The joint is a 1 ¾ wood dowel plus 2 3inch long drywall screws topped with woodglue.
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand041.jpg
Although this joint won’t hold any weight, I wanted it to be massive.
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand076.jpg
Bottom and top:
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand043.jpg

When we wanted to put the legs together, we realized that we made a terrible quality cut on the wood:
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand055.jpg
So a little headache and 3 hours later…
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand058.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand061.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand069.jpg

So now they were exactly even.
It is hard for me to explain how the legs are built (my first language is Hungarian), I’ll try to show it in the pics. But the legs are double 2x4s:
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand072.jpg
Dowels are holding them together plus glue plus the screws.
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand077.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand082.jpg

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand085.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand083.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...iumstand99.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand091.jpg

Jace 10-13-2008 03:22 AM

Nice, I'm working on mine right now but it's not nearly as professional looking as this. I hope to cover up most of the defects with formica :/

resowner92 10-13-2008 04:04 AM

Nice! Any pics of the whole stand?

BiscuitSlayer 10-13-2008 05:02 AM

butacska -

Thats a nice looking frame you have there. Did you and your husband design it yourselves or did you use the design from somewhere else? The design looks like a combination of different ideas I have seen on the Internet.

Quote:

Originally Posted by butacska (Post 703770)
The joint is a 1 ¾ wood dowel plus 2 3inch long drywall screws topped with woodglue.
...
Although this joint won’t hold any weight, I wanted it to be massive.

While that joint won't be under a tremendous amount of load from the tank, your method of joining the wood makes a lot of sense. The joint comprised of butting 2 x 4s could have a tendancy of pulling apart due to the tendancy of a 2 x 4 wanting to twist. Your joint should remain sound and stay together without any problem.

What kind of 2 x 4s did you use? They look a lot like Douglas Fir.

Pre cutting all of your pieces is also a great idea. It allows you to check to make sure that your measurements between the pieces are precise which will help to make a square and level stand.

Great job!

I would like to see some full stand shots as well.

butacska 10-13-2008 12:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BiscuitSlayer (Post 703861)
butacska -

Thats a nice looking frame you have there. Did you and your husband design it yourselves or did you use the design from somewhere else? The design looks like a combination of different ideas I have seen on the Internet.



While that joint won't be under a tremendous amount of load from the tank, your method of joining the wood makes a lot of sense. The joint comprised of butting 2 x 4s could have a tendancy of pulling apart due to the tendancy of a 2 x 4 wanting to twist. Your joint should remain sound and stay together without any problem.

What kind of 2 x 4s did you use? They look a lot like Douglas Fir.

Pre cutting all of your pieces is also a great idea. It allows you to check to make sure that your measurements between the pieces are precise which will help to make a square and level stand.

Great job!

I would like to see some full stand shots as well.

Thank you guys for your comments.
It is just plain dougfir.
The design is defenetly some mixed combination of every sort of things :) I was looking for plans on the internet and could not find the exact thing I wanted for, so we just started without a fix plan.
As I said we calculated the height of the stand during cutting the wood :)
Thanks fot the comment guys:)

butacska 10-13-2008 12:13 PM

Well... I drew the calculation for the 4x8 birch plywood. One sheet covers the whole thing.

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...acska/calc.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand095.jpg

The top was added first

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand100.jpg

Then the bottom:

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand101.jpg
As we don’t have compressor and nail gun, I used elbow grease and I loved doing it:) I loved nailing the plywood to the 2x4s. In Hungary, I have actually never seen a finishing nail punch and I just loved hiding the nails with the punch :) I used 3d 1 ¼ nails. A lot of them :)
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand102.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand113.jpg

Then I used wood filler to cover the tiny holes.
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand117.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand118.jpg

Then we added the back:
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand129.jpg

The sides:
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand134.jpg

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand135.jpg

And the front… that was the trickiest.
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand137.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand138.jpg

As originally we wanted to cut the holes out from a whole front sheet (we cut it up into top, bottom and 3 columns instead) there was nothing to hold the center piece… So we had to make something for it.
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand144.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand152.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand154.jpg

Finally it was done.
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand155.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand157.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand158.jpg
It has some kind of chicken pox… I guess… too many nails… :)

butacska 10-14-2008 01:38 AM

The next step was the molding. Now that is a really time consuming procedure! I hadn’t thought before we started it. First we added the corners: ½ in quarter round.

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand161.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand165.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand173.jpg

Then we started the base. We bought pine baseboard for that. And it is a pain on the neck, to cut the 45 degrees angles and have the exact size… yuk…

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand180.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand181.jpg

We used a piece of plywood as a guide, so the saw wouldn’t break the molding.

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand186.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand187.jpg

We made some pilot hole into the molding, because it cracked when I was trying to put a nail into a small piece. (I decided to upload smaller images, sorry if they were too big so far...)
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand194.jpg

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand195.jpg

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand199.jpg


Then we started the top. We had a smaller kind of baseboard for that.
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand196.jpg

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand200.jpg

I like the way it turned out.


http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand202.jpg

This is the top view:
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand204.jpg

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand207.jpg

On the back we are missing 3 inches of baseboard, but Lowe’s only sells them in whole 8’ long pieces, so I am going to check HD if I can find the same kind of baseboard.

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand206.jpg

Then I filled all the holes with wood filler,

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand212.jpg

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand213.jpg

and I let it dry for 20 minutes… it was time for a coffee break :)


http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand209.jpg

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand210.jpg

Than I sanded the whole stand, first with a 150, then with a 180 just a little bit.After sanding:
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand215.jpg

butacska 10-14-2008 02:12 AM

So after sanding…http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand217.jpg

I have never stained anything. This is the very first one! So I was kind of nervous about it. Especially since I read that birch plywood is a pain to stain… well I guess it is. I bought some pre-stain wood conditioner, and stain, the color is gunstock. I had some extra plywood I sanded it the same (150 then 180) as the stand and tried the stain out.
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand221.jpg

Haha it was funny. The first two pieces got the same finish plus conditioner plus one layer stain… and they are all different:
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand222.jpg

So I grabbed two other pieces, and without sanding I put some conditioner then stain, on the fourth one I skipped the conditioner and used the stain right away…

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand223.jpg

I have no idea why I got the results I got, I didn’t see the difference so I guess I just wanted to look professional with the sample :D

I cleaned the stand, first with a vacuum cleaner.
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand224.jpg

Then I wiped it with an old damp T-shirt.
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand226.jpg

You can see there was a lot of dust on it after vacuuming.
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand227.jpg

Then I applied the conditioner, waited 5 minutes, wiped it then stained the top first - this is the one side that’s going to be the most invisible.
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand228.jpg

I recognized that the nail holes and the wood filler is really ugly,
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand229.jpg
so I tried to sand the ones on the side a little bit more…http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand230.jpg
It got a little bit better, but not perfect..
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand234.jpg
ohh well, next time less holes, less wood filler…

Then I stained the rest of the stand.
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand237.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand244.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand246.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand247.jpg

I just love the color. Unfortunately the camera does not reflect the original color and of course it is not the final stage, but I just love this gunstock stain.
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand252.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand256.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand259.jpg

Then we made a little (2in) hole to the back for the wires:
(The inspector said it is OK to do so... :D )
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand263.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand265.jpg

And installed the timer and an other search protector.
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand268.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...umstand269.jpg

Now that is it guys.

Today, after work I sanded the whole thing with a 320 sandpaper, it got really smooth. I love it. Then I stained it again, but didn’t take any pictures. Tomorrow I’ll sand it with a 600 paper and do the final staining. Why/ because I enjoy staining :) And the darker the color get the more I love it.

Later this week we’ll thy to do the doors or… it has to wait until the weekend.

Any comment appreciated. :)

lescarpentier 10-14-2008 03:33 AM

Nice!
Built like a ship.:icon_wink

PGH3962 10-14-2008 04:45 AM

That looks great! Wish I had the skill and patience to build something so beautiful.

butacska 10-15-2008 02:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lescarpentier (Post 704365)
Nice!
Built like a ship.:icon_wink

yeah, and as heavy too :red_mouth:icon_bigg

Quote:

Originally Posted by PGH3962 (Post 704390)
That looks great! Wish I had the skill and patience to build something so beautiful.

Thank you:)
It for sure needs patience. And time. We were even thinking about buying doors for it, a little bit ran out of steam, but then today i bought some molding real quick so we HAVE TO finish by ourselves. :)

tropicalfish 10-17-2008 01:45 AM

Wow, that's a really nice stand!

unirdna 10-17-2008 05:42 AM

Are you filling your tank with Mercury? :) That thing could hold a truck!

In all seriousness, the stand is very nice. The crown and base molding is a nice twist.

Great documentation, too!

BiscuitSlayer 10-18-2008 05:53 AM

butacska -

Your stand looks great! I think your choice of stain was a good one. The stain is definately not over powering at all.

The wood conditioner is used so that the stain is soaked into the wood evenly. It basically fills the wood pores to some degree so that the stain is not soaked in as deeply. When you use birch, it isn't really necesary since birch doesn't have large pores that soak in the stain too deep.

What are you going to use for a top coat? Polyurethane?

Gatekeeper 10-18-2008 12:27 PM

Very nice stand. Any holes for filter tubing? Why didn't you wait to do the staining until you have the doors prepped?


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