42 Gallon Bow Front Stand and Canopy - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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42 Gallon Bow Front Stand and Canopy

I've been out the planted tank arena for a bit now due to a lot of travel with a previous job but am now ready start my next project. I just purchased a 46 gallon bowfront to which I have started construction on a diy stand and canopy. The reason I'm going chronicle this because I think I've come up with a unique idea that will turn to be aesthetically pleasing. This may have been done before, but I have been unable to find any plans that simulate what I'm attempting to do. Many of the bowfront stand designs I've come across use a method of cutting smaller wood panels or planks mitered at angles to closely approximate the curvature of the bowed front of the aquarium. The problem being that are still straight pieces of wood and cannot 100% duplicate the front curve of the tank. I going to attempt to match the tank curve in the way the front doors are designed. That being said, the material I'm going to use for the front doors(and to veneer the rest of tank) is an opaque black plexiglass. What I plan to do is to cut wooden support members for the door construction. The support members will be cut with a bandsaw to perfectly replicate the curve of the tank. I will then anchor the plexiglass to the support members by taking advantage the degree of flexibility the plexiglass inherently provides. Provided my cuts are precise the front doors should match the curvature of the tank, giving it a seemless appearence. I have drawn precise plans to make for this piece but won't share quite yet as I imagine they will be subject to minor changes as the work progresses. Obviously, if you don't want a stand/canopy with high- gloss, black finish this concept won't be for you.

Currently, I have just built the internal support structure and are using regular pine 2x4's. The sides, back, upper, and lower bases will be 3/4 in plywood, which will also be veneered with the black plexiglass to give the stand and nice, uniform appearence. At any rate, I've only just begun so we'll what happens.

Stand demensions 37"x18.5"x30"

Here's a couple of pics.... More to come
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 07:11 AM Thread Starter
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Missed that there was a sticky for this type of thread; if a Mod needs to move it, please do so
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 04:25 PM
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Missed that there was a sticky for this type of thread; if a Mod needs to move it, please do so
This is right where it should be. The sticky wasn't supposed to include long detailed threads about how to build the stand, but mostly photos and brief descriptions of how it was built - a catalog of stand designs.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this works out. It's something I can't recall seeing tried before.

Hoppy
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 11:55 PM
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do two threads on thats all about the whole thing tank, stand and set up. and a summer of the build here in the diy


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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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Update

Nothing really all that groundbreaking to post pics about. Just added the back and side panels. Going to cut the base and panel this weekend, will put a couple of pics up after that. I've done some research about the cost and the properties of the plexiglass doors and veneers, I'll be using. First off, plexiglass and lexan have different properties. Lexan seems to be the material of chocie for this project. It is less brittle and more impact resistant than plexiglass, so I think the lexan will be the better choice. It's readily available on the internet and I've found a guy that will cut it no extra charge(square and rectangular pieces only). The amount I need to complete the stand/canopy looks like it's going to cost about 100 bucks with shipping. I'm probably going look around here locally to see if I can do better.

One thing I've been racking my brain about is how to attach the lexan to the curved doors support/frame. I can obviously drill and use some decorative screws to hold everything in place though I'd rather not have anything visable on the doors other than the knobs. If anyone can offer some suggestions, I greatly appreciate it!

More to come,

Don C.
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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Side Panels & Front / Back

Added back, front and side panels.

Materials:
3/4 plywood (sides and back)
4" x 3/4" Solid select pine planks
6" x 3/4" Solid select pine planks

Pretty standard looking so far...
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 01:28 AM
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I can't tell from the photo, so is the front face of the cabinet curved to match the tank? If so, how did you shape it?

Hoppy
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 01:55 AM
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I can't tell from the photo, so is the front face of the cabinet curved to match the tank? If so, how did you shape it?

LOooks square to me, hope he plans on building a wooden swupport before he wraps in in Acrylic.

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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, right now its rectangular. The curve will come when I build the doors. The top and base panels will extend past the basic frame of the stand and have the curved cut on leading edge. The doors will be constructed of a wooden frame. Each door will have 3 horizontal cross members which will be cut with the curve to match the leading edge of the base/top/tank curve. The lexan will then be wrapped around and anchored to the door frames and hinged to base stucture I have pictured. I working the fine details out as a I go. I'll see if create some simple drawings to help better illustrate this.

Don C.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 05:17 AM Thread Starter
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drawing

I needed to start doing this anyway in the unlikely event that anyone would like to duplicate my efforts. Here is a drawing that might help you understand what I'm have trouble communicating verbally
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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 11:41 AM
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I needed to start doing this anyway in the unlikely event that anyone would like to duplicate my efforts. Here is a drawing that might help you understand what I'm have trouble communicating verbally

O.k. so those horizontal support frames will be attached securely to the rectangular frame so they won't move, will you also be topping ht top with plywood so it matches the bottom of the tank frame?

Craig

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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 05:01 PM
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O.k. so those horizontal support frames will be attached securely to the rectangular frame so they won't move, will you also be topping ht top with plywood so it matches the bottom of the tank frame?

Craig
It looks like you will want the top to match the tank bottom, with the curved doors matching the top, but with the lexan facing overlapping the top. Is that the idea? If so, I think that will work very well. One way to attach the lexan to the wood door frame would be to cement curved lexan pieces to the back of the panels, sticking out a couple of inches or less, then screwing those extensions to the wood frame pieces - flanges, in other words.

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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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O.k. so those horizontal support frames will be attached securely to the rectangular frame so they won't move,
They'll be hinged. Think of them as 2 large doors that will actually span the entire length of the tank.

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will you also be topping ht top with plywood so it matches the bottom of the tank frame?
The plan is to cover everything that is exposed with the black lexan so everything is uniform. That's the scary part I've never worked with the stuff. I imagine I'm going to end messing up a few sheets

Don C.
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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It looks like you will want the top to match the tank bottom, with the curved doors matching the top, but with the lexan facing overlapping the top. Is that the idea? If so, I think that will work very well. One way to attach the lexan to the wood door frame would be to cement curved lexan pieces to the back of the panels, sticking out a couple of inches or less, then screwing those extensions to the wood frame pieces - flanges, in other words.
Yep, that exactly what I'm trying to do.
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 07:09 PM
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So what is going to support the front bow part of the tank? when the door are open? sorry I may have misread your post but sounded like those 2 sections will be large higned sections and don't see where the fron tank will be supported by something solid.

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