A few woodworking questions... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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A few woodworking questions...

Basically just wondering if I made a stand out of just 2x4's, would that hold a 55g? My plans right now call for 2x6's and 2x4's, but I just found a stockpile of 8'x2"x4" in my parent's garage that they have no intention of using.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 01:55 AM
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my 55 with 2X4's

The basic principle of the design is two box frames connected by four legs. The upper one supports the tank and transfers the load to the legs. The legs are made of several pieces of 2X4 to assist in construction and sheething the stand in plywood for strength and cosmetics. The bottom frame transmits the load of the tank into the floor.

Design notes:
*The plan for this stand consists of 21 pieces. Like color pieces are the same length and of the same board size.
*The box frames are screwed together first, then the legs are built off the bottom frame, the top frame is then placed on top and secured to the legs.
*The green pieces are screw strips. These provide limited load strength but serve to make assembly easier and help keep the stand square.
*The blue piece between the upper rails (red) works to keep the upper rails from twisting.

Ok, now to the cut list:
First off: The calculations below are based off of a stand that is "W" inches wide X "D" inches front-to-back X "H" inches high.

(2) Red - Upper Rails: Length = W
These will be sized according to length: 2X4 for 48" or less for smaller tanks (Rule of thumb is 75g-90g); 2X6 up to 72" with 125g-150g being acceptable; For longer spans and larger tanks 2X8s are recommended.

(2) Yellow - Upper Ends: Length = D-3"
Theses will be made of the same material as the upper rails.

(4) Green - Screw Strips: Length = H-2"
These 2X4s are shorter then the tank is tall.

(8) Purple - Uprights: Length varies:
- 2X4 Upper Rails: Length = H -7"
- 2X6 Upper Rails: Length = H-9"
- 2X8 Upper Rails: Length = H-10.75"
These 2X4s support the weight of the tank. The ones on the short sides of the stand provide a flat surface for attaching a plywood facing and while they do provide some strength, they are optional.

(2) Orange - Bottom Rails: Length = W
These 2X4s act to spread the weight of the tank over a larger area.

(3) Blue - Bottom Ends: Length = D-3"

Covering the sides of the stand with plywood will help to stiffen the stand against twisting and shifting. Doors can be mounted to the legs as desired.

So there it is. 21 pieces in 6 lenghts equals a tank stand that should fit the bill for most people. There are other plans out there but this is a simple design using simple tools and common wood sizes. It may not suit everyone's application but it should fit the bill for most common size tanks.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 02:09 AM
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2 x 4's are certainly adequate for building almost any aquarium stand, if you use enough and use them correctly. Redman's example is a good one. You do need to have plywood or similar sheet product on the ends and back to avoid the tendency for the stand to collapse under a strong side load. That plywood can be as thin as 1/4 inch and work fine. When you design one of these check it to be sure you aren't relying on any fasteners to carry the weight of the tank. The weight should be carried by wood stacked on wood all the way to the floor. Last, use yellow carpenter's glue to attach the wood pieces to each other, with fasteners used just to hold the pieces together so the glue can cure. Don't rely on just nails or screws to hold it together.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 06:24 PM
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Its about your joints. For a beginner, glue and screw...


had another look, while a 55 g isn't too long but, in the long run you may be better adding a centre support to the design, one at the front and back. Doesn't have to be heavy lumber but something that will assist in bearing some weight and will ensure that no load is transferred to the tank...
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 06:36 PM
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It's been said above already but I'll chime in and reiterate that 2x4s will be more than fine. If you look at the engineered factory stands, they're typically 2x2s for support surrounded with 1x4s and I've even seen AGA stands made of MDF board.

All the load is vertical so the diagram above does a great job of transferring the weight from the top to the base. (Floor) The only thing I would do different would be add more 'joices' across the top and the bottom. Break it into thirds with cross braces versus halves. Not that it won't work they way it's shown... I just tend to overbuild my stands and I'm always concerned that the frame may 'rack' or twist. This would transfer the weight from vertical to diagonal.

And for reference, I built my 240 gal stand using the same method as the diagram above. Nothing but 2x4s.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 08:24 PM
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https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...ank-stand.html is another stand similar to Redman's, but with the center vertical supports.

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