Will this work for a stand design? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-02-2017, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Will this work for a stand design?

My 20H is on an old tv table right now. I'd like to build a simple stand for it. Doesn't have to be anything fancy, just sturdy enough. Never done anything like this before. I don't have woodworking skills but my husband is a bit more handy, he is going to help me put it together.

Idea was to use 1" and 2" thick plywood or boards, with upright 2x2's for the corner posts. The doors will hinge on the outside, I'm going to use mostly wood glue just screws to attach the shelf which will have corners cut out to fit around the support posts. Going to use wood stain on the outside and polyurethane to seal, on the inside just a few coats of polyurethane. I drew some rough diagrams.


The upright posts sit 1/2" from the corners, so the sides and back are sandwiched between the base and top. Top slab and center upright are 1" thick board. Back, sides and bottom 1/2" thick board. (should I make the top piece the tank sits on thicker- 1.5 or 2"?)

Diagram from above:


Will this work? will it hold the weight fine. I was going to make the dimensions 1" longer/wider than the tank itself, so there's a little edge around it and it actually sits just above those upright posts. Is it stronger if i use screws instead of just wood glue? Am I missing anything important.

(I did look at a few stand designs online but search function is not working well for me right now and sorry my drawing is not exactly true to scale or square. Please keep explanations simple I am unfamiliar with woodworking terms)

thanks for any input


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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-02-2017, 12:54 PM
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I'd use 2x3 lumber for the corners. You'll probably get away with it as its a small tank. Joey the "king of DIY" has great videos that'll walk you through it on YouTube. He's Canadian; really knows his [censored][censored][censored][censored]

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... and definitely pre-drill for each screw. Use 1 5/8

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 07-03-2017 at 10:58 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-02-2017, 01:09 PM
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Your current design is more than adequate for a 20 gallon tank. In fact it is actually way overkill. The (4) 2x2's in the corners, assuming approximately 30 inches long, have a total compression strength of about 4,000 pounds.
Capacity of a wood column For my calculation I used Spruce-Pine-Fir (South), and used grade 3 (basically the cheapest wood possible). I set the unbalanced height to 3 feet of both X and Y axis. Basically what this means is the wood column is 3 feet tall and has nothing keeping the middle of the column from bowing under pressure.

For your stand design, you are planning on adding plywood to the back, front, and sides. Assuming you glue and possible screw the plywood to the 2x2's you will actually increase the load capacity of the 2x2's.

The 2" thick board in the middle is not necessary.


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-02-2017, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splattered View Post
... and definitely pre-drill for each screw. Use 1 5/8
Ok, yeah I thought if I use screws instead of/in addition to wood glue, would predrill holes so the screw head is sunk a bit, and then fill the hole w/something?

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Originally Posted by Immortal1 View Post
Your current design is more than adequate for a 20 gallon tank. In fact it is actually way overkill.......

For your stand design, you are planning on adding plywood to the back, front, and sides. Assuming you glue and possible screw the plywood to the 2x2's you will actually increase the load capacity of the 2x2's.

The 2" thick board in the middle is not necessary.
Thanks for the feedback. Overkill is great. I like it to be super sturdy. The middle upright board I still want, to divide between entirely open compartment on one side and shelf on the other. So ok to use 1" or 1/2" board for that?

Any advice on what kind of wood to use? I thought plywood would by fine for the sides, but my husband thinks that will look cheap, no matter how much wood stain I put on it... oak or maple seems too pricey for what I want- is pine ok to use?


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Last edited by Darkblade48; 07-03-2017 at 10:58 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-02-2017, 04:51 PM
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Granted, not everybody has the same skill level, but here is an example of a stand I built for my daughter for her bearded dragon. This stand is built entirely out of generic pine 2x4's and wood glue - no nails, no screws other than hinge/slide hardware and also some 1/4" finish sanded plywood for the door centers. This stand would have no problem supporting the weight of the 40g breeder tank if filled with water.



And this is a stand I built for my other daughter. This one is almost entirely oak.




The interesting thing about the oak stand is if you look closely, the 4 bottom cabinets are actually kitchen wall cabinets I got from Menards for about $25 each. They came with an oak face, hinges and the door - super easy start. I added 1/4" oak sides where exposed, then added all the various oak trim to create the finish product.

Now, for you project you could look around and see if there is a 30" long kitchen wall cabinet - might be cheaper in the long run. Or, use the pine 2x2's for the corners. Add some 1/2" OSB board (not very pretty, but still pretty solid) to the back and sides. Then get some 1/4" oak veneered plywood (actually pretty cheap) to cover the OSB. Design/build the stand so the outside dimension of the OSB matches your tank. When you add the 1/4" oak sides, make them just a little taller so the tank can't be pushed sideways (not that it really ever would move with water in it, just the way I do things). Now, for the front you can use the same 1/2" OSB. Cut out your door openings to match some pre-manufactured oak doors from Menards (or your favorite store). Cover the front OSB with the 1/4" oak, then install the doors. If you want to finish the stand a little more, you can add 2 oak corner pieces (they look like an L) on the outer edges to cover up the 1/4" oak joints - look at the pics above and you see what I mean. Depending on what you pay for the doors, you could likely build the above for $60-$80.


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2017, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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@Immortal1
It looks very nice. I don't think I have quite the skill to do that (I'll just be happy if it is strong and not an eyesore), but you've given me some ideas. Thanks!


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2017, 01:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ09 View Post
@Immortal1
It looks very nice. I don't think I have quite the skill to do that (I'll just be happy if it is strong and not an eyesore), but you've given me some ideas. Thanks!
No problem. Sometimes all you really need is a few ideas :-)


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2017, 12:58 PM
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I think the video splattered is referring to is https://youtu.be/wPMn0xXjZF4
I'm planning to do a similar design to the one in the video, but with 2x2s.
On another note, I downloaded the free trial of "sketch up" to plan out my stand and have found it helps a ton


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2017, 01:25 PM
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If you wanna just finish off the frame like it is then sure fill the holes with caulk or wood filler (or Elmers glue mixed w/saw dust if you're cheap) and paint/stain it. If you wanna go all out n really dress it up cover the frame with a nice veneer or maybe some birch plywood with finish nails and then stain

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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I'm building it!

Using kiln-fired pine 2x2's and plywood, mdf just for the center upright piece (which isn't load-bearing) and a piece of orientated strand board for the back (very strong, cheaper and it won't be visible). My husband has helped a lot with precise measurments, and use of power tools. Here's some progress:


The posts were attached to the base/top with screws, the sides and middle upright we used wood glue and clamps.

What the doors will look like- it's just finger-holes drilled to open/shut I didn't want handles

He drilled holes to have the screwheads sit below the base/top and I cut pieces of dowel the same width to fit in there, sanded the tops off. (Also realized a real downside to pine- it is soft and already got some dings. Dang it)

Now I'm working on layers of wood stain- here's the doors and shelf

and the main stand-

It will get some final coats of polyurethane and then the doors/shelf attached. I know it's very plain, but I am quite pleased that we've actually built the thing- I never did anything like this before!


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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2017, 01:10 AM
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I like it!looks nice enough, good job
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2017, 01:16 AM
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Looks great!


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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2017, 01:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Still in progress- I have done more layers of wood stain/polyurethane and it is now quite dark, reddish color. Am waiting for the fumes to gas off (in the garage) this weekend going to fasten on the doors & shelf. (It is dark like the betta Oliver in my sig pic)


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Last edited by JJ09; 08-03-2017 at 01:18 AM. Reason: added a phrase
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-07-2017, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Finished staining. Last few layers I wiped on with cloth trying to get it more evenly applied. Not so good at that- there are drips and thicker spots. I sanded off some of the glops, and then rubbed more stain over it but now the color's uneven- especially on the bottom edge.Well, hopefully people look more at the tank and its occupants than the flaws on the stand! I attached the shelf-

And hung the doors. It still has fumes, so sits outside to gas off during the day. Now it's raining so I put it back in the garage.

I messed up with the doors. Pleased that they fit where I wanted, and didn't get too warped from the layers of stain and polyurethane. But... I used wood too thin. The screws for the hinges go right through and then into the posts. I tried using shorter screws, thinking I can just paint them black to match. Hinges don't quite fit around the corner though, they strain and now it won't shut properly. Gah. I could live with it- spray the screws black with polydip and put some magnetic strips to hold the doors shut. Or find another way to attach the doors...

I have time to figure it out while I wait for the odor to dissipate. It is really bad- or I am particularly sensitive to it. When I worked on it inside, had sliding door open, fan blowing air out, bathroom fan next door running, and doors to the rest of the house shut. Still got terrible headache after a while, so I moved the piece to the garage and quit working on it except when it was sunny, to be outside. Humidity makes it dry slower I think. My arms and hands were feeling tingly for a week, too. Probably side effect from breathing the wood stain fumes.


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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-08-2017, 11:31 AM
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Make sure you seal that OSB backboard well, that stuff absorbs water if you even look at it for too long!

Looks good so far though. I'm getting ready to build a stand for my spare 55.
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