DIY 125G Stand (56k beware) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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DIY 125G Stand (56k beware)

Well I finally got around to working on the stand for my 125. I've had most of the wood cut for a couple weeks, but I've been busy, and it's been lookin' like it's going to rain, and it did rain (yesterday...finally)...But I spent a bunch of time today and almost have the entire frame finished.

Yes, I know, I'm way overbuilding this. But, I like to overbuild things One thing I just realized though, is I could've ditched the 4x4's and used 2x4's instead. Oh well, live and learn.

The stand is made of 4 4x4 posts with notches cut in them. the rest of the frame is made from 2x3 stud material. I chose 2x3's, because it was half the price of 2x4's I still have a few more pieces to add to the frame, but it's almost done. I spread out the supports in the front a bit, because I am going to house a 38G tank in the bottom of the stand. This will be used as a sump and for breeding and whatnot, so I'd like it on display. There should be enough on either side for an extra canister if I want, and also a CO2 tank.

I will skin the stand with 1/2" or 3/4" Birch plywood on the front and sides; I will leave the back open. The front will have an opening for viewing the bottom tank, and there will be doors on either side of that tank. I'll add some trim around the top of the stand, and put 3/4" plywood and styrofoam on top of it.





Let me know what you guys think.

Jason
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 05:45 AM
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Looking good Jason .. That stand looks solid and strong..Cant hurt to overbuild things right. Its underbuilding thats the problem i am getting a 125
soon and am also having a sump! this post will be helpful for me to watch and i might even copy some ideas if u dont mind. lol

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Yeah, it is pretty strong. I finished the frame the other night, got on top of it and tried to bounce it up and down and stuff to make sure it was solid - that thing didn't budge, nice and solid.

I think I'll pick up the panelling this weekend, though I'm not sure about the birch now. From what I've read on the internet, it can get blotchy when you stain it. I don't think the Oak plywood is much more expensive, so I may just get that instead.

I've noticed more than a couple people around here are setting up 125's lately. It's nice that there are more people getting bigger tanks and can help each other out My sump is really only going to be part-sump; I'd like to use about 3/4 of the tank for breeding/growout/whatever. I'll just partition it so 1/4 of it acts as a filter. I may add a small canister filter to the system as well, just for extra filtration. I'm thinking the CPR overflow with two outlets on it so I could do that.

Back to the stand....I'm thinking 3/4" on the front and maybe 1/2" on the sides. (wood is expensive you know) How thick should the top piece be? Would 3/4" be sufficient? I know since my tank has a frame I can just set it on the frame, but I'd like to use a top and styrofoam, just in case I have any irregularities in the stand.

Also, I've never done paneling like this before; what should I use to attach it to the frame? Just countersink my screws and fill with wood filler, or should I use finishing nails, or what? I'm thinking to get all my pieces mated perfectly together, I'll just cut each panel a bit bigger than it's supposed to be, and then just trim it down to size with a flush-trim bit on a router.

Think that's about it. I have pictures of the finished frame I'll post when I get home from work.

Jason
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 04:13 PM
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The weakness of any frame like you built is for racking stress - forces that try to make the tank fold up sideways. That is the primary function of the back panel. So, I recommend that you use 3/8 or so paneling for the back. The top will be perfectly satisfactory with 3/4 plywood or MDF. The important thing there is that the panel be flat when you start, not warped as cheap plywood always is. The other panels can be as thin as you wish, they are mostly for appearance. If you are painting the stand, the best attaching method is a pneumatic brad or staple driver - small holes, easily filled. Next would be small brads driven carefully with a hammer and set below the surface. And, use carpenters glue - yellow glue - to do the real work holding the panel in place.

Hoppy
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy
Next would be small brads driven carefully with a hammer and set below the surface.
Are you saying do this if I'm staining the stand? Or is that still referring to painting?

For the paneling on the back, I'm sure it's going to be ok to just use cheap plywood, right? I don't want to worry about buying the expensive stuff if I don't have to. As it is, I need a full panel just for the front (6ft x 35in is a large chunk of a panel).

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2006, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
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progress

I've made some progress. The top, bottom, and sides are on. Just need the front, trim, stain, and tank and it's done. You'll also notice, I put feet on it...I wanted feet so a) it would be easier to level the stand, and b) I think it looks better and c) to get an extra couple inches in height. The stand is 38" to the top - I know, that's way high, but we wanted to be able to look at the tank without having to bend down. Since this will be in a fishroom, it makes sense to us.

and of course...pics.



Jason
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2006, 01:31 PM
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I know it's too late, but usually grain goes vertical on cabinets...

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2006, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbomkt
I know it's too late, but usually grain goes vertical on cabinets...
I know. I'm taking a bit of a risk with the way it looks. The grain on the front will be going horizontal no matter what (There are no 6+ ft wide sheets of wood, nor do I want to use 2 pieces on the front), so I figured I'd try to keep it all going the same direction. I guess you could say I'm a rebel

Jason
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-25-2006, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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more progress

It finally looks like something. I got the front on today. I must say, I like the overall look if I do say so myself. Now I just need to get some trim for the sides and top, doors (more on that in a sec), sand and stain, and I'm done





Here is the eventual plan for the stand:



The blue is a 55gal tank that will be housed underneath and used partially for breeding/grow out, and partially for a sump. The left 12" that will go behind that door will be partitioned off and contain the filtering portion of the sump. That top brown door/drawer looking thing will actually be a door that opens vertically instead of horizontally. It'll cover the empty space between the top of the sump and the top of the stand, and when it's open, it'll serve as a light-duty "shelf" to hold rags, fish food, nets, whatever I might need while I'm working in the tank. The left door will have hooks on the back of it to hang nets and stuff, and the right door, I'm thinking will have a little rack on it for food and whatnot. Behind that right door will be the CO2 canister, UPS, power outlets, and all that jazz.

While I'm on the topic of doors, what do you guys think I should use? I was thinking solid oak panels with rounded edges, but I'm not sure. I still have plenty of 1/4" oak plywood left over, but I don't think it's thick enough to be up to the task...

I'm kinda stumped on the leveling method for the stand. I was going to drill holes in the feet and glue some nuts in them so I could use bolts as levelers...but, that would give me a "floating" look for the stand, which I don't want. Anybody got any good ideas, or should I just stick to shims?

Jason
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2006, 12:48 AM
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Yeah shim the feet because it is really strong. I would panel the back because that adds a lot of strength to the racking mentioned above.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2006, 01:01 AM
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You can use tee nuts, the kind that have little spurs you drive into the end grain, in the bottom of the legs, with bolts screwed into them for levelers. I figure each leg will have about 200 pounds of load on it. Also, you can buy levelers for legs like that. Shims are a real pain to get right, compared to levelers.

Use cheap plywood for the back panel. If you want to use the 1/4" oak plywood for doors, just make them out of something like left over back paneling, with the oak plywood glued on to increase the thickness. Then add solid oak edging around the outside to cover the edges of the sandwitched plywood. I have made some doors like that and they looked very nice. One caution, unless the two plywood door parts are very near the same thickness, you need an equal thickness panel glued on both the front and back of the filler material to avoid warping.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2006, 10:45 AM
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Looks great ... quite inspiring.
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