Best wood to build stand - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2008, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Best wood to build stand

What's the best wood to build aquarium stand? Should I use treated wood?

Thanks.


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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2008, 06:01 PM
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Hardwood boards, Marine-grade plywood, and MDF are probably the three you'd look at. A lot will depend on what type of finish you're planning on applying to the stand.

For painted stands most will choose MDF as it's cheaper and has a smooth finish on it that takes paint well. But wear a dust mask when cutting it as the fine particles are very bad to breath in.

I wouldn't use treated wood as the pressure treating is applied to prevent bugs from attacking it. It's not a waterproofing.

óBill

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2008, 06:39 PM
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Yes to hardwood and plywood, but if any water gets into MDF it expands you would want to make sure it's sealed very well, even still water finds it way into every crevice.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2008, 07:19 PM
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If you are going to paint or skin it with paneling simply use regular lumber. I have built many stand from studs from Lowe's. If the wood is going to be exposed and stained or varnished you might want to think of hardwoods.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2008, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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I'm going to skin it, so I plan to build with 2x4s and 2x6s. I do plan to paint the interior, maybe even waterproof line the bottom part. Do hardwood comes in 2x4 or 2x6? Sorry I'm a newbie at this.


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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2008, 07:50 PM
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The best wood to build a stand would be teak, but thats just me (and its expensive...)
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2008, 09:18 PM
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Around here, both Home Depot and Lowes have 1/4" Lauan Plywood for about $11 per sheet. If you're on a budget that's what I'd use to skin the stand. Lauan is also known as Mahogany, which is known for being moisture resistant. I wouldn't use the stuff from Home Depot to build a boat (apparently it has a lot of internal voids) but for furniture it should be just fine as long as it has one clear face. I'm going to build a wall unit in the next couple months to hold my 55g, I'm going to use 2x4 construction under the tank and build a skeleton out of hemlock with mahogany skin for the rest. It'll make more sense once you see it.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2008, 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by khoile View Post
What's the best wood to build aquarium stand? Should I use treated wood?

Thanks.
Absolutely not. The wood is treated with Arsnic.

I built a couple of stands a long time ago with doubled up pine 2X4s (effectively making them 4x4s) for a 110 gallon and a 125 gallon. They were rock solid and worked great.

Personally, I would not use MDF because it doesn't hold up well if it gets wet. I would stick with a decent plywood.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-13-2008, 05:23 AM
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Absolutely not. The wood is treated with Arsnic.
Not any more. Even though the EPA said it was safe in its usual applications, there was enough hysteria about it that the industry asked the gov't to ban it for non-industrial uses. That suited the industry just fine, as they all were then "forced" to switch to a non-arsinic formula with more copper, which is more expensive, and increased their revenue.

That said, except for certain structural uses, like in contact with concrete, or in certain termite-ravaged areas (e.g., framing lumber in Hawaii is all treated), I wouldn't use treated lumber indoors.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-13-2008, 05:37 AM
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Not any more. Even though the EPA said it was safe in its usual applications, there was enough hysteria about it that the industry asked the gov't to ban it for non-industrial uses. That suited the industry just fine, as they all were then "forced" to switch to a non-arsinic formula with more copper, which is more expensive, and increased their revenue.

That said, except for certain structural uses, like in contact with concrete, or in certain termite-ravaged areas (e.g., framing lumber in Hawaii is all treated), I wouldn't use treated lumber indoors.

I stand corrected PDX-PLT. Thanks for the info. I did some reading up and you are right. The verdict is still out on the alternatives that are used today as to whether they are safe (amine copper quat (ACQ) and copper azone (CA)).


The bottom line is that pressure treated lumber is not necessary for building a stand. I have built stands with conventional lumber and they worked great. You just need to be certain that your stand can take the weight from a tank that is filled with water, substrate, etc. You also want to make sure that the weight is distributed from the tank to the stand to the floor.

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-13-2008, 11:54 AM
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Just use 2 x 4's & skin it! The results are great & ROCK SOLID! (Plus, it's inexpensive & most people can do it themselves with nothing more than a Skill saw & miter box. You could use just a Skill saw, but, I find it's better with a miter saw to get nice perpendicular cuts. Plus you can use the miter to trim out your stand & make it look that much better. I have built numerous stands for myself & others. All using 2 x 4's for the "skeleton" (or 2 x 6's on larger tanks like 125 & above). I'm in the process of rebuilding a "built-in" that some one was using as a stand for a 125. The built-in was built using 1 x 4 oak. It looks nice, but, the whole thing sank one the front & is leaning to one side now. I think the built-in was originaly for an entertainment center. I just bought the house & one of the things I liked about it was the 125 Gal. tank. If anyone is interested, PM me & I'll send out pics... I may end up doing a Thread about the whole build if anyone is interested... Just PM me & let me know. I'll try to take as many pics as I can, I know how we all love pics! LOL!

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-13-2008, 01:40 PM
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I second 2x4's, I used tongue and groove cedar paneling for the outside.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-13-2008, 03:03 PM
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If I have the extra money, I use cedar two-by-fours. These are much more water and insect resistant than ordinary pine boards. It's also somewhat lighter and is easier to make dato cuts with it.

It also looks good for years even after one has repeatedly spilled water on it.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-13-2008, 05:19 PM
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Hardwood is definitely the "best" wood to use, but they're all the same once you put a coat of polyurethane on. I usually use hardwood for support structure of the stand then use a cheaper wood, like pine, for the walls.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-11-2018, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Green Leaf Aquariums View Post
I second 2x4's, I used tongue and groove cedar paneling for the outside.
Did you skin it with plywood first or apply the cedar paneling directly to the 2x4s?

I'm going to put barn boards on the outside but didn't know if I should skin it with plywood first or not.
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