I could use some help in finding a better alternative.
I have a tank stand that I made with 2x lumber, the tank is filled, everything is fine, and I am trying to "skin" it with panels.
After numerous trial and errors I have something my boss likes. It's a picture-frame like panel with cloth in the middle on plywood. The frames are 1x5's that are painted and painted and sanded and painted to be slick and glossy like plastic, so they do not have a "wood" look really.
For four of these panels I intend to fasten them with magnets, or velcro, or something so they are easily removable. I don't care right now, will figure that out.
But for 4 of the panels (one of which actually has a set of drawers in the middle), I am inclined to fasten it permanently, so it will be a tighter fit.
The options I can think of are:
1) Don't be different, stick it on with something removable, forget the question.
2) Nail them on, plug the nail holes, and paint after attached -- I'm using really thin oil paint and lots of coats and sanding and I really, really do not want to do this. Messy and hard to use very thin pain on a vertical surface.
3) Finish them, then nail them on, and patch the nail holes and try to hide them afterwards with putty or wax or something -- difficult on a high gloss surface.
4) Glue - I did paint the back of the panels (protection from water, so if someone looked in the gap it's just black), so it would be sticking high gloss oil paint to bare wood. I can scuff up the surface first of course. This is what I'm leaning toward doing, though I am unsure what to use. Maybe a two part slower set epoxy and some clamps?
4a) Glue with dowels - I can drill for some dowels, maybe 2 on each side, and use that to hold instead of depending on sticking to the paint.
5) Screw on from the back side. This is appealing but difficult, as it's a 3" or 3.5" piece of wood behind it. I'd need counter-sink a screw way down into the supporting member, and be very careful that it didn't extend more than 1/4 or so into the panel. The counter-sink hole is also going to weaken the tank support (probably OK, but worrisome). I'm more worried about accuracy, and coming through (or not getting enough bite to do any good).
6) Other... ?
Are there other options?
Are there some kind of counter-sunk clips or slide-on attachments one could use, that would still give a flush fit?
The stand is about 24.5" x 80" by the way, it holds a 220G tank.
Here is a photo-shopped image using one panel and cloning it, and piecing together the side cabinet. Not real, just photoshop, but it may give a feel for what the panels look like: